Sometimes life has unexpected turns. The ‘wrong’ person is elected to office. We feel abandoned by those we thought would be there for us. A person we counted on as a friend, betrays us. Does this story sound familiar? Does it sound like yours? It might be, but I’m thinking of someone in history. A person that everyone thought would be a political rescuer, but then he was taken away, because those in power thought he was a fake and his best friends betrayed and abandoned him.
I know some people who have felt upset their candidate didn’t win the last presidential election, but there are others that feel theirs did. Is either one wrong? No, they just have different perspectives. I’m not going to choose one or make this political either, so don’t hold your breath. God can use any man or woman to get the outcome he wants. What he needs are people praying for those in leadership.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
I have been betrayed by friends, and it hurts to the core. I had one friend of over a decade, who insisted I said something I didn’t. She wouldn’t listen to anything contrary to what she perceived, even though our conversation was in writing. How do you convince someone who puts words in your mouth that you never said, but what they think? When they’re accusing you of words in their mind, without any credibility? You don’t, because they’re operating out of a stubborn mindset that has turned against you.
So how do you handle the hurt they’ve caused you? “Let it go and let God” is the best advice I can offer. You never know why they treated you the way they did or what they might be dealing with internally, or in their private lives. They may be struggling with sin or hurt you can’t imagine. So let God heal and/or judge them and move on.
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44
Perhaps you’ve been or feel abandoned by your spouse, your parents, or a friend. I’m sorry for your hurt, but I know someone who can heal that hurt. It’s time to make friends with the best friend a person can have — Jesus. When I was single, several years ago, I moved to a new town. I had a very deep relationship with Jesus, he was and still is my best friend. I had a man ask me, who wanted to date me, “What are you looking for in a man?” I told him, “I’m not looking for a man, I have the only man I need in my life, his name is Jesus.” I wasn’t joking either. When we get to really know Jesus as a close personal friend, he becomes our everything. All the names you hear him described as, he is! He is our friend who sticks closer than a brother. He will never leave us, he told us that in his word and if you believe his word, then you should believe that he is always available. How is that for friendship?!
Hebrews 13:5 For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
So, who in history has experienced all of these things and far greater heartache than we have? Jesus! The same Jesus who will never leave us, has been betrayed! He has been abandoned by his friends, he may have felt abandoned by his Father for a second, even though he knew his purpose. And though he was the King of Kings, (an unelected office) the religious leaders were too caught up in their own money scheming and greed to see him as the Messiah standing right before them! Would you recognize him today? I know we all think we would. The disciples were with him all the time and still had a problem recognizing him. We all think we are so dedicated in our hearts that we would never deny him like Peter did, or betray him like Judas for 30 pieces of Silver, or doubt him like Thomas, or not know him walking along the road to Emmaus, or mistake him for a gardener like Mary Magdalene did after he had risen? Would any of them be us? Or would we mistake him as a stranger?
What do we put before Jesus? Have we betrayed him by not believing in some part of his word? Parts that we aren’t quite comfortable with or don’t understand? Have we abandoned him by not spending time with him? Ouch! Got me there. Have we not made him the leader of our lives? Have we looked to religious leaders and political leaders as our saviors instead?
I pray that you make Jesus your leader and your best friend today. You won’t feel betrayed or abandoned or let down. Let him lead you as it says in Matthew:
Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”