This can be a real struggle for some as life goes on because bitterness comes from being hurt and the longer we live the more we are hurt. Sometimes hurt is intentional and sometimes it isn’t but just happens because you happen to have been born in a certain family or you just happened to have been somewhere when something took place. We live in a sinful, fallen world where there is a lot of pain. However, what determines your life more is not the pain you go through but your response to it. The cup is partly empty for all of us but to a bitter person it is half empty and to a thankful person the cup is half full. Bitterness and thankfulness are opposites. You must choose if you want to be bitter person or a grateful person.
Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
Hurt comes from sin and when there is sin, whether you did or someone else, then there is pain. When sin abounds then grace also abounds. God’s grace is what allows you to come to Him and He will heal you. Bitterness is hurt that has not been resolved. Most of us will say that we are not bitter but we are only hurt. Bitterness is when the hurt feels like it just happened yesterday when in actuality it happened in the past and sometimes years ago. Bitterness is holding onto the hurt. Bitterness is refusing to forgive. Bitterness is not wanting the offensive person to be free when what happens is the bitter person is no longer free. Bitterness is living in the past. Bitterness is also like a poison and affects other people so that is why no one wants to be around a bitter person.
Acts 8:23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity
The first step to be free of bitterness is to go to the Lord and confess to Him that you are bitter. He wants an honest heart. Then ask Him to help you do what is right. Then forgive that person. Forgiveness is a matter of the will and only takes a second. If you are planning on forgiving or getting around to it then you are still holding on. Forgive and then you may still need to forgive again. Then, thank the Lord for the situation. This is hard but the Lord says to give thanks in everything. He does not say to feel thankful or that you should be thankful that something happened but to give thanks. This keeps Satan from getting a foothold and ensnaring you again. Satan hates when yo thank the Lord and he will stop bringing up these painful memories if you thank the Lord when they come up. Thank Him for Jesus, who bore our griefs, took our sorrows and who loves us.
Isaiah 53:4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried
Bitterness causes you to focus on and see what you do not have and you don’t see or you forget what you do have that the Lord has blessed you with through his kindness.
Ephesians 4:13 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Thankfulness allows you to focus on and see all that the Lord has blessed you with so that in time you don’t focus on what is missing in your life. A thankful person is like Christ and is a fragrant aroma of Him. Giving thanks is an act of faith and it pleases Him. Is there anything or anyone in your life that you are struggling with at this time? Thank the Lord for the situation or person.
I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Thanksgiving is living by faith trusting the Lord for the future.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.