Perhaps you know all too well the sting of betrayal, the piercing pain of harsh words, and the lingering ache of misunderstandings that fester.
To you who have been scarred by betrayal and hurt, God extend the solace of His presence. You are not alone in your walk through the valley. The Lord himself walks with you, His rod and His staff, they comfort you. He understands the complexity of human emotions — the tangle of hurt and the struggle to forgive.
But what can you do when someone hurts you? And what does God expect of you in such times? Today I bring a message, not merely of wisdom, but also hope and reassurance from the Lord who heals.
Understanding the Source of the Pain
The first step is to acknowledge the hurt. Pretending it does not exist, or wearing a facade of invulnerability, only deepens the wound. Like a balm, recognition begins the healing process. Just as Christ on the cross acknowledged His pain and despair, we too are called to look at our wounds with honesty and courage.
Instead of acting out of rage, anger or resentment – first pray for wisdom.
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5
Remember too that just as we may be disappointment and pained by the actions of others, sometimes we also do the same thing to our Heavenly Father. And yet despite our flaws and imperfections, He does not respond with hatred but always leads with love.
Calming the Storm
When faced with the sour taste of betrayal, our first instinct may be to raise our defenses and lash out. But pause and reflect: “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” (Ephesians 4:26)
God fully sympathizes with all the pain that you are going through, and wants to seek justice against all malice that you have been exposed to. But remember that even when our anger is justified, we are called to harbor calm, and to refrain from letting the dusk of our hurt spiral into the darkness of sin.
You see, God’s justice is very different from one of vengeance or revenge. Sometimes when we get angry, we forget everything else around us and only want to cause the person who wronged us the maximum hurt possible to right our anger – at times, even at the sake of our own well-being. I’m sure you can relate to moments where you may have thought “an eye for an eye”, or “if I’m going down, so are you”.
In the eyes of the Heavenly Father justice for you means allowing you to receive the best possible outcome in the disadvantaged situation that you are facing. And the only way to do this is to focus on love instead of anger.
The Best Outcome is Through Love, Not War
To navigate the rough waters that hurt casts us upon, we must hoist the sail of peace and let the winds of the Holy Spirit guide us.
Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of love in the midst of turmoil. This journey towards peace begins with a single step, a choice to respond to hurt not with vengeance but with compassion.
When God calls you to choose love, He does not expect you to immediately forget everything and forgive those that have done you wrong. For many people, forgiveness is not an act that blossoms overnight, but rather a seed that must be tenderly nurtured. When God says choose love, what He means is to prioritize the needs of yourself and your loved ones instead of giving in to angry thoughts that would likely cause harm.
Take for instance the example of a father who finds out that his daughter has been taken advantage of. In his anger he goes out seeking the one who hurt her, and severely harms the perpetrator. As a result, the father finds himself with a charge and possible jail time, causing more pain and anguish to his loved ones.
Though many will sympathize with the father’s actions. Such a choice actually caused more hurt to the people that relied on him. This is what God means by focusing on love, instead of anger. When we lead with love and focus on the people that matter instead, that is when we can get the best possible outcome.
Do not be so quick in anger to make decisions just to exact “revenge”, especially at the sake of your own well-being or those around you. There are still many who rely on you, and look up to you for guidance and support. Do not throw it away simply because of the mistakes of others.