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Posts Tagged ‘John 20:25’

Betrayal

February 24th, 2016

“I will not take My love from him, nor will I ever betray My faithfulness.” Psalm 89:33 NIV.

Hurting people hurt others.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “betrayal.”

Betrayal is a harsh word but not a new occurrence. Everyone has felt the sting of misunderstanding, misjudgment, or unfair treatment. The experience is as old and common as time itself. Feelings of betrayal necessitate a relationship that holds positive expectations. Betrayal feels personal and usually is. David felt the sting of personal betrayal – from Saul, his king; Absalom, his son; and Ahithophel, his trusted friend and adviser. “Even my close friend (Ahithophel), whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” Psalm 41:9 NIV. David understood his own frailties and failures and forgave others as he had been forgiven. (As an interesting and relevant side note, scholars believe Ahithophel to be the father of Eliam and grandfather of Bathsheba. Might that grandfather’s disloyalty relate to David’s behavior with Bathsheba?) Betrayal of others breeds betrayal toward oneself.

Strangers or enemies cannot betray you; your expectations of the first are minimal, of the latter their unkindness is assumed. Friends and family hold unique power to inflict emotional pain. To one degree or another, friction happens in homes, at work, and even in churches. Sadly, it happens in marriages, families, and with friends or mere acquaintances. Hurting people hurt others. Knowingly or unknowingly, fallen people living in a fallen world inflict their hurts and unhappiness upon the lives of those around them. It’s usually about themselves, not the other person. Their pain causes their words and actions. It splashes out on whoever happens by.

Emotions of betrayal come in all forms and sizes, from annoyance to distress. Something as small as an unintended slight or something as large as intentional slander can both create feelings of betrayal. Judas betrayed Jesus. Matthew 27:3-5. Peter denied Jesus. Matthew 26:75. Thomas doubted Jesus. John 20:25. The disciples abandoned Jesus. Matthew 26:56. The crowds left Jesus. John 6:66-69. In differing measures, Jesus was betrayed and felt its pain, yet offered forgiveness and restoration of fellowship to each. Imagine Paul’s personal disappointment and pain as he wrote, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed.” 2 Timothy 4:10 NKJV. But God’s Word provides this assurance, “We have [a High Priest] who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin. Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NIV. Jesus heals all hurts.

Betrayal is a word or action that causes emotional pain, eliciting strong reactions in return. It can be an action toward you as well as a reaction to you. As a teen, when I tried to justify hurting someone who had hurt me, my Dad would remind me, “Two wrongs never make a right.” Imperfect grammar, but he was right, of course. Obviously, there are two questions you are wise to consider. Felt betrayed by someone? Forgive, surrendering your pain to Jesus. Betrayed another’s confidence in you? Consider their pain.

When you have been betrayed, forgive. There is no better choice. Forgiving is for your benefit as much as theirs. “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Read Colossians 3:13-14 NIV. “If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Read Matthew 6:14-15 NIV.

When you have betrayed, ask to be forgiven. There alone you find redemption. Read Matthew 5:23-24 NIV. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Read Ephesians 1:7-8 NKJV. Read Romans 4:7-8 NIV. God’s promise is true, “I will not take My love from him, nor will I ever betray My faithfulness.” Psalm 89:33 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to always trust the faithfulness of God to heal and forgive.

EDL broken trust

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Communications 2016
www.facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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Simple Faith

November 28th, 2012

Simple Faith

Faith is not an option but it is a daily choice.

“Now faith . . is the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV.

Life cannot be successfully navigated without simple faith, but that is not as simple as you might first expect. Life can become complicated. Faith is not an option but it is a daily choice. Everyday you are faced with diverse matters in which faith is required. Life would be very lonely without choosing to have faith in people. Yet you will struggle because faith in people can be sadly disappointed on occasion.

There is a common level of faith that is natural. You were created to have faith; God made you that way. A child trusts their parent; a spouse trusts their mate; people believe what they’re told, until there are enough times when faith seems disappointed. The desire to believe and dream is innate until life is allowed to strip it away a little at a time. God alone is capable of never disappointing, and circumstances will test even that bedrock truth at times. That’s when you choose faith.

