A Life that Overcomes Depression

Depression is a struggle for many people and if we can not overcome depression then it can easily overcome us. The Lord wants us to have victory in every area of our lives and depression is one area that we can see His power and His love. First of all, He helps us in our depression.

Psalm 143:7,8 Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

Depression can begin in our spirit and then go to our soul, which is our mind, will and emotions and then finally it can affect our bodies. Depression can begin in our emotions after an emotional high, (having a baby etc.) or physically (after physical exhaustion) and then affect us spiritually. Either way, when we are depressed then we are down and are struggling to get back up again. Just as our blood sugar can fluctuate and give us feelings of lethargy and tiredness so depression can do the same for our spirit. However, just as protein will keep our blood sugar more level if we eat protein in the morning, so the meat of the Word of God will keep our spirit more level and less prone to ups and downs if we spend time in God’s Word each morning. Just as when Elijah was depressed the Lord had the ravens bring him protein to nourish him. The meat of God’s Word will nourish our spirit and strengthen us spiritually.

I Kings 17:6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.

When we spend time in the Word of God in the morning then we will have a good measure of God’s lovingkindness and truth in our spirit and soul to begin the day so that we will be more ready for the trials throughout the day and the unexpected surprises.

Psalm 59:16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.

When you learn the discipline of spending time with the Lord every morning then you will see that He is your strength and will be your stronghold all day long and your refuge in distress. Distress brings depression if there is no place that we can go to with our distresses. We need a refuge that we can run to anytime.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.

Learn to come to Him in the morning and you will find yourself running to Him throughout the day. He will lift you up and you will know His secure arms around you holding you up.

Psalm 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.

If you are a new Christian then long for the milk of His Word each morning and fill your heart up with His Word.

I Peter 2:2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

Then as you grow in Him then start learning to chew on the meat of His Word. He will teach you and lead you in the way you should go.

Hebrews 5:13,14 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Most people struggle at times with depression. It is not a sin but it is when the body, soul or spirit is depressed or down. However, it is not healthy spiritually to remain for a long period of time in a state of depression. The Lord will lift you up but He has given you His Word and His Spirit to strengthen you in Him.

 

A Life that Is Content

Contentment is being satisfied with what you have and not always longing for more or something different. There is a lot to be said for contentment. Many a man would give anything to have a content wife. Contentment is a character quality that comes from the Lord. It is an attitude of the heart that must be practiced until it is who we are. The Lord wants us to be content.

Hebrews 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

The Lord has provided all that we need and when we are not content it is a message to the world that our Heavenly Father has not provided for us. His name means “more than enough”. He takes care of His children and often gives us more than what we need so that we might have some to share with others.

I Timothy 6:8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.

Discontent comes from envy and coveting. When we are looking at what others have then we will never be satisfied. The Lord wants us to keep our eyes on Him.

Proverbs 27:20b Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

Things will never make you happy nor will people ever make you happy. Jealousy is also a symptom of a discontented life. Again, it is wanting what someone else has and not being content with what the Lord has given to us.

I Timothy 6:6-10 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

When we long for things other than what the Lord has provided for us then often it will lead to temptations and snares. Many a young couple has gotten ripped off by someone because of their haste to have more. Learn to work hard, wait on the Lord and trust Him. He is faithful.

Psalm 73:25-28 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

Let Him be your desire and portion in life. Your flesh and your heart will fail but He never fails. Let the nearness of God be your good and if He is, then you will have much to tell about for He is faithful to those who put their trust in Him.

A Life of a Witness

The Lord has given to His people one of the greatest privileges known to man and that is to be a witness of God’s faithfulness and lovingkindness to the world. God’s people are to let the world know how incredible loving, faithful, powerful and all knowing our Almighty God is. There is none like Him and those who know Him are His witnesses.

Isaiah 43:10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.

There is none to compare with Him and when we know and believe and understand that He is God and there is no other then we can not keep it to ourselves. It is the greatest privilege to share with everyone and we will never tire of talking and praising Him. However, only those who know and believe and understand Him can witness who He is. He makes it very clear what our role is and who He is. He is God and we are witnesses.

Isaiah 43:11,12 “I, even I, am the Lord,
And there is no savior besides Me.
“It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,
And there was no strange god among you;
So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And I am God.

You will never understand who the Lord is and it may seem foolishness to you until you know Him. When you know Him then you can believe Him and when you learn to live by faith then you will understand Him.

Genesis 15:6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

We don’t see Him but we believe in Him and through faith we come to know Him and the outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls.

I Peter 1:7-9 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

Those who refuse to believe in God will never see Him and will never come to know Him. They do not believe in Him because they refuse to listen to His Word.

II Kings 17:14 However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God.

Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Our hearts are hardened because of our stubbornness, but the Word of God softens and quickens our heart so that we might believe.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

When you are a witness of who the Lord Jesus Christ is, that He is God, there is another witness that also confirms this fact. You are not alone. Although you can not see this witness, His testimony is true.

John 15:26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The Lord has sent the Holy Spirit to witness also so that by the testimony of two witnesses every fact is confirmed.

II Corinthians 13:1b Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

This is one of the reasons that it is important that God’s people are faithful witnesses because His Spirit is also working in the hearts of the nonbelievers and is testifying that what you are saying is true. Be faithful to the end and you will see a reward.

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—

Jesus Christ has gone before us and was faithful to the end, which was death on the cross, but the Father, who was faithful raised Him up from the dead and Jesus now sits at the right hand of God. Those who have gone before us are watching us from heaven. Run with endurance the race that the Lord has set before you so that one day you will join the faithful cloud of witnesses.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

 

 

 

A Life with a Great Marriage

You may not be married but if you want to get married one day then now is the time to be preparing for a great marriage. You may wonder how to prepare for a great marriage and if it is God’s will for you to even get married. It is God’s will for most young ladies to get married and it is God’s will that you have a great marriage. A wise woman starts building a great marriage before she gets married.

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

It is by God’s wisdom that a great marriage is built. He is the Master Builder and when we build according to His plans the marriage will be great and it will stand during the storms of life. Many marriages are not built on the right foundation and so when the storms come they do not stand but fall and great is the fall with much pain to all.

Proverbs 23:3,4 By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

By wisdom a great marriage is built and by understanding it is established and by the knowledge of the Lord the days and years will be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to get ready.

Proverbs 24:27 Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.

Since the Lord Jesus Christ is the Master Builder then He needs to be your Master or otherwise you will think that you know how to prepare and what to do. A great marriage begins with the Master Builder being your Master and you following His blueprint. His blueprint is His plans and instruction for life and marriage. Since he designed marriage then He knows what you need to do.

Luke 6:46-49 Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

You must first learn what an excellent wife is and then you will have a picture of what you want to become. First of all, an excellent wife is a woman of great worth. She will be one that a man is willing to work for so that he might receive her as his own wife. This is important because a man appreciates what he works for and will cherish the woman for whom he had to work.

Proverbs 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.

An excellent wife is a crown of her husband. A man wears his crown proudly, in a good way and it gives him the courage and strength to rule and succeed in the world. A wife who would shame him is as rottenness in his bones. The marrow of the bone is where the blood is made in the body and healthy blood means a healthy man. A wife who shames her husband cause the life to go out of him.

Proverbs 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.

This is also important because a man has a tendency to fight with his conscience so if a wife is her husband’s conscience then there will not be harmony in the home but much contention. He would rather not go home at all and if he does then he would rather live in the attic.

Proverbs 25:24 It is better to live in a corner of the roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

Are you contentious and argumentative? Do you have to be right? Do you have to get the last word in? Do you feel like men “don’t get it”? Or do you believe that once you get married then you can change your husband? It would be better for you not to marry until these issues can be changed in your life. We can not change ourselves but the Lord can change us. He wants to change us and make us into that woman who fears the Lord and who will be a delight to our husbands. Life is sweet when it is done God’s way and this definitely applies to marriage. Begin now to prepare for a great marriage. It will be worth it. Your children will rise up and bless you and your husband also.

Proverbs 31:28-30 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

 

 

 

A Life that Has Light

God is light and He is the source of all light. He is the only One who can shine in our hearts. He literally turns the light on. We are living in darkness until He comes and shines in our hearts.

II Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

He is light and has come into the world to give us light. His life is the light and when He lives within us then we become the light of the world. We have no light within us other than the light and life of Christ. Just as the moon has no light but shines in the darkness because it reflects the light of the sun. We reflect the light of Jesus Christ.

John 1:4,5 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Jesus Christ is the true light. He is the One who enlightens every man. Only those who recognize and receive Him receive the light. The rest of the world is still living in the darkness.

John 1:9-13 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

When we follow Him then we will have the Light of life. We no longer have to walk in darkness. We are no longer dependent on the “experts” who say man evolved or that man controls the climate.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Jesus Christ was in the beginning and He made the world and all that is in it. He sets the boundaries of the sea and not man. The world was made through Him.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

He made the world by His Word and the world was made out of things that are not visible.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

The Lord has told us to let our light shine before men in such a way that they may see our good works and glorify the Lord. The Lord is glorified because the good works are what He has planned beforehand that we should walk in them. He has a plan for everyone and works for each person to do. When you follow Him then you will walk in the good works that He has designed just for you.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Are you walking in His good works? You will know when you are doing His will because you will be filled with great joy. Our life on earth is a taste of either heaven or hell. If we know the Lord then we will taste of His goodness and one day we will see Him face to face and our joy will be made full. If we are not a Christian then our life will be filled with frustration, defeat, guilt, aimlessness, emptiness and darkness. He came to give us life and His life is the light of men.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Don’t let the devil steal your happiness, kill your joy and destroy your life. Come to the Lord and receive the life that He came to give you. Receive Jesus Christ into your life and you will have not only light but life.

John 1:12,13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

You receive Jesus Christ into your life by asking Him to come in and make you the person that He designed you to be. He is knocking on the door of your heart.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

 

 

 

A Life that is Changed

Most people want change in their lives and even permanent changes. We can try harder but often that leaves us feeling even more defeated. If we are honest with ourselves then all of us feel a need for there to be some changes in our life. All of us have failed in some way. The Bible affirms that truth that we feel within ourselves.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Sin is basically we have fallen short of what we should be in God’s eye.We have missed the mark of what we should be. If we had perfect parents and a perfect environment we would still mess up.

Genesis 2:7-9 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Adam and Eve had a perfect Father and a perfect environment and yet they still chose to go their own way. Sin is us going our own way and doing our own thing. Sin is not doing what the Lord has commanded for us because…we really want to do something else.

Genesis 2:15-17 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.

We can not change ourselves because of our sin nature. We sin because we are sinners. We were not made that way but we became that way due to our going astray from what we were told to do. We thought that something else was better.

Genesis 3:1-4 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!

Our sin began by doubting and questioning God. Satan is the source of this doubting of God. These doubts may come through your thought life or someone else, such as, “if God were good He would not allow…” or “it really does not mean that” or “God will understand, you have no other choice”. If you do this…”surely you will not die!”. But God says that when we sin we have violated ourselves and something within us is changed. The word violate means “to change”. The more we sin the more we are changed but it is not a good change. It is a change away from the image of God. There is only one hope for us to be changed back into God’s image. God’s image is good, acceptable and perfect. The change does not happen over night but it begins in one instant and that is when Jesus Christ comes to live within our hearts. He begins to change us from the inside out.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

We literally become a new person on the inside because the Lord gives us a new heart.

Ezekiel 11:19,20 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

The Lord gives you a new start in life and this time He says that He will live through you and change you into His image. He only takes away the bad and makes you into the person that He has created you to be.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Are there changes to be made in your life? Let Him change you and transform your life into the beautiful person He created you to be. When He made you, He said, “It is good.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can try to lower the standard but when we fall short of that standard then we feel even more of a failure, whether it is in our personal discipline, relationships, responsibilities, goals or resolutions. We long for acceptance with ourselves, others and God.

A Life Where Thou Art

The first question the Lord asked man was, “Where are thou?”.

Genesis 3:9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

The man and the woman were made to be with the Lord. He made them for them to have fellowship with Him and for them to enter into His joy.

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Man disobeyed the Lord and for the first time fear entered into man. Man began his long and lonely journey of hiding from God.

Genesis 3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

God came to earth as a man and His name is Jesus Christ, so that He could restore us back into a right relationship with Himself. He took the penalty and the separation from God that we deserved so that we might be restored back into fellowship with Him. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus was in the beginning with God and all things came into being through Him. Jesus Christ is God and has always been God.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Jesus, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among men. He is the only begotten Son of God, which means that He is the One and only Son of God. The Father gave His Son to restore us to Himself.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

As many as receive Jesus Christ, to them He gives the right to become one of His children, adopted into His family and to live forever with Him. They are born again.

John 1:12,13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Since God’s love is unconditional and perfect, one of the first things He does after restoring us to Himself is that He casts out all fear.

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

What is the evidence of someone who has been restored into a relationship with God. They will love others and especially will love Christians.

I John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

He is still asking, “Where art Thou?”.

 

A Life that Receives Instruction

The Bible describes a fool as one who will not receive instruction. A wise person receives instruction, benefits from it and is blessed. A wise person seeks out instruction and is grateful for it. A wise person’s life is saved through instruction. The Lord wants to give us instruction on how to live that we may truly experience life and not death.

Psalm 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

He will become your gold and your treasure when you learn to receive His instruction. Good will come to you and you will be at peace with God. He will restore you where you are broken. You will find delight in Him and He will hear your prayers. He will become your Savior and your Deliverer. Return to Him if you have strayed from Him and receive His instruction.

Job 22:21-30 “Yield now and be at peace with Him;
Thereby good will come to you.
“Please receive instruction from His mouth
And establish His words in your heart.
“If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored;
If you remove unrighteousness far from your tent,
And place your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks,
Then the Almighty will be your gold
And choice silver to you.
“For then you will delight in the Almighty
And lift up your face to God.
“You will pray to Him, and He will hear you;
And you will pay your vows.
“You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you;
And light will shine on your ways.
“When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence,
And the humble person He will save.
“He will deliver one who is not innocent,
And he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Don’t be a fool but learn to fear the Lord. He is good and He loves you. He will forgive you of any wrong doing and He will instruct you in the way you should go.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

When He gives you instruction then do it, exactly as He says.

Proverbs 4:13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.

Don’t neglect your time in His Word for it is through His Word that He will give you instruction.

Proverbs 8:33 “Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it.

He came that you might have life and His instruction will keep you on the path of life. Is there something that He has been trying to tell you?

Proverbs 10:17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.

Don’t ignore what the Old Testament has to say for it was written for our instruction so that through perseverance and the encouragement of His Word we might have hope.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

The Lord has put people in our lives to give us instruction. Listen to them. For they will give an account to the Lord.

I Thessalonians 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,

Finally, as the Lord has called all of us to instruct others, let it be done according to God’s Word, with great patience.

II Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Always, let the goal of our instruction be love…that others might love the Lord and excel in loving others. That the world might know that we are Christians by our love for one another.

I Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

 

 

A Life that Overcomes Bitterness

Bitterness is one of the most damaging emotions. Bitterness can be an unresolved hurt in our hearts. Someone hurt us and we can still feel it as if it just happened yesterday. Bitterness can be a wound that has never been healed. It will cause you trouble and poison many.

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;

When sin abounds then God’s grace abounds also but unless we receive His grace and are healed from the hurt and pain of wounds from others we will become bitter.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life which is through Jesus Christ our Lord. When you do what is right after someone has done you wrong, and you can only do this through God’s grace, then you will be set free from the bitterness which would result from not experiencing His grace. If you will turn to Him in your pain then He will heal you and restore you.

Exodus 15:26 And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

The opposite of bitterness is thankfulness. He will remove the bitterness and fill your heart with gratitude and joy. Only the Lord can do this but He can and He wants to.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Bitterness also comes from forsaking the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

Bitterness can come from the misfortune of bereavement.

Ruth 1:20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

The Lord healed Naomi and she became the great great grandmother of King David. The Lord restored her joy. She trusted the Lord and He was faithful to her.

