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“Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.”  Matthew 26:14-15 NIV

When someone has betrayed you, it’s hard work to forgive them, but it can be done.  Today’s verses are the starting point for arguably the worst betrayal in history. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for what would be equivalent to $185-216 today.  He wouldn’t have even been able to buy a smartphone with his money. Yet He betrayed Jesus for it. I wonder what Judas’s heart motive was? Obviously greed, but what else?  Why would money cause him to betray his Lord and Savior? Understanding these details helps work towards forgiveness. We can see in hindsight, Judas’ betrayal, for whatever reason, was part of the plan.  If Jesus hadn’t been betrayed, He wouldn’t have been crucified. If He hadn’t been crucified and raised again, none of us would be saved. God uses all things to the good for those who believe, even our betrayals (Romans 8:28 NIV).

My neighbor for years was Debbie Smith.  She is the reason the Debbie Smith Act (DSA E) exists.  Four years before we moved beside her, she was raped in the woods behind our house.  Her husband, a police officer, was upstairs sleeping after working the night shift.  The armed man entered their house, dragged her into the woods and raped her repeatedly.  DNA was collected, but not analyzed until 1994. When it was, her rapist was found, already behind bars for another crime.  Debbie turned that dreadful event into a glory for God. The result of her work is the DSA which is designed to end the backlog of untested, unanalyzed DNA.  A movie has been made about that fateful day, A Life Interrupted debuted in 2007.  Debbie was betrayed by someone she didn’t even know.  A victim of someone else’s sin. Debbie had every right not to forgive, but instead she gave it all to God.   When we give our hurts and betrayals to Him, He turns them into wins. He takes ashes and turns them into beauty.

He takes ashes and turns them into beauty.

Betrayal is a part of life.  None of us escape it. Family betray us, Friends betray us, strangers betray us, our bodies betray us.  Betrayal is one of the hardest acts to forgive. When our trust in someone or something has been broken, it is not easily built back.  But trust can be restored. Over time, with hard work, we can overcome our betrayals. We can forgive the offender, create healthy boundaries and be free from the hurt.  The key to overcoming hurt, it’s a team effort. We can’t do it without Divine Intervention. God’s guidance, His presence, are what helps us overcome. Together, with Him, anything is possible, even forgiving betrayal.

Question of the Day:

What betrayal do you need God to help you forgive?

Further Reading:  Exodus 29:1-30:10 NIV, Matthew 26:14-46 NIV, Psalm 31:19-24 NIV, Proverbs 8:14-26 NIV

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