Jaylene turned around and looked at herself in the mirror. Who was this woman that she had become? This woman who was full of anger and hatred toward God for the circumstances of the last few months. The bitterness just seemed to seep through the depths of her heart and flow out into her life with every new breath that she took. God had taken everything that she held dear, that she tightly refused to let go of. Her job was on the line, her friends had betrayed her, and everything else in life seemed to be going downhill. Nothing she did went right and it all seemed to fall apart at every turn.
Even though she hadn’t meant to, all the hurt and frustration started turning into bitterness. Why would God allow her to go through all of this? Didn’t the Bible say that He had plans for her that would give her a future and a hope? Well, none of this looked very hopeful and like she would ever have a future. Besides her job being on the line, her close friend, or so Jaylene thought, had recently showed a side of them that clearly let her know she was not interested in being friends with her anymore. Slowly pulling away and choosing to betray her in ways that she could never have imagined her close friend doing. Now she was not just bitter toward God but towards those around her as well.
She didn’t want to feel this way forever but it seemed like she was never going to get rid of the bitterness that was beginning to take root. As the roots of bitterness were grabbing ahold of Jaylene’s heart, the more and more she experienced disappointment and pain. Maybe it would just be like this forever. Maybe she would just be frustrated and upset with God because of all that He had done for a while. After all, it felt a little better to be bitter than to be happy because what was there to be happy about?
Does Bitterness Have A Tight Hold On Your Heart?
Have you ever felt bitterness like the kