Message From Matt – April 3

“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” – Psalm 41:9
“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.  We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” – Psalm 55:12-14
David was a man that obviously knew what it was like to be betrayed!  It seems that he must have been betrayed by a friend more than once and we also know that he was hated by his son Absalom, which devastated him.  Betrayal by a friend or a family member is said to be one of the hardest emotions to overcome because of the closeness and trust that we have with them.  This type of pain might be the most difficult pain to overcome.  But in this, David was not alone!
Joseph was envied and hated by his brothers and would eventually be sold into slavery for 20 pieces of silver.  Jesus was betrayed by Judas and delivered into the hands of the Pharisees for 30 pieces of silver.  Both of these men were hated, lied about, imprisoned, and sold for money, but both handled it with grace!  
Joseph prospered because he chose to not let betrayal and suffering take his focus off of God.  He chose to always do what was right,  no matter what his surrounding were.  When he was a slave, he worked hard and was blessed!  When he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he resisted and ran!  When he was sent to prison, he had favor with the keeper of the prison!  When he was forgotten by the butler, it didn’t change his character.  He chose to always honor God and God honored him!
Jesus was betrayed with a kiss.  This type of kiss is still known in many cultures as a sign of love and compassion. A sign of being a close friend or family member.  This type of kiss is usually only given by someone you trust and Judas used his closeness to betray Jesus into the Pharisee’s hands.  Of course, Jesus already predicted that this would happen and it was necessary to fulfill prophecy, but I still wonder what Jesus felt when Judas placed the kiss on His cheek.
Maybe you have been betrayed by a family member or close friend before.   It was probably one of the worst feelings that you have experienced and you never want to go through that again.  Let me give you some things to do in response…
1. Keep your eyes on God always!  He never fails or betrays us!  
2. Don’t let bitterness take root in your heart!  It will destroy you, not the person that you have been offended by!
3. Choose to forgive!  This doesn’t mean that you will forget, but it is choosing to not hold the offense against the one that offended you.
4. Look to restore the relationship!  It might take a long time to trust again but look for ways to restart the relationship.  
Life is fragile and it is short!  Do your best to not let the hurts from the past determine your present actions!
Here’s an oldie, but still true – Always choose to be better, not bitter!