After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.” John 13:21
Today we remember the death of our Saviour Jesus Christ on the cross, I had the privilege to walk the way of the Cross in Jerusalem ‘The Via Dolorosa‘, the way of suffering, the way of pain, walking the same path that Jesus walked, carrying his cross, on the way to his crucifixion. Jesus Christ of Nazareth suffered the most excruciating and painful death, history tells us the death by crucifixion is the most painful and slow death of all, you are left to hang until death, taking 6 long hours to die.
We must therefore never take for granted the precious blood of Jesus that was shed on calvary for the cleansing of our sins, for our Salvation was bought with a precious price.
Backstabbers and Betrayers
Rewinding back on history, this was not what the Jews or Pharisees had in mind, Bible tells us they were envious of Jesus and His good nature, His ‘doing good, wherever He went’ bothered them. So they planned a way to get him and needed an ‘insider’ to do the job, knowing that Judas loved money, they offered to bribe him to deliver Jesus. Hence he became the betrayer and later hanged himself for just 30 shekels of silver (about $300 today!).
Since the time of Cain and Abel the bible tells us story after story of natural born haters, pretenders, backstabbers and betrayers. Mostly bred out of envy, greed, insecurity and jealousy.
Take the story of sibling rivalry of Cain and Abel that led to death, the story of Love and trust of Samson and Delilah that led to another death, Joseph and his Siblings that was meant for his death but God turned around for His glory, then their is father and son greed, King David and his beloved son Absalom and finally of our Saviour Jesus Christ who was sold by His disciple Judas!.
In todays world, Husbands murder wives and vice versa, children kill their parents, Pastors abuse trust and power in Churches, Employees plot against their colleagues, siblings selling their blood relatives for rituals or sex trafficking. So really nothing has changed, as it was in the beginning it is still very much so!. The classic story of backstabbing is famous assassin of Julius Caesar by Marcus Brutus his trusted ally.
What are their motives?
In Lauren Hill’s song: forgive them father she explains their motive
“Beware the false motives of others
Be careful of those who pretend to be brothers
And you never suppose it’s those who are closest to you,
They say all the right things to gain their position
Then use your kindness as their ammunition
To shoot you down in the name of ambition, they do”
I have sometimes asked myself, ‘how did it become so’?, someone who loved you and cherished you for decades suddenly become the one who conspires to kill you. Motive always breeds out of darkness, of envy, of greed, of evil ambition etc. all seeds of darkness, that one night crept in when you are vulnerable, unguarded in the spirit and slowly situations begin to feed it till it grows out of control into the physical. Most betrayers and backstabbers started the relationship with love, while some pretend to love, most relationships start on a good note, love, trust, loyalty etc all Spirits of Light, however once the light dwindles, darkness slowly creeps in. It is easy to hate if one is not careful, it starts slowly with malice, unforgiveness and graduates to hate, envy, jealousy, back-biting and worse case murder.
As a child of the Spirit you must be careful to always walk in Light, the bible tells us that the flesh wars against the Spirit and vice versa, if you are not vigilant in the Spirit, to guard your spirit, snakes and scorpions will gradually crawl into your flesh and take over your heart, blinding the eyes and heart to see reason. Have you ever felt something heavy on your chest, perhaps you are harbouring hate against someone, it will slowly eat you out until it destroys you. It was this same darkness that clouded Judas through his greed to betray Jesus.
The lesson to be learnt here is that anyone could become a hater, betrayer, backstabber if great care is not taken, bible says the enemy is a roaring lion looking for whom to devour, he has his agents all around looking for people to suck into their kingdom, who are your friends, what do you listen too, what do you watch when no one is there?. Light attracts light and darkness attracts darkness.
Once you step into the realm of darkness you attract all things destructive, initially it might seem as if it is a good choice, but at the end it will lead to death. You have left the covering of Jesus, no longer under His umbrella and become an open channel for legions to attack. Bible encourages us to not give place to the devil, because its only aim is to destroy. John 10:10
“You will not be an instrument of destruction and chaos IJN”
How do we cope with disappointment?
Jesus tells us that in life there will be trials, troubles, sorrow and pain during our journey on earth. No Temptation has come to you that is not common to man BUT “Be of good cheer for I have overcometh the world”.
1. Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Have faith in Jesus and His word, turn to Him, unburden your pain and sorrow to Him, look upon the cross and seek Him to deliver you, if you are alive then victory is assured, for He is with you in the midst of your troubles. Jesus Christ is our burden remover, yoke destroyer, comforter and healer, He is our advocate, our strength and Pillar, He never fails. Hold on to His promises by reminding Him of His words in your prayers and in your songs.
‘Father you have said in your word, that you will never leave me nor forsake me, I need you to send your angels to watch over me, be my strength my shelter and deliverer, for my heart is weary and daily tears drench my pillow, Lord arise and help me’.
Having lived nearly five decades on this planet earth, I have witnessed a lot of things, some personally, some through counselling, my charity coaching and some just as a Pastor. An African adage says ‘We haven’t heard your story before, is said to just scare the teller’ in essence, it has happened to someone before. Your problem is NOT unique to you, it has happened to someone before you and will perhaps happen to another after you hence why we share testimonies.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
chorus: Turn your eyes upon Jesus,Look full in His wonderful face,And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,In the light of His glory and grace.
