Daily Devotional: Psalms 35:11-18
11 Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about. 12 They repay me evil for good and leave my soul forlorn. 13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, 14 I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. 15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; attackers gathered against me when I was unaware. They slandered me without ceasing. 16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. 17 O Lord, how long will you look on? Rescue my life from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. 18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.
2 Tim 4:14-18
14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.
It seems that too often those we think are our friends and those in whom we put our trust, turn against us in our greatest time of need. In fact, we may even find out that they are the cause of our troubles. It really hurts when this happens and can make us cynical and bitter. What we need to realize is that we are not the first, nor will we be the last to whom this happens. This is why we are to put our trust in God and in Jesus as our help in time of need.
There was never one who was betrayed more than our Savior. We remember Judas and his betrayal. We think of Peter and how he denied the Lord three times; even cursing and swearing that he never knew the man. But what about the great throng (thousands) that praised Jesus as he entered Jerusalem in triumph. He was proclaimed as the Christ, the King of Israel. Yet, it was this very crowd that only a few days later cried out for him to be crucified; asking instead for Barabbas to be released to them. He trusted God who raised him from the grave.
O Lord, thank you for your faithfulness. I am also thankful for so many friends who have stood by me in times of trouble and who have shared my good times also. Help me be faithful to you and to those who depend on me. Please forgive those who have betrayed me in times past and who have sought to do me harm or tried to hinder my work. Use me to encourage others. I ask your blessings and your healing, when it is your will, on those who are sick and suffering. Give them your peace, your strength and your patience. I pray in the name of Jesus.