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“Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.” (Psalm 41:9 NIV)

A friend’s betrayal stings.

David is writing this Psalm.  Jesus applied this verse to Judas Iscariot when he betrayed Him.  At the last supper, before Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples shared a meal together.  Jesus said someone would betray Him.  When they asked who, “Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me” (Matthew 26:23 NIV).  Jesus understood what having a friend turn against you is like.  In fact, Judas’s betrayal led to Jesus’ death.  Thankfully, the story doesn’t end with the betrayal.

Unfortunately, in life, we will all experience betrayal.  Someone we love will hurt us deeply with their actions.  Betrayals are hard to let go of because they represent a breaking of trust.  Broken trust takes time to re-build, if ever.  Sometimes, the person doing the betraying has no interest in reconciling the relationship.  If they don’t take ownership for their actions, the relationship is impossible to restore.  We can’t control someone else’s actions, but we can control ours.  We can rise above the betrayal like Jesus did.  We can forgive them, we can pray for them, and we can keep on going.

Forgive, pray, move.

We don’t expect friends to betray us, but they do. Jesus knew Judas would betray Him:  

Jesus responded, “Haven’t I handpicked you, the Twelve? Still, one of you is a devil!” He was referring to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. This man—one from the Twelve!—was even then getting ready to betray him.” (John 6:70 MSG)

Jesus understands humanity.  He knows why Judas betrayed Him.  He didn’t want Judas to betray Him, but Judas succumbed to the temptations of the world.  We all are guilty of giving in to the devil’s schemes:  

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers…the spiritual forces of evil.” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)

Jesus chose the person who would lead to His death to disciple.  He loved the man who betrayed him, knowing what he would do.  But Jesus didn’t enable Judas.  He let Judas follow the path he chose.  We have the choice of who we love and follow.  When we choose Jesus, we choose the path that leads to wholeness.  We choose the One who overcame all temptation in this world.  The One who died for us so we could have a relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Each day God gives us will have different challenges.  When we start our day by asking a God for a renewal of His Spirit within us, He leads the way.  He goes before us and prepares our path.  He helps us to forgive, He helps us pray, He helps us move.

Question of the Day:

Have you asked God to renew His Spirit within you today?

Further Reading:  Job 23-27 NIV, 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11 NIV, Psalm 41 NIV, Proverbs 22:5-6 NIV

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