The seed of bitterness is a hurt that is planted in someone. It may be intentional or unintentional. There are also times when the hurt may be chastisement from God for our own actions. It takes strength to let go of bitterness. The danger in yielding to bitterness and allowing it to rule our hearts is that it is a spirit that refuses reconciliation.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. (Hebrews 12:14-15, also Eph. 4: 31-32).
Forgiveness means letting go of resentments, bitterness, and desires for revenge. God commands us to forgive others, but He never told us to keep trusting those who violated our trust or even to like being around those who hurt us. To forgive is for our benefit. The other person’s behavior may never change. It is up to God, not us, to change others. Our responsibility is to be set free from the pressure and weight of an unforgiving attitude.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Col. 3:13 NIV)
Just as we plant seeds in the spring and wait for the harvest, we must wait patiently for the rewards that will be reaped from doing what is good and right in the sight of God. God knows our heart and He knows all that we go through – when it’s right and when it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter what others say about us or about the things that we strive to do for God, it only matters what He thinks.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:9)
The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross gives believers direct access to the God the Father in heaven. Jesus is the only way to eternal salvation, and He tells believers to pray to the Father in His name. “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you” (John 16:23). Here are two main verses that substantiate that Jesus is the only way to eternal salvation:
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Men build strong towers to defend themselves from their enemies. The Lord God is a strong tower for the righteous. Whether trials are great or small, personal or public, believer must rest in the fact that our hiding place is in the name of God. You may ask “How is that possible when we are so harshly attacked by trouble and distress at times?” Let’s stop looking at the Lord through troubles, but instead put the Lord between us and the troubles. For we are more than conquerors through Him that loves us (Rom. 8:37). For the name of the LORD is a strong tall building, designed to withstand attack for the people of God. It is a refuge, a place of complete safety.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)
Understanding that “Jesus is Lord,” comes from a divine revelation that “Jesus is God.” He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit the fullness of the glory that belongs to the eternal Godhead, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (John 10:20 and 1 John 5:7). Jesus is more than the Messiah and more than the Savior. He is the Lord of all, has sovereign rule over all, and will always have “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). Most important, Jesus provides the way for us to receive God’s grace of forgiveness for our sins and fulfill the hope of eternal life. Every knee will bow down before Him and submit to this truth someday (Phil. 2:9-11).