"Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down." Psalm 55:1-3 (NLT)
When I was in middle school, there was an older high schooler named Micheal who lived in my neighborhood. He would pick on me whenever he could. Sometimes when it benefited him, he was nice to me, but more times than not I would experience his taunts and physical abuses. I hated when me and my friends would be playing outside, and I would see him coming down the street. I would make any excuse I could to just get out of there. Living in fear of someone's taunts and bullying is not fun, but sadly a part of life in this fallen world. The good news is that we don't have to experience it alone.
We need to know that all people experience being the object of one's taunts and evil desires. When this happens, we have an advocate and friend who understands and wants to help. Sometimes, as in this case with King David, it was a very close friend who had turned on him (do you relate). What was David's response? First David got real about his emotions:
"Let death stalk my enemies;
let the grave swallow them alive,
for evil makes its home within them."
Woah David, what is that about? Aren't you supposed to be a man after God's own heart?
People who are after "God's own heart" are honest with God about how they are feeling. David didn't hide any of the ugliness of how he was feeling; he just let God have it. We need to learn to have this kind of relationship with God. Instead of emotionally "throwing up" on friends and family first, be real with God - trust me He is not surprised, and He can handle it.
The second thing David did was to acknowledge what he knew God desired of him in response to this hardship and betrayal - trusting in God. Listen to how this psalm and many like it finishes:
"Give your burdens to the Lord,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
But you, O God, will send the wicked
down to the pit of destruction.
Murderers and liars will die young,
but I am trusting you to save me."
By going to God in prayer for help, David's relationship with God would grow. As David's relationship with God grew, so would David's heart, and God will do the same for you!
When you experience hardship and betrayal, go to Jesus, who understands your feelings and pain. He too was betrayed and is still being betrayed daily, by all who continue to ignore and reject His love and grace. Go to Him with all your internal ugliness and let your relationship with Him grow. Trust Him to hear you, change you, and to work in your circumstances. Trust Jesus to work from the inside out.