Updated: May 4
Bitter or Better
We have learned a lot about meekness in these last two lessons. Meekness is gentle, an inward grace of the soul. It submits to God, accepting His ways without murmuring or complaining. Meekness trusts God… trusting who He is and how He is always working. Meekness allows you to hold anger in a righteous way. Allowing us to join God in His anger when others have been wronged. Meekness is humble, bowing the knee to our understanding and trusting in the sovereignty of God.
As we were finishing up our lesson yesterday, the Lord was stirring in my heart. The need to pray arose in my spirit. The need to acknowledge the unforgiveness that many of us hold. The importance of taking time to “name" what is holding each of us back and cry out to God to help us in our weakness. Our weakness in the inability to "let go". Let go of that situation, that person, or that grievance. As I was looking into many eyes around the room, I wondered how many of you were whispering, “It may be easy to forgive in that situation but you have no idea what I am dealing with.”
When it comes to forgiveness, it is easy to look outward. We think of a friend, loved one or even neighbor, wishing they were sitting in the room learning the same lesson. "Boy do they need to hear this” many of us where thinking… as our minds were looking outward toward others. But God was saying… look inward. Look within and ask yourself, “Who do I need to forgive?”.
As I prayed and allowed the Holy Spirit to take the wheel, we sat in moments of silence. Our hands were open, a posture of receiving and surrendering. As I prayed the words that came to mind, I know the Lord was inviting many of us to trust Him. Trust the fact that He is just, He is working and He certainly has the final say.
“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, his ears are open to their cries for help. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth.” Psalm 34:15-16
Bitterness is well defined by a feeling of pain or distress. It is being disappointed of being treated unfairly. It is synonymous with resentment and envy. We all have experienced bitterness in our lives. Bitterness is a toxic emotion and God is pointing His finger in our own stories and asking us to deal with it. The root of bitterness will only continue to hold us back and stunt our spiritual growth. It is time to pull the root and the best weed killer is confession and forgiveness. Confess to the Lord what you have been holding on to and then forgive whoever has wronged you.
"I always thought forgiveness was an unfair gift we have to give to the person who hurt us, and what I discovered is forgiveness is more about God giving the gift of healing to our hearts. Forgiveness is both a decision and a process.” Lysa Terkeurst
We first have to make the decision to forgive and then cry out to God and ask Him to help in the process. It is really that simple and yet can be painfully difficult. If you chip to the very core of the issue the of forgiveness what is left is trust. Forgiveness is an act of trust towards a Heavenly Father. Handing over the person or circumstance and trusting He will take over.
“The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm." Exodus 14:14.
Will you join me in trusting God? Trusting Him in our “I don’t understand”. Trusting that God holds all things, knows all things and will work all things together for the good, according to His purposes. Trusting in the love that He has for you and your loved ones.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 7-8
Do you see? You are blessed when you trust God. Instead of the toxic weed of bitterness, you will have roots that run deep into His living water. The water that will sustain you, allowing you to be fruitful. It is the act of trust that turns everything from bitter to better. The One who makes it better is the One who choose to place your trust in.