10 Ways To Let Go Of Hurt And Betrayal For Emotional Wellness And Healing

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Time to read: 14 minutes

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Could the betrayal you suffered in your life be the very thing God is using to usher in your God-given destiny? Many of us have suffered betrayal including Jesus. When Judas betrayed Jesus it began the journey of His trial, death and resurrection.

The betrayal of Judas had to happen. Without Judas we would not have the resurrection of Jesus Christ which is the cornerstone of our faith. Does that make Judas a hero? Certainly not. I believe Judas could have repented and it would have changed his fate. I also believe that Judas had major heart pain which opened him up to even considering betraying Jesus whom he loved. However, this infamous story of betrayal intrigues me to look deeper into the why of it all. In my research, I also found that David speaks of the betrayal he personally experienced in Psalm 41.

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Table of Contents

King David Experiences Betrayal

In Psalm 41:9, David speaks of his friend turning against him. He even goes on to say he completely trusted this friend with his life sharing supper with him. In the footnote about David sharing supper with his friend in Psalm 41:9, the author of The Passion Translation bible, Brian Simmons, explains that in the ancient Near Eastern culture, sharing a meal together was a sign of covenant friendship. We can take from this that David was really good friends with this person and trusted him completely.

Even my ally, my friend, has turned against me. He was one I totally trusted with my life, sharing supper with him, and now he shows me nothing but betrayal and treachery. He has sold me as an enemy.

Psalm 41:9, TPT

When David says his friend sold him out just like an enemy would, the word enemy has a footnote. It says, the Hebrew literally reads “He lifted up his heel against me.” This is a powerful figure of speech meaning he was sold as an enemy and treated treacherously. This verse was quoted, in part, by Jesus at the Last Supper (see John 13:18 and footnote).

I find it interesting that the figure of speech used here involved a foot because in John 13, before Judas betrayed Jesus, there is a washing of the feet.

Judas Betrays Jesus

Let’s go back to when Jesus told Judas that he would betray Him in John 13, The Passion Translation, In verse one it says that Jesus had a deep and tender love for His disciples. He longed to show them the full measure of His love. As a gesture of His love, Jesus gets up and starts to wash the disciples’ feet. Peter questioned Him about this and Jesus responded in John 13:7 (TPT).

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand yet the meaning of what I’m doing, but soon it will be clear to you.”

John 13:7, TPT

In the footnote of John 13:7 (TPT), Brian Simmons explains that by removing their sandals and washing their feet, Jesus was showing them that He was granting them a new inheritance—His own. The sandal is often used in covenants of inheritance in Hebrew culture. Every defilement would be removed so that they could “place the sole of their feet” upon the new covenant inheritance. The disciples had no idea of the spiritual meaning taking place while Jesus washed their feet. He was personally giving each of them His new covenant inheritance including Judas.

Jesus Continues To Love And Respect Judas

Jesus showed Judas love and respect even though He knew Judas would betray Him. The opposite of betrayal is faithfulness, loyalty, protection, and support. Jesus continued to provide all of these virtues despite Judas’ betrayal. Here’s what Jesus said to the disciples when He confronted Judas’ betrayal.

“I don’t refer to all of you when I tell you these things, for I know the ones I’ve chosen—to fulfill the Scripture that says, ‘The one who shared supper with me treacherously betrays me.’ [19] I am telling you this now, before it happens, so that when the prophecy comes to pass you will be convinced that I AM.

John 13:18-19, TPT

It’s clear to me that Jesus is teaching us that it is the ones closest to you that will betray you. This is a sobering thought to say the least. Jesus specifically says that it is the ones we share supper with that betray us. It makes sense to me because the ones we share meals with are our true friends and we would never expect them to betray us. Also, if someone you are not that close to betrays you it does not hurt nearly as much as it does if you are betrayed by someone whom you love dearly and trust deeply.

Jesus Hands Judas The Bread

When Jesus was telling His disciples that one of them would betray Him, they asked, who is it? Who will betray you? And Jesus responded in verses 26 and 27 here.

“The one I give this piece of bread to after I’ve dipped it in the bowl,” Jesus replied. Then he dipped the piece of bread into the bowl and handed it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. [27] And when Judas ate the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus looked at Judas and said, “What you are planning to do, go do it now.”

John 13:26-27, TPT

In the footnote of John 13:26, Brian Simmons explains that this was culturally an act of cherished friendship and intimacy, to hand over choice bits of food to a friend. This is the love of Christ, to give food to his enemy. It is no wonder Satan entered his heart after Judas ate the bread handed to him by his friend. For how can one accept the gift of true friendship and still hold on to treachery and the spirit of betrayal?

What Jesus Has To Say About Betrayal

In Luke 17 Jesus teaches the disciples about faith and forgiveness. He begins the teaching with telling them that betrayals are inevitable. This is what got my attention as I started to look into why betrayals are so important in our walk with Jesus.

One day Jesus taught his disciples: “Betrayals are inevitable, but great devastation will come to the one guilty of betraying others. [2] It would be better for him to have a heavy boulder tied around his neck and be hurled into the deepest sea than to face the punishment of betraying one of my dear ones! So be alert to your brother’s condition,”

Luke 17:1-2, TPT

What happens to the one who betrays His dear ones? Jesus says they will suffer greatly. He gives a horrible description of the betrayer being thrown into the sea with a sinking device. Jesus defends His loved ones and you are His beloved. But Jesus never says that we will not suffer at the hand of betrayal.

