Hope In Betrayal
There is a Korean game show I watch regularly, in which several of the cast members are famous for betraying the other members during the games for their own benefit. In that show it is always done without spite and for the sake of comedy. The other members and even the guest celebrities know and perhaps even expect to be betrayed at some point, and yet when it happens they react with shock.
But in real life, there are people who are willing to betray others in a hateful way to achieve their own selfish goals.
In my Bible reading recently I have come across several passages that speak of betrayal. Ps 55:21 says “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart…” And many of us have known or do know someone who is like that.
If so, you know that there is nothing funny or comedic about it. It can be hurtful and devastating when you are betrayed by someone close to you. If the betrayal was gross, some victims even give up hope and live the rest of their lives as mere shells of who they used to be. It is possible that they will never trust anyone again, and go through life depressed and introverted to the extreme.
Another passage that speaks to betrayal is Luke 21:16. There, Jesus tells us that we will be betrayed by family and friends, the betrayal even going so far as to cause death.
I thought that it could never happen in my lifetime, or that maybe it was hyperbole. But recently I have read and interacted with people online who say that I should be in prison, or a re-education camp for believing differently than them. Some have recommended that for proposing Biblical standards for marriage and sexuality it would be better for all if I and others like me ceased to exist in this realm. It’s not a stretch to understand that in the coming last days, they will carry out those very desires.
So how can we have hope (and JOY!) in those circumstances? Coincidentally Jesus also told us how He would help when we have been betrayed. Even before He mentions that we will be betrayed by family, Jesus tells us that we don’t have to worry about how to defend ourselves in court. (v.15) He will give us the words to speak by the Holy Spirit.
And on top of that Jesus told us in John 14 that He would not leave us, but will come to us. This is nothing new though. God has always declared He would be with us. Remember what Moses said?
Deu 31:6 “… Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
No matter what happens, or how alone we may feel, we are not alone. God is with us at all times. He cares for us, and loves us so intensely that we can’t even describe it adequately. In these coming days, His love may not save us from bodily harm, (although it certainly could) but even in martyrdom He will be there giving us strength.
Stephan probably felt alone for a few moments while the rocks were coming his way, but as he looked up he saw Jesus standing there with him. And the joy of knowing Jesus was there with him was evidenced in his final words.
Might you be betrayed? Yes. As the end of days draws near it’s even probable that someone will betray you in some way. But as a believer in Jesus, you will always have hope – not in things of this world, but in Him.