Benedict Arnold. Judas Iscariot. These men are so famous for something they’ve done. Their very names are synonymous with the act: betrayal. One betrayed our country. The other betrayed the Lord Jesus.
Betrayal is a horrible act with harmful consequences – for those betrayed and even the betrayer. Maybe you have trusted someone with your deepest secrets or your thoughts and feelings. Or even with hard-earned money or prized possessions. Whatever trust you placed in someone, if they betrayed you, you were probably left devastated, hurt and angry.
But how do you handle that? In those times of betrayal, it’s easy to let bitterness start to grow in your heart. When you’re hurt and angry, it may seem impossible to forgive the one who hurt you. You may not even want to have a relationship with them again. But bitterness does not have to be the end result of betrayal.
In Genesis 50, we meet a man named Joseph. He was betrayed but didn’t hold on to bitterness. Joseph was betrayed by his very own brothers. They were jealous of him, threw him in a pit, and sold him into slavery. This betrayal sent Joseph on a difficult and emotional journey. However, he eventually ended up in a powerful position in another country. Years after their betrayal, his brothers came to Joseph for help, not even recognising him. Had bitterness been growing in Joseph’s heart, he could have plotted his ultimate revenge for the pain they caused him. But instead, Joseph chose forgiveness. He was able to see that, out of their horrible act, God had done something amazing.
When you are betrayed, it’s natural to feel hurt and even angry. But you do not have to let that anger turn to bitterness. You can take your pain and anger straight to God. Instead of holding on to the pain, let Him give you a heart of forgiveness. Let Him show you how He can make something beautiful out of even the worst circumstances.
The above writing has been culled from EXTREME TEEN STUDY BIBLE – Real Faith For Real Life (The New King James Version). You can place an order for your copy here. Alternatively, click the AMAZON logo on the top right of this page.
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