"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according His purpose." -Romans 8:28
Have you ever been betrayed by someone close to you or in your inner circle? If so, you know the intensity of the pain and grief of the soul. More important, as painful as it can be, betrayal can work for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans and chosen for His purpose.
Unfortunately, betrayal is one of Satan’s powerful weapons used to destroy relationships, especially a relationship with Jesus Christ. He will use anyone vulnerable or ignorant of his devices—spouse, family members, friends, enemies, business partners, ministry leaders and workers. These individuals are deceived by the enemy and are easy targets, if they have weaknesses, sin and weights, insecurity issues, spirit of rejection, greed, etc. Many Christians, especially leaders, are blindsided by the act of betrayal because it is not considered as a strategy used by the thief (the devil) to steal, kill and destroy relationships and trust.
However, the inspiration for this post is to focus on how betrayal works for good although the enemy’s plot is destruction. Let’s consider our supreme example, Jesus Christ, and how He handled the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. You can read it in the four Gospels: Matthew 26:14-16, 20-25; Mark 14:18-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:18-26.
Although betrayal is a strategic weapon used by Satan, our concentration must be from God’s perspective. Being omniscient, God’s purposes are scripted into His foreknowledge of man’s choices, both the good and bad, as with Judas Iscariot. From this perspective, we can view betrayal as part of the process God will use for His purpose.
What can we learn from Jesus’ example of handling betrayal? First, let’s consider Jesus’ knowledge base. He knew betrayal was inevitable. Yet, He did not focus on it as a method to destroy Him, but instead to bring about His eternal glory and victory for anyone who would believe in Him despite Satan’s attempt to defeat Him and inflict emotional pain.
But expect triumph. Know that God always causes us to triumph in Christ.
Secondly, Jesus knew that His Father’s plan and eternal purpose were greater than his temporary pain. Therefore, He didn’t take Judas’ betrayal personal as the end, but instead the process that would lead to the fulfillment of His purpose. When we take betrayal personal as a flesh and blood matter rather than demonically influenced, we tend to react out of emotion. In addition, taking it personal distracts you from Kingdom assignment and the preparation process to greater purpose. Thus, we interrupt the process and risk falling prey to Satan’s scheme just as the betrayer. Of course, we dare not diminish the emotional pain caused by betrayal, yet, we must know that there is purpose in pain.
Thirdly, Jesus could handle betrayal because He knew these four (4) truths:
He knew who He was, that He had come from God
He knew His mission (purpose), that the Father had given all things into His hands
He knew His destination, that when His mission was finished, He was going to His Father (John 13:2-4)
He knew betrayal had already been “scripted” and had to be fulfilled (John 13:18; Psalm 41:9).
Jesus is our perfect example of when betrayal can work for good. Although Judas Iscariot’s betrayal was initiated by religious evil men, who were puns in the hand of Satan, the Father used it to ensure eternal life and hope through faith in Christ for the whole world.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." -John 3:16-17
Undeniably, being betrayed by someone you love and trust is a disheartening experience. However, the Holy Spirit empowers us to handle it. Like Jesus, our knowledge of God, trust in His faithfulness, our spiritual perception, and Kingdom assignment should change our perspective on betrayal—knowing that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Yes, even betrayal.
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