Have you ever felt the sting of betrayal? Dealing with the hurt of betrayal can be heartbreaking and tough. But there is hope for healing.
We can feel that hurt of betrayal in so many settings - with family, our spouses, friends, fellow church members, coworkers and so much more.
And sometimes it isn’t a once and done thing, sometimes it lasts and continues, the other person unaware of their betrayal.
So how can we find hope amidst the hurt of betrayal. How can we find peace and truly overcome?
I’ve felt that sting, that hurt, on several times. I know many of you have felt it too.
In my life, I’ve been most hurt and betrayed by family members and friends. It leaves you with a sense of worthlessness, hurt and confusion.
We tend to ask questions like “why?” and sometimes even begin to blame ourselves for the hurt.
I’ve been there. And I’ve waded through years of blaming myself, wondering if maybe it was my fault that these things had happened.
But years later, with tremendous healing, I have come to a place where I can clearly see the betrayal, forgive and move forward, learning to trust again. These are the things I want to share with you today.
If you are dealing with the hurt of betrayal, there is hope for healing and restoration.
Recognize Jesus is Beside Us
Jesus knows all too well what it feels like to be betrayed. One of his very closest and most trusted friends betrayed him. And being all-knowing, he knew it was coming and yet loved the man anyway.
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. -Luke 22:20-21
Despite knowing his upcoming betrayal, Jesus loved Judas deeply. But Judas’s betrayal not only led to hurt and heartbreak, but led ultimately to Jesus’s death.
When we face betrayal, we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus understands. He is right beside us in this pain.
And because of this, we can surrender our hurts and our longings to Him. We can share our hearts and the pain, allowing Him to cover us in his peace and strength.
If you are carrying the burden of hurt that resulted from betrayal, I want to encourage you to surrender it to the Lord right now. Take a moment, lay open hands on your lap, and pray a prayer of surrender.
Unclench those hurting fists before the Lord. Let His mighty love and healing Spirit wash over you.
When we do this, we open the door and invite that healing in. This is so important in moving forward from the hurt of betrayal. We must surrender it to the Lord and let His power fill us.
Forgiveness & Finding Healing
Forgiveness is hard. In fact, so many times when we have not yet surrendered a hurt to the Lord, we want to hold on to our right to anger and to unforgiveness.
And when we are betrayed, often times we want to see justice take place. But the Lord still calls us to forgive.
Because over and over we have betrayed Him. Over and over we have said things, done things and thought things that have grieved the Lord. We have fallen short, just as Judas and just as our betrayer.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. -Matthew 6:14
I struggled with these verses in Matthew for so long. I felt that if I had not completely forgiven someone, God would not forgive me. But it is the state and direction of our hearts that God looks at. And He knows that we must surrender the hurt to Him in order to find any healing.
Forgiveness is not a once and done thing. It is a decision that is followed by intentional actions.
It is a decision that you can make right now by saying aloud, “I forgive them.”
Go ahead and say that. And add what you are forgiving for. This is something you must say daily and ask that God will change your heart.
Forgiveness does not mean that you are removing the blame or the injustice. Forgiveness simply means that you are no longer in a stance of trying to enact that justice. You are releasing the chokehold you have on this person and allowing God to do the work in them.
You can download the Forgiveness Bundle below if you have not already. Use it as you walk through this trying and yet healing process.
Learn to Trust Again & Moving Forward
Forgiveness is one thing but opening back up and learning to trust again is a whole other story.
I spent years afraid to trust after some of the betrayals I had experienced. I held on to the fear of being hurt again and most of what I did in relationships reflected this fear. It wasn’t until about a year into my marriage that I realized how deeply this hurt was embedded into my heart and my ability to love and be loved.
Honestly, learning to trust again will often take counseling or therapy if you have been deeply wounded. It will take looking into the past and digging into the hurt and how your heart was affected by this.
For me, I needed to relearn my worth in God and learn of my strength in Him. I needed to learn how to activate the armor of God and how to be filled with His peace daily.
This is a process that will require an immense amount of fervent prayer. I would encourage you to write out prayers during this time, journal your thoughts and your feelings as you walk through this process and ask that God will do a healing work in you.
God wants to bring you healing and restoration. As we seek Him, He will fill us with the strength we need to find this restoration and the grace we need to overcome.
Don’t let the hurt of betrayal keep you from moving forward in trust. Take the time to seek healing, no matter how painful, so that you can live out God’s beautiful design for your life.
If you have dealt with the hurt of betrayal, I hope that this post has been an encouragement to you. If you need further hope, I would encourage you to subscribe so that you can receive my Monday Motivation devotional. These are weekly devotions that bring you hope and encouragement as you walk through trying times.