God Can Heal the Bitterness of Life
By Greg Sanders
We all have a right to be bitter. Every person you meet on the street and sit beside on the pew has a right to be bitter about something. Everyone experiences hurts. But there is something greater than your right to be bitter. It is your opportunity to be healed. God can heal the roots of bitterness in our lives.
2 Kings 4:38 Elisha returned to Gilgal and there was a famine in that region. While the company of the prophets was meeting with him, he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and cook some stew for these prophets.” 39 One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine and picked as many of its gourds as his garment could hold. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were. 40 The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it. 41 Elisha said, “Get some flour.” He put it into the pot and said, “Serve it to the people to eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
On the surface, this seems to be one of those miracles that is quite impressive, but it makes us wonder why would God move in a great way over something so small. There has to be some more important business that God could be tending too. I don’t have the answer except to tell you that it is quite apparent from scripture that God cares about even the small things in our life.
I believe there is another lesson we can take from this as well. This account reminds me that God can handle the bitter things that get into our heart. This stew had become corrupt and deadly because some bitter roots got into it. Sometimes in our life, bitter roots get thrown into the mix of our heart.
God turned this vessel of death into a vessel of life. Bitterness turns our heart into a vessel of death. Bitterness allows us to become so cynical that every good idea, every good word, and every good plan turns to death.
God has an answer to those bitter roots that get into our lives. Over the next few days I want to give you a few ways to deal with the bitterness that tries to creep into your life.
Lesson 1. Guard what you allow into your heart. (This is the pro-active approach to bitterness.)
2 Kings 4:39 One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine and picked as many of its gourds as his garment could hold. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were.
The servant added stuff to the pot that they knew nothing about. Was it out of desperation? Some think so. If they did not add something they would not have enough. Was it out of carelessness? It could have been. The bottom line was the servant used no discernment at all regarding what he allowed into the pot of stew.
God gave each of us 5 senses: sight, smell, hearing, feeling, and taste. If we operate in these senses alone, we will make the same mistakes this servant made. Our outlook will be that if it looks good, throw it in. For the believer, God gave us a 6th sense that is called discernment.
John 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
When our sight, smell, hearing, feeling, and taste are inadequate, we have another sense we can rely on. It is the voice of the Holy Spirit. Too many have gotten into the habit of relying so heavily on the first 5 that we ignore the most important sense. When we operate in that fashion we unknowingly expose our hearts to bitter roots that can severely affect our life.
Your enemy knows that the best way to destroy what God wants to produce in your life is to get some roots of bitterness in your heart. You don’t have to go looking for a reason to get bitter. They just come out of nowhere. Someone says something to you that rubs you the wrong way and it gets in you. You must remember that what God wants to produce in you and through you is greater than this root of bitterness.
Immature people nurse their resentments until they become grudges. They feed their grudges until they become offenses. They carry their offenses until they dictate behavior. – Alton Garrison
If we do not control the bitterness that comes into our lives then it’s just a step away from controlling us. We must apply Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Today’s Challenge: Has something entered your heart this week that has tried to create bitterness? Remember that the plan of God for your life is greater than the bitter root that desires to control you. Your potential is greater than the poison. Don’t let bitterness find a place in your life.
Pray and ask the lord to remove every bit of bitter root in your heart. Forgive those who have injured you and allow the Lord to heal you.
Do you know someone who is struggling with hurts in life? If so, share this devotion with them and encourage them to subscribe.