Grace and peace be unto you.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10).
The story is told that there was a man who had two sons. The younger son took his inheritance and went to a distant country. He wasted it and returned home after he was broke and destitute. Even so, his father was happy to see him and held a party in his honor. But, the older brother was bitter because he had faithfully served his father, and he never had a party for him (Luke 15:11-32).
As we journey through life, we will experience both pleasant and unpleasant circumstances. If we do not look at the unfavorable circumstances from God’s perspective, we will become bitter. God’s perspective is that, “He works all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Regrettably, some of us have become bitter because we interpret our situations from our own perspective. As such, we are bitter about issues that include divorce, bankruptcy, loss of a child, a cheating spouse, or inability to have children.
God knows that you are bitter and understands your situation. Nonetheless, he wants to remove your bitterness and replace it with something better, his everlasting love. But you have not given it to him. He is asking you to submit it to him (1 Peter 5:7). Your bitterness has strained your relationship with him and kept some of his blessings from you. He wants you to trust him. Scripture says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
The prophet Samuel recounted the story of Naomi who was bitter due to adverse circumstances. Naomi left Bethlehem to live in Moab with her husband and two sons. It so happened that her husband and sons died. Hence, she returned to Bethlehem with her daughter in law, Ruth. Naomi was bitter and told the people to call her “Mara” because God had dealt bitterly with her. Despite her thoughts and feelings about God, his love for her remained. And in time, her bitterness was replaced with God’s loving kindness. Ruth married a wealthy man named Boaz, and gave birth to a son, Obed, David’s grandfather. Naomi raised Obed as her son (Ruth 1-4).
Are you bitter because of unfair treatment? Are you bitter because you are not living the life of which you dreamed? Whatever the reason, “God is able, through his mighty power that is at work within you, to accomplish infinitely more than you might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). He will use your circumstances for his glory and your good. Give your bitterness to him and he will transform you into a better person.
Heavenly Father, we praise you because you are All-Powerful. Grant us the desire and wisdom to submit our bitterness to you. Help us to trust in you. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.