Bitterness- A sister’s Pursuit of Joy

The completed devotion

Bitterness:  Sharpness of taste; Lack of sweetness.

Anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.
Have you ever been so angry and bitter with someone, that the very thought of them caused tension?

The root of bitterness has been known for many to lead to anger and an act of wrath. Even if you do not act out on the anger, you get consumed by the feeling of having been mistreated. The root takes hold and can cause chaos in your spirit.

Often we feel that being bitter is justifiable. After all we were wronged and the one that did it certainly deserves our wrath.

The bad taste, the anger, when those feelings sit in your spirit and fester, the enemy has his way; robbing you of life giving Joy from the Lord. I remember a moment in my life that I was so bitter that I had hateful feelings towards someone. The enemy had used my being treated unfairly, to take me to a level that had me in no fellowship with the Lord. I was a tied up mess.

The thing that amazes me, is that the root of bitterness can be sitting hidden for some time. Because you take the steps to forgive, but it did not come alive and real to you. It was not a full action of forgiveness but rather a putting away or hiding so to speak.

You know that we are told it is healthy to forgive, but often we don’t know how to do that.  And I also know that I  cannot walk a victorious life and have hatred and anger stirring and festering, what is one to do?

When I was hurt by a friend years ago, I forgave her. I did what Jesus instructed and I forgot that sin. I did walk away from the friendship, as this person had left me raw and unable to trust them. The relationship was not healthy, to be so bold, I was almost bullied by the sly comments that tore down and then the lies and gossip against me. But I forgave and moved on, or so I thought.

You will find out the hard way that bitterness has taken root, if you had just buried the pain of a situation and moved along.

That very root will still fester its way to the top again and stare you defiantly in the face.

For me this root of bitterness, reared its ugly head through Facebook. Yep,  the lovely social network, that now tells you whenever your friends like or comment on another’s page or status. As soon as I saw this old friend’s picture on Facebook, my heart started racing, my stomach was in knots and I wanted to erase her off of Facebook! I was angry, all over again. I felt like I had years ago when this friend first wronged me over and over.  I wanted to be angry with the friend that was communicating with her.  I wanted to stomp my feet and throw a tantrum. Was I bitter much?

Often when we are face to face with our bitter roots, we want to talk all about our troubles and how we were wronged with other people. If we are talking about it, we have not truly forgiven.

Like a splash of cold water across the face, I realized, I had not forgiven.

This person still had a hold on my emotions and feelings, for only one reason, I had allowed them to.

Looking at this scripture ministers to me.

Exodus 15:23-25  When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

When we taste bitterness, the Lord wants to remove it. If we are finding it difficult to remove the bitterness, CALL TO HIM. Ask Him, “Lord, I can’t remove this bitterness within me, I need you to do it!”

Then pray for the very one you have been angry with. The word instructs us to pray for our enemies.

To forgive completely, you keep no account of wrong doings. You let them go as far as the east is from the west. You no longer hold the individuals accountable for what they had done, but pardon them instead. ( Hebrews 8:12 describes this )
It is a very difficult concept to grasp when you are full of pain and hurt. It is extremely difficult in our flesh, when you have every right to be angry.

Scriptures that speak about forgiveness that I want to encourage you to look up.

Matthew 6:12-15

Matthew 11: 25

Luke 6:37

How do you forgive, when someone would continue to hurt you the same way given the chance? How do you forgive when you know that they have no intentions of changing, or admitting their wrong. Or how do you forgive when they ask you, but have no right to ask, for their acts were far to hurtful to deserve forgiveness.

The truth is, you forgive out of love. You forgive out of obedience. You forgive with the help of the Father, when you just can’t do it on your own. It says, He is only able to forgive us, as much as we are willing to forgive others. I will not allow someone who hurt me once, to keep me from forgiveness of the Lord. I will not allow them to consume my thoughts and steal my peace, because I want to hold on to wrong doings.

Bitterness is not only spiritually strangling, but wreaks havoc on the physical body as well. I want no part of those nasty roots and will pluck them out one by one….. with the Lord’s help.

In each instance that I was willing to forgive and let go of bitterness, there was a release physically. I could feel the transformation. No longer was I bound.

It is up to us to put bitterness away from us. Look at Ephesians 4:31-

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with malice.

We do not want to miss out on the grace of God. It is important to obey His words.

Hebrews 12: 14-15
14  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God’ that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

 

You see, walking free from bitterness is a victory FOR us! It leaves us free to walk and remain in JOY.

If you are finding yourself struggling with bitterness here is a prayer to help you seek the Lord and release that struggle.

Father help me to obey you words and walk in your grace. I call to you to remove the root of bitterness and ask for your strength and wisdom to let go of the past wrongs. Lord you ask that I turn away from bitterness and as your child I want to forgive and let go. I pray for the ones that have hurt me. You know their heart Lord and I pray for release. When my mind tries to remember, I pray your peace and ability to let the past go. In Jesus name. AMEN

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