“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you…” Psalm 55:22
To suffer betrayal is brutal.
There’s a saying, “the hardest part about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.” It’s an unfortunate reality, but we can only be betrayed by someone we trust: a spouse, a family member, a friend, a coworker, etc.
As trust is shattered, betrayal yanks the proverbial rug from under our feet, destabilizing life as we know it. Devastated, we experience a strange mix of emotions, from disbelief to grief and from fear to a burning rage that inflames our every thought.
Is there anything more gut-wrenching, backstabbing, and utterly heartbreaking than being betrayed?
David knows how it feels. In Psalm 55, he is walking through his own valley of betrayal. David explains:
“If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.
But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,
with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship…” (Psalm 55:12-13)
We don’t know the name of David’s betrayer, nor the exact circumstances of his betrayal. What is clear, however, is David’s raw, emotional reaction.
If we asked David how he felt, he would say, “afraid” and “overwhelmed” (verses 4,5).
4 My heart beats violently within me; the horrors of death overcome me.
5 Fear and panic overpower me; terror overwhelms me.
If we asked him what he wanted to do, David would say, “run as far away from this situation as I possibly can” (verses 6,7).
6 I say, “I wish I had wings like a dove. I would fly away and settle in a safe place.”
7 Look, I will escape to a distant place; I will stay in the wilderness.
Reading the entire Psalm, you get the sense that this is one of the hardest moments in David’s life. Yet, understanding the surrounding context is what makes the promise of verse 22 even more remarkable. Because in this verse, David proclaims the beauty of the Lord’s sustaining power amidst the ugliness of betrayal. He testifies to a faith that not only withstands, but triumphs over treachery.
In other words, the promise is not merely that the Lord sustains us, but that He sustains us even during the worst moments of life.
So exactly how did David survive this horrible situation? He “casted his cares on the Lord” (verse 22).
The Hebrew word for “cast” literally means to “hurl” or to “throw.” So, David advises us not to hold onto the pain of betrayal, but to hurl it to the Lord like we’re throwing a rock out to sea. Holding leads to bitterness. Hurling leads to freedom.
However, hurling our cares only one time isn’t going to cut it.
We have to repeat this process as often as necessary (verse 17).
Well, because we are human, and letting go of the pain isn’t easy for any of us.
But here’s some really good news: Whatever we throw at Him, He can and will handle, including our most intense emotions.
Remember that Jesus (who is also known as the “Son of David,”) experienced the agony of betrayal on our behalf (Matthew 26:14-16). So, we can find great comfort in knowing that the One who sustains us also understands our pain.
And the best news?
Unlike man who is broken and sinful, Jesus will never betray our trust.
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH