Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Continued Challenge to Overcome Bitterness

(This is the conclusion of my recent study on overcoming bitterness.  I pray it is an encouragement.) 

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  –Hebrews 12:6-8 (KJV)

Trials and the problems of life often cause people to become bitter.  These trials may include sickness, death, depression, broken relationships, family conflicts, day-to-day stress and pressure, and anything else that causes us pain.  Frequently people become angry with God because life is not turning out as they had planned.  This will lead to bitterness as well.  Rather than get angry with God, a better approach is to seek to learn what the Lord is trying to teach us.  God will make us stronger in our trials if we trust in Him.

These verses (6-8) remind me of how the Lord has taken me to the woodshed many times by convicting me of something in my life that was not quite right.  This is the Lord’s way of reminding me I am His child.  If God did not chastise me, do you know what that would make me?  I would be an illegitimate son (v 8).  The King James Bible uses more colorful language, but the point is clear.  God’s chastisement reminds me I am His child.  God moves, acts, works, and convicts for my benefit according to His will and purpose for my life.  This is something I have held to for a long time and it goes hand in hand with Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The trials we face are an “all thing” according to the Word of God, and if we are in His will, we are blessed and strengthened.  If all things work together for the good, and they do, then God will work it all out to His glory and our benefit.  Do not allow bitterness to rule, but rather be lead by the Spirit of God.  The Bible says in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Similarly, do not be overcome with bitterness, but be filled with the Spirit of God, and seek to overcome in Jesus Christ. 

The high call of God in Jesus Christ is walk in victory, not defeat.

God bless you today.