Problem shared is problem solved
Bible tells us that we learn to overcome by words of our testimonies, encouraging one another AND the blood of the lamb.
Sometimes we fall into trouble because of being too secretive even about something we cannot handle by ourselves. For instance, a colleague of mine almost missed a job opportunity because he was afraid of asking for help from others. He is a proud man and believes he can be independent of others.
Seek help and speak to a counselor, a spiritual mentor or a friend.
Get some perspective.
The wonderful thing about letting it out is that you have given yourself that time. You have said to yourself, “I care about you. I want to allow you to feel what you need to feel and I do not wish to push you or cajole you.”
You have treated yourself like a friend and allowed yourself the space you needed to experience your feelings of disappointment.
Once you’ve done that, it becomes much easier to get some perspective. After you give yourself space to feel, you’re able to give the situation or individuals involved more room to breathe.
Learn to forgive and let go
Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us
There is great value in every act of forgiveness. You can forgive yourself, you can forgive others, and you can forgive even when you don’t know exactly who to forgive, because forgiveness is not about who is to blame or who is at fault. It is about letting go, completely and permanently within yourself. Unforgiveness hurts no one but the beholder of the grudge, most of the time the targeted person is unaware of you and your hurts, he is living freely and carefree. Forgiveness is for you, so you can move on, so you can focus on things that matter and let go of the past.
Forgiveness is recognizing the reality that what has happened has already happened, and that there’s no point in allowing it to dominate the rest of your life. Forgiveness refreshingly cleans the slate and enables you to step forward.
All things work together for good
As a Christian you must believe that God rules in the affairs of men, He created you and has a good plan for you, things might seem bleak, rough or dead end road but when you learn to trust God you must know that He makes a way where there is no way. God I say lives on the 10th floor while we live on the ground floor, our vision is limited but God already knows the end from the beginning. Just like Joseph, David and Naomi, at some stage of their lives they assumed it was the end and given up but God still had a plan. Bible says ‘tears may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning’. Hand everything over to Jesus.
What can I learn from the experience
One of the greatest things you can do for yourself is to learn from every single experience you have ever have. Each and every day you are having experiences, and you choose what to do with them. See every experience as an opportunity to learn. Smart people can transform even the smallest experiences into lessons that drive them to become better at everything they undertake in the future. You, too, can learn from your experiences and, in so doing, benefit tremendously.
In every experience, there are things that did and did not work for you. In life there are different people you come across, if is for you to learn from each person. The more you learn from your experiences, the more effective you will be at whatever you do in your career, your relationships and your spiritual life.
Be the watcher of your thoughts and emotions
You are ultimately the sole creator of your own feelings. When negative thoughts arise based on past experiences or future worries, as they sometimes will, realize that these are simply issues your mind (not you) is working through. Pause, be present and pay close attention. Think about these thoughts and emotions consciously, almost as if you were a bystander looking in. Separate yourself from your mind’s thinking. Dont over react and remember that the weapons of our warfare is not carnal. Only God knows who are true enemies are, just because someone is poor, ugly or unhappy does not make them a witch, neither does it mean if someone is cordial and nice that they love you with an undying love. Learn to develop your Spiritual eye.
Pray without Ceasing
A prayerless Christian is powerless christian. Commit your daily life and journey into Gods hand and bring all your relationships to His knowledge. God sees the intent of the heart and will therefore guide you with your relationships. List their names on a note, put it in your bible and ask God to help you trust wisely. See God in every person you meet
How does one pray continually?
- Always be “on line” with God so when the Spirit moves you to pray, you can instantly agree with Him. The Holy Spirit prays for us with inexpressible groans (Romans 8:26). When in agreement with the Spirit, we are praying continuously. The heart attitude of praying without ceasing means an ever-open heart to the Lord’s leading.
- If we are praying without ceasing — even while driving, changing the baby, washing dishes, or running a lawn mower — we can be open to the leading of the Spirit when He urges us to pray for something or someone. At that time, we can agree with God and make a mental note to add that concern to our later prayer time.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. May He surround you with mighty warriors to dismantle every plan of the enemy to destroy you or those you love. “
Be thankful and grateful to God at all times, for without His mercy, you will not live to tell the tale, everything works together for good so, learn to thank God in all seasons.
Keep a gratitude journal. Reminding yourself what you have to be grateful for and recording your gratefulness each day helps to cement how thankful you are. It doesn’t matter how difficult your life is at the moment, there is always something to be thankful for, some shining light of gratitude. Finding that will help you deal with the other parts of life.
- Record 3-5 things you’re thankful for every single day. These can be things as simple as “the sun was shining” or they can be as big as “my significant other proposed.”
- Spend a little time each day reflecting on the things you’re most grateful for, during that day. You may even find that you have more than 5 things you want to record.
Finally I pray that God will give you inner strength to overcome your life’s battles. Be on the alert, stand firm in your faith, be strong. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. May He surround you with mighty warriors to dismantle every plan of the enemy to destroy you or those you love.
As we celebrate our Christ’s Victory over death, so shall you be victorious, you are soaked in the Blood of Jesus, therefore death, disease and poverty shall pass you by. You shall be a weapon of mass destruction to the enemies camp in Jesus name.
Be blessed, Our Redeemer Liveth!
Please share your testimony with us, to encourage one another.