rebelling against low expectations

God Has No Dark Side: Trusting God After Betrayal

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“Run!” my mind screamed as panic sent shock waves up my spine.

But I couldn’t run.

My heart still couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing, so I stood still. Paralyzed. My stomach lurched at what I saw just a few yards away.

Betrayal. Purposeful deception. “No! Stop! Don’t do it!”

I’d known for some time what was going on. Found evidence of it here and there. But this was the first time I’d witnessed it myself. The planned, blatant deceit. The shameless demeanor. This from someone I love dearly.

How could they break my heart so casually?

A tug on the leash in my hand pulled my feet from their solid placement in the grass. I picked up my dog, sizzling tears blurring my vision and ran away.

Betrayal and Doubt

Betrayal is ugly. It’s dark and twisted and distorts the way you see everything.

Including God. Especially God.

Someone’s betrayal of our trust becomes a door Satan sneaks through to plant doubt in our hearts concerning God’s character.

“If I can’t trust them, how can I trust God?”

“If they broke their word, what’s stopping God from breaking His?”

“If they’ve been hiding this dark side from me, what dark, evil secret is God hiding from me?”

Sound familiar?

I’ve wrestled with these questions many restless nights.

It gets even more complicated when the betrayal comes from somebody who claims to be a Christian. Somebody who knows better. Somebody who should be a better example. If you’ve ever experienced that, let me stop now and say you’re right. They should know better, do better. And I’m so sorry they haven’t.

How can we trust God when we’ve been deceived by people? Especially by people who claim to represent Him?

Let me speak some clarity in your clouded pain. You may not be able to trust that person ever again, but hear me when I say, you can trust God. Here’s how I know.

God Is Truth

God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth as a man. While He was earthside, Jesus was both fully man and fully God. The same cannot be said for any other person who has walked the planet. Everybody else is just human, born with a sinful nature. It’s this sin nature that compels and enables us to lie, deceive, and manipulate others. Only through Jesus can we be free from our sinful nature because Jesus is the only One to live on earth without sinning once (Hebrews 4:15).

Unfortunately, you can claim to be a born-again believer and still succumb to your sin nature. Paul’s epistles, written to the believers of the early church, are proof of this. In his letters, he exhorts Christians not to give into the sinful nature, but instead to “put on the new self” (Eph. 4:22-24, see also, Colossians 3:8-10, Romans 13:14). Salvation from eternal death and separation from God is an instantaneous occurrence, but it’s sanctification that rids us of our old nature and births in us our new Christ-like nature. Lots of us accept the instant download of eternal life yet resist the lifelong process of being shaped into a shining reflection of Christ. This means that people, even Christians, can lie to us. Hurt us. Manipulate us. And they can be really good at it.

But God—He is no liar. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man that He should lie.” Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Meaning, God has never lied to you before, is not lying to you now, and will not lie to you ever. He simply doesn’t have the ability to deceive. To lie would be an impossible contradiction to His character (Hebrews 6:18).

Psalm 119:160 says, “The sum of Your Word is truth.” The whole of God’s Word – beginning to end – is true. Every word He speaks to us is true. If what you’re hearing isn’t true, then it isn’t God. And if you’re hearing from God, then it is without a doubt true. Man may lie, but God never will.

God is “Faithful and True” (Revelation 19:11). Truth is not just something God says or does, Truth is Who God is. It’s part of what makes Him God. It’s integral to His character.

Because God is Truth, and what He says is true, by extension, He is trustworthy. Psalm 25:3 says in the New Living Translation, “No one who trusts in You will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.”

You will not be disgraced having trusted in God, sweet soul. Trust placed in Christ is well placed trust.

God Is Light

Because man is born with a sinful nature, man likes to dwell in darkness.

Darkness conceals. It hides our sinful ways. It drapes in shadows the object of our shame.

The longer we sit in darkness with our sin, the more convinced we are that it’s not that bad. That it really isn’t harming anyone. Our vision adjusts to our dim surroundings. But if we were to step into the light with our sin, we’d see clearly that it is that bad. It does harm not only us but those in proximity to us.

Because God is not subject to sin, He is not drawn to darkness like man. He repels it. In fact, He is the opposite of darkness. First John 1:5 says, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” He is the Father of Heavenly Lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). Pure light. Through and through.

God has no dark side. No sin nature to wrestle with. No shameful secrets to keep hidden. God has no evil motive, thought, or feelings. Anything He keeps out of our sight is just as holy and pure as what He allows us to see.

Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to Him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Looking to Christ drenches our very countenance in light. No hints of disappointment in His character. No darkness dimming our hope in Him. No, not in Christ’s Presence. Only radiance. Only beauty. With God, we never need fear our faces hang in shameful embarrassment, nor the warmth of His light being eclipsed by the shadows of deceit.

In John 8:12 Jesus tells us, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.” The light of Christ imparts life to us. Bask in Jesus’ radiant presence and you will find wholeness and healing.

Only Two Choices

The fact of the matter is, we have only two options in who to trust –God or Satan. The Voice of Truth or the Father of Lies.

You may be asking yourself, “How do I know God is light? How do I know His word is true? Why should I trust God’s word over Satan’s whispers?”

I can’t decide for you. But I can present you with the evidence of my own life.

The words Satan has breathed in my ear in the moments I’ve felt the most wounded have only amplified the pain. Prodding, picking, intensifying the hurt. “Serves you right for trusting them… stupid, girl!”

When betrayal has left me broken, it was Jesus Who showed up with compassion and held me.

When my heart lay fragmented on the floor, it was Jesus Who carefully gathered up the pieces and tenderly put them back together.

The Father of Lies never did that for me. He’s never held me, consoled me, comforted me, or wept over the severed trust with me.

Only Jesus has done that. Only Jesus is doing it again, and will do it in the future, as many times as it happens until I’m safely home.

Faithful & True

I sat staring out the window. Mesquite branches dangled over the chain link fence. The sky above blue and so happy. A stark juxtaposition to the tumult I felt inside.

Nausea rolled and clenched my abdomen. My head throbbed. Anxiety’s cold touch triggered shivers I couldn’t stop.

I grabbed my journal and a pen and scratched down everything I wished I hadn’t seen, smelt, or heard.

Reaching the end of my third page, I ran out of words, “… I just hurt and feel sick over it. I don’t even know what to ask for, what to pray… I just need You to hold me.”

Forehead pressed against the pages of my open Bible I cried until the torrential pour of tears slowed to a trickle.

And true to His Name, Jesus gently sat with me in my fragile state, wrapped His arms around me, holding me together even as I fell apart. Faithful and True.


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About the author

Tabitha Bell

Tabitha Bell is a writer, Managing Editor of The Rebelution, co-host of Do Hard Things with The Rebelution Podcast, and a "natural" redhead. Her passion is encouraging others to live in faithful obedience and to abide in Christ regardless of their circumstances. She resides in South Texas with her rescue dogs, Jane and Millie, a pair of gentle giants. Hobbies include singing, cross stitching, studying theology, trying new recipes, and tending to her sourdough starter, Fitzy. To hear snippets of her ever-growing Peace Playlist, and receive encouragement, follow Tabitha on Instagram.

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rebelling against low expectations

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