My husband writes a weekly devotional for the men in our church. It’s just a simple word from their pastor’s heart to give truth-encouragement at the start of their day. I’ve asked him if I can share some of those with you on the blog. He’s hopeful that you’ll find something helpful as he shares his heart.
From LeRoy’s Pen ~
[box]But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them! By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me. But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen. (Psalm 41:10–13)[/box]
One of the most difficult trials any of us will ever face is rejection by someone we love or trust as a friend. Odds are—at some point, someone we have helped, cared for, worked side by side with, counted as a friend, will turn on us. This has happened several times in my life and each betrayal is as devastating as the first. You probably have experienced this as well. It is one of those things in life that you can never really prepare for, and never get used to.
Take a moment to read the entire forty-first Psalm (it is short).
In the first part of the Psalm, David is speaking of his own sinfulness and God’s mercy. Then he focuses on his enemies who are seeking to destroy him. Verse 9 opens the wounds of David’s deepest personal injuries:
“Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”
Many scholars believe David was speaking about his son, Absalom, who led a rebellion against the king. Others suspect (as I do) that he is speaking of Joab, his long-time friend and military advisor. Joab was the last person David would ever have suspected of betrayal.
This also has a prophetic overtone pointing to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. Remember Jesus giving him the bread the night of the Passover? Then a few hours later Jesus calling him friend during the arrest at the Garden of Gethsemane? Also the term “lifting up of the heel” refers to the spiritual battle surrounding the cross (see Genesis 3:15).
Both David and Jesus were rejected by people close to them. You and I will experience similar betrayals as well. We also have the opportunity to experience God’s sustaining (upholding) grace during these times. When others may let us down, God will hold us up. Trust in the one who will never leave you friendless. He is the constant confidante and faithful friend.
“What a friend we have in Jesus! All our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”
The living presence of Christ more than compensates for the absence of anyone else.
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