Ruth 4:16,17 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Bitterness can come from unfulfilled desires and longings. Hannah was greatly sorrowful that she could not have any children.

I Samuel 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Hannah turned to the Lord and the Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son, who became the last judge and first prophet in Israel. Her prayer that is recorded became Mary’s prayer when she found out that she was going to bear a Son and His name would be Jesus, the Son of God.

I Samuel 2:1,2 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

When you experience great loss then you might feel bitter. Job lost everything but his wife and then she also tried to get him to forsake the Lord.

Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,

Job was faithful to the Lord and the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him even more.

Job 42:10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

Great sorrow and pain comes to all of us at some time in our life. How we respond to it will determine whether our life becomes bitter or sweet. If we turn to Him, He is faithful and will not disappoint you, for that is the promise He has made to us.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

If you don’t turn to Him then your bitterness will eat you up and destroy you from the inside and will make it’s way out through your countenance and your tongue. Not only will it destroy you but it will defile those around you, as mentioned earlier. Don’t substitute what the Lord wants to give to you. His plan for you is sweet. It is the devil who wants to rob you through bitterness.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Turn to the Lord in you sorrow, loss, disappointment and unfulfilled desires and longings. He will give to you even more than what you can imagine and He has a plan for your life that is good for you and sweet.

 

A Life that Does What is Right

One aspect of the meaning of righteousness is doing what is right. Jesus walked in perfect righteousness, which means that He did what was right all of the time. Righteousness is the opposite of sin. One of the definitions of the word righteousness in the Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, is literally “do not destroy”. When we sin and do not do what is right then we are destroying something, whether it is our family, our reputation, our relationships, our marriage or whatever else that is a part of us.

Psalm 58:1,2 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O mighty ones?
Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men?
No, in heart you work unrighteousness;
On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.

In our hearts all of us are guilty of unrighteousness. We deceive our selves by rationalizing or saying something is not that bad, in other words, we weigh out the degree of our sin to determine if it is that bad. Violence is violating the Word of God and in the end we are the ones who are violated. The word violate means to change. When we sin, then something in us is changed. When we sin we lose our innocence in that area and have come into the knowledge of evil. We are no longer the same and it has taken us away from the image of God. When we sin then a part of us is destroyed.

Deuteronomy 6:25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.

When we do what is right then it keeps us from being destroyed. It is not the kind of righteousness that saves us but it is the righteousness that preserves us. The righteousness that comes from God that saves us is the righteousness that is based on faith. When we believe God then our faith is reckoned to us as righteousness. However, we can be a Christian and still experience destruction if we do not live according to His Word.

I Samuel 26:23a The Lord will repay each man for his righteousenss and his faithfulness;

The Lord rewards each man according to his righteousness. This is a reference to the blessings that he receives, whether it is rewards on earth or in heaven. When you do what is right in God’s eyes then He rewards you.

I Kings 3:6a Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You;

He gives us the righteousness of Christ when we become a Christian but then He wants us to walk in His righteousness after we have come to know Him. He wants us to put on His righteousness, in other words, He wants us to walk in a manner pleasing Him, that is, doing what is right. You are to put on the new self. When you put on the new self the outcome will be righteousness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

You are to wear the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate is what guards your heart. When you do what is right then you will guard yourself from much pain in your heart.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

This is the righteousness that the Lord spoke of in Ezekiel when He mentioned Noah, Job and Daniel, that they could only save themselves by their own righteousness. He is not talking about eternal salvation, for all have sinned and fall short of God’s standard of righteousness. However, they preserved their own lives from destruction on earth because they sought to live out God’s standard of righteousness and while others were destroyed their lives were not destroyed. Let them be our examples of living a godly life in a godless world. God’s judgments are coming and He will judge the world in righteousness.

Ezekiel 14:12-20 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

To sum up, you are not responsible for the wrongs done to you by others but you are responsible for doing the right thing in your relationships with others. The devil is the destroyer and the way he destroys is by deceiving us into believing a lie that it is okay to do certain things. Don’t let him destroy you by doing what is wrong. Learn the right way to do life so that you will experience life as the Lord designed and came to give you.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.