IN MY LIFE, there’s been heartache and pain. Yes, these are words from an 80’s song by Foreigner; but still true. I don’t allow myself to become bitter. My childhood was hard and chaotic, and I went through serious trauma, but I will not be bitter. People have slandered me, slandered my husband and my children, but I will not be bitter. Disdainful and contentious people have come into our church and caused chaos and division, but I will not be bitter.
I’ve had prolonged pain, surgeries, sickness, suffering and affliction, and God has not always answered my prayers when I’ve asked. I’ve gone through fiery trials and temptations, and I have been climbing that mountain a long time where the air has gotten thin and it’s difficult to breathe, but I will not be bitter. Bitterness is a choice. You can choose the joy of the Lord in all circumstances or you can allow yourself to become bitter. Be aware that resentment and bitterness will defile your soul,
“looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;” Hebrews 12:15
IN this Scripture to the Hebrew believers, the bitterness is resentment toward God’s discipline instead of humble submission to His will.
“And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-7, 11
Yes, God discipline and chastens His own. The word “chasten” means to “bring forth blood by any means”. God is chastening us to bring forth good character and righteousness. Discipline is painful. I’m not sure how you read Scripture, but I take Him at His word. I do not like pain, but the pain of chastening is needful. We are told that God’s discipline has the ability to make you bitter if you are not aware of it’s purpose. Sit there and take your licks. God is producing righteousness.
There are all sorts of means that make one bitter: jealousy and coveting, the spirit of Esau- resentment and regret for selling your birthright, unanswered prayer and prolonged pain, plans that did not go your way and people who did not do what you wanted, God “seems” to be absent, holding onto an offense, people forsake you in your pain; have I hit yours yet? Choose today to not allow the poison of bitterness to enter your heart. Bitterness is an open door for the enemy.
How do you overcome resentment and bitterness? Remember what Jesus has done for you. Remind yourself that you were an enemy of God and an offense to Him and He still died for you. Forgive others that have hurt you. Keep your past under the blood. Control your thought life and think on these things (Phil 4:8). Renew your mind to His Word. Give thanks always and in all situations. Rejoice in the Lord and again I say REJOICE! Stay in the Potter’s hands, even when it hurts. Keep your mind on Jesus. Live to please an audience of One.
No bitterness is worth your soul.
To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page