Have you ever been in a difficult or dark time when you felt all alone?
Did it feel as though everyone you knew had forsaken you? Maybe it was a crisis in your family or marriage and your friends didn’t know how to handle it. A difference of beliefs or conviction can drive a wedge between people and leave us feeling heartbroken and isolated.
Jesus experienced dark days near the end of his life. The men he had spent three years of his life with abandoned him when trouble arrived.
Heavily armed guards sent by the chief priest and scribes arrested Jesus after He prayed all night preparing for the upcoming universal battle between life and death. His disciples saw Him walk on water, feed thousands of men, women, and children, heal the sick and give sight to the blind; they even saw Him raise the dead. Yet, they deserted Him.
Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’” Mark 14:27 (ESV).
Years ago, my husband and I shared a friendship with four other couples. We attended the same church, dined at each other’s home, shared life, worshipped and studied God’s Word together. I loved these people as though they were my flesh and blood.
I was preparing to teach a Revelation study I had written for our class. One day during prayer, the Lord warned my husband the Bible study would come under attack.
We prayed and asked our friends to pray for the study and us as well. Halfway into the study, a division within our ensemble of friends developed. The split was not because of the Bible study but resulted from one couple walking away from their faith and God. No one knew what to do, so they ignored it. As a result, it divided us.
Because I wanted to fix it, I reached out to my pastor for advice—my friends viewed that as disloyalty. I was a snitch.
Those once close friends now treated my husband and me as if we no longer existed. It was horrible. Not only had a great friend walked away from the church and God, but our other brothers and sisters ostracized us for seeking help outside our group.
I was miserable while I continued teaching my study without them. My family sat alone during Sunday services while the remaining three couples of our once tight-knit group filled a separate row.
God did not leave me; He moved in closer.
I experienced a more intimate relationship with Him than I had never known. God healed my hurt and my wounds as I forgave those friends. We no longer see each other, but I hold nothing against them and have told them as much.
Jesus forgave His disciples, too. He restored them and used them mightily in the days that followed. He never left them nor forsook them.
Matthew 6:14 reminds us we all have debts to pay. If we forgive those who have wronged us, the Father will forgive us. If we do not forgive others, the Father will not forgive us of our sin.Tweet
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 (ESV)
Will you forgive those who have left or betrayed you? It doesn’t matter whether they are sorry or have asked you for forgiveness.
God knows your pain and can heal it.
He will free you, if you ask; I promise.
Jesus came to mend the brokenhearted.
[Jesus] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 (ESV)