The Bible says, “Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen . . by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. But without faith it is impossible to please God for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that he is the Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:1-2/6 NKJV. Read those truths again, slowly. Faith is that simple, until you cloud it with needless doubt or complicate it by dubious reasoning. Faith rests upon proven confidence that God is who He says He is and does what He says He will do. Read Romans 3:3-4 NIV. Such confidence is experienced only by the one who chooses “faith . . believes that God is and is the Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Faith in God, His Word and character, does not fail; people fail to have faith. Faith is always from your heart, only rarely from the mind. See Romans 10:8-11 NKJV.

When told by other disciples that they had seen Jesus after His Resurrection, Thomas, a disciple of Jesus,  espoused the tired, old idea that “seeing is believing.” His conclusion? “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands, and put my finger where the nails were . . I will not believe it.” John 20:25 NIV. That is not a satisfying way to live. Imagine how much of life you miss. Thomas was wrong; “Believing is seeing.” See 1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV. You have two clear choices. Choose faith, believing and expecting God to be God. Or choose faith of a different persuasion which believes only what you can see for yourself. The latter will not work out well for you.

Let me remind you again, faith is not an option but it is a daily choice. “Therefore we do not lose heart . . while we do not look at the things which are seen, but [we look] at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV. There is more for your life than first appears. “Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:7-9 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that your faith releases glorious and inexpressible joy.

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Sight Unseen

February 16th, 2012

“Lord, open his eyes that he may see.” 2 Kings 6:17 NIV

“Disbelief can be an inability to believe while unbelief seems an unwillingness to believe.”

My thoughts and comments today are about “sight unseen.”

I think a lot of people are a bit like Thomas, one of Jesus disciples. Seeing is important to your believing in everyday life. Now I know that Thomas has been pilloried forever by preachers nicknaming him “doubting Thomas.” When he said “Except I see in His hands the prints of the nails . . I will not believe,” (John 20:25 NKJV) his doubts were disbelief. It may be too fine a distinction of words, but to me disbelief is an inability to believe while unbelief seems an unwillingness to believe. Maybe that is because everything you read or hear is not necessarily true as reported, and everyone trusted but been disappointed too many times.

I am not an online shopper. Pictures and a copywriter’s flowing description are not quite the same as seeing and holding the product in a store, especially clothing. I want to see the color, feel the fabric and try on the article. Ever wish the chef could prepare the same dish the photographer pictured on the menu? Sometimes and in some ways, seeing is helpful in believing.

The Old Testament relates an interesting incident from Elisha’s life. The King of Syria’s secret plans against Israel had repeatedly been thwarted by the prophet’s warnings to Israel’s King. So the King sent “horses and chariots and a strong force” to capture Elisha under the cover of darkness. As the prophet’s servant went out in the morning, he was startled to see the threatening army surrounding the city. Fearing for his and the prophet’s lives, the servant rushed to warn Elisha. The prophet calmly prayed, “Lord, open his eyes so he may see. Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17 NIV. The servant needed more than words of assurance; he needed a glimpse of the greater reality unseen that superseded the partial reality he could see.

I think that is where a lot of us find ourselves in everyday life. We know plainly enough the unnerving realities we seem to face. You see the bills each month. You pay the rising gas prices at the pump. You read the economic and international news. You worry about declining home equity. You read the unemployment figures and the stock market’s ups and downs. You hear the political posing about impending calamity depending on which political party wins an election. Where do you see God in all this?

What you may not be seeing is the over-ruling, all-providing providence of God in your faith, family, finances, and future. Often, you readily see the frightening “horses and chariots and strong force” arrayed against you, but can easily miss the “horses and chariots of fire” God sends to protect and provide for you. Not every time, but sometimes you have to see it to get it! “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:13-18 NIV. The problem you see is not always problem you have; many times the real problem is just your perspective, or lack thereof.

My prayer for you today is that you look a little further in faith than you readily see in fact.

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