Resisting Bitterness

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There is a story about a woman who came to church for the very first time in her life. She heard the truth about Jesus that day and came to the front of the church to meet with the pastor. They talked for a while and the woman decided to trust Jesus as her Savior. The pastor wanted to meet with the woman in a week, but told her in the meantime she should get a Bible and begin reading.

The next day the brand-new believer came running into the pastor’s office. “Preacher, I bought a Bible like you said and I’ve been reading it all day. I couldn’t wait a week. I just had to come talk to you.”

Curious about what was so urgent, the pastor asked, “What did you read?”

“Well, I didn’t know where to begin, so when it flipped open to the book of Revelation I started there.”

The pastor felt a little uneasy. This woman who had never been to church in her life began reading the Bible in one of the most difficult books to understand. “What did you learn?” the pastor hesitantly inquired.

“We win!” the woman exclaimed. “At the end, we win!” The pastor smiled at the woman’s understanding, “You’re exactly right. We do win.”

Maybe it hasn’t been at the forefront of your thoughts lately, but we do win. The victory belongs to God. Evil will be punished. Righteousness will be rewarded. Every knee will bow before the King of heaven and earth. This train really is bound for glory.

You can choose this day to live your life in light of the victory that is promised.When a woman begins to live in the assurance of certain victory, then holding on to bitterness loses its power.

One day every tear will be wiped away. You will understand the purpose for every trial you have faced and the suffering you have known.

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  • You will no longer see through the mirror dimly.
  • Satan is doomed. Evil will be bound and punished for eternity.
  • You will enter into the promise of a new heaven and a new earth forever.
  • You will finally be as God has always dreamed you would be.
  • Victory belongs to every one who calls Jesus Lord. Read what John wrote to us in First John:

 

God’s commands are not too hard for us, because everyone who is a child of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world-our faith. So the one who wins against the world is the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:3-5 NCV)

How would things begin to change in your life if you began choosing to live in the victory that’s already certain? I think that if we believe God and keep heaven in view, so much that invites us to bitterness would fall away.

  • You would not have to vie for position. Your place with God is certain.
  • You could lay aside your judgment. God is the final judge.
  • You could look forward to new adventure instead of back at every failure.
  • Getting even would mean nothing. Getting right with God would mean everything.

 

In view of eternity and the victory that is sure, we can choose to become grown-up Jesus women. We can hear the Holy Spirit call and choose to get up and face our battles with courage instead of a bitter heart.

A few weeks ago I was teaching at a women’s conference. It wasn’t a part of what I’d planned to say, but for some reason I went down this path:

I am a single mom. I have four kids that I provide for. I am not dating. There is no one to catch me except Jesus. Life hasn’t really turned out right, but Jesus is my Lord and I am not bitter.

The women burst into applause and began to stand. Their enthusiasm shocked me at first. They were cheering the decision to believe God instead of living bitter. Maybe it would help if you knew all of heaven did the same. Every time you believe God and resist bitterness, I’m sure the angels stand to applaud.

Excerpt from When Wallflowers Dance: Becoming a Woman of Righteous Confidence, by Angela Thomas. Copyright © 2005 Angela Thomas, Published by Nelson Books.

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