We Will Experience Suffering

Just after Jesus told the disciples that Holy Spirit is coming after Him, Jesus said that we will experience suffering in this world. He also says to be courageous because He has overcome the world. Here is the verse in John 16:

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.] John 16:33 AMP

John 16:33, AMP

How Will You Respond To Suffering?

When you are betrayed, you have a choice. Are you going to walk in bitterness and hatred? Or are you going to forgive? That forgiveness is not dependent on whether or not your betrayer repents to you but rather it is a condition of your heart. Jesus teaches us that we have to forgive no matter what. And, furthermore, He wants to heal us from the betrayal and use it to strengthen us.

Let’s look at how spiritual warfare is depicted in Ephesians 6:10-13, The Passion Translation.

Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. [11] Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! [12] Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. [13] Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious.

Ephesians 6:10-13, TPT

The armor of God is given to us as our defense against the enemy. Your strength comes from your union with Jesus. Your victory comes through His power that flows in and through you. How do you get that power? You get it through union with Jesus and spending time with Jesus.

Verse 12 is a great reminder that we do not fight against flesh and blood. Our fight is spiritual with principalities and authorities of wickedness in heavenly places. Our defense strategy is to become the armor of God. Like a soldier, you must value each piece of your armor and trust that it will protect you in battle.

Preparing For Battle

I believe that the betrayals we experience prepare us for the battles ahead. Your armor is produced in your suffering. We learn the most in our places of pain because when we are in pain our true feelings surface. The pain creates a gateway to our belief system. The lies we believe are uncovered in our places of hurt. As these subconscious thoughts surface, we can deal with them and get free from the lies that were produced in our trauma. In Jesus’ infinite goodness, He uses our pain to strengthen us. Let’s look at each piece of the armor of God and how it strengthens our being.

Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. [15] Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace. [16] In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the evil one! [17-18] Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken word of God. Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers.

Ephesians 6:14-18, TPT

When you put on the armor of God you are accepting the suffering you have experienced in this world, repenting for your engagement in the things that are not of Him, and receiving His healing and love in each of these places in your heart. You receive His love from being in continual union with Him which is every form of prayer. Remember prayer is conversation with God; it’s our communication with Him. This is how you mature and prepare yourself to rise up and accept your role as a son of God and the bride of Christ.

But Why Do We Have To Suffer With Jesus?

The question still remains. Why do we have to suffer? Let’s look in Romans 8:17-18 where we will find the answer to this question. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again He made us all heirs of God.

And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has. We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings as our own.

Romans 8:17, TPT

There it is. We have the opportunity to experience being co-glorified with Jesus if we accept His sufferings as our own. It’s our choice. If we choose to suffer with Him we will inherit all that He is and all that He has. Wow! If we choose to suffer with Him then our suffering produces glory for Him. Look at what verses 18 and 19 in Romans 8 have to say about suffering.

I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. [19] The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters!

Romans 8:18-19, TPT

The word glory in verse 18 is the greek word doxa and can be translated to splendor. The definition of splendor is great brightness or luster, brilliancy, or magnificence. God’s glory is His goodness. When we suffer with Him we also reign with Him. Our suffering produces His goodness in us. We reign with Him in glory to reveal His goodness. The suffering and the reigning go hand in hand. We share in His glory to reveal Him to the world.

Let’s Pray To Prepare Our Hearts for Healing From Betrayal

Jesus, I ask You to show each of us the betrayals we have experienced so that we can forgive our enemies and repent for where we are wrong in the situation. Please come into this place in our hearts and soften us. Remove pride and our defenses as You heal our hearts for Your glory. We choose to reign with you in glory and we know we have to deal with our betrayals to do that. Help each one of us to fulfill our God-given destiny and glorify Your Holy Name. Amen

10 Ways To Let Go Of Hurt And Betrayal

Now that you have prayed and God has shown you the betrayals you have experienced, let’s focus on each betrayal. Apply the 10 steps below to each one. These ten steps will set your heart free to rule and reign with Jesus and to fulfill your God-given destiny.

  1. Decide to forgive. You may not be in a place to reconcile with the person who betrayed you but you definitely need to forgive that person. Learn how to forgive here.
  2. Surrender this place of betrayal in your heart to Jesus and ask Him to remove pride and the offense and replace it with His perspective.
  3. Put boundaries in place. Chances are you were close to this person who betrayed you, so you will see them often. Healthy boundaries define how you will communicate with them moving forward to protect your heart. 
  4. Ask Jesus where He was when this happened. Use your imagination to picture Jesus in the scene of when the betrayal happened. Ask Jesus what He has to say about what happened.
  5. Determine that you will still believe that God is faithful even though man falls short and your heart was deeply hurt.
  6. Choose to believe in loyalty even though you have experienced disloyalty. Do not harden your heart to your future.
  7. Receive the protection and wisdom of God to know who to trust in the future.
  8. Enter into a time of worship with Jesus and receive His revelation on the betrayal you experienced. Lay your pain before Him as you worship Him.
  9. Ask Jesus how this betrayal can grow you and catapult you into your God-given destiny.
  10. Imagine Jesus washing your feet the way He washed the disciples’ feet and ask Him to show you your inheritance from Him. Refer to John 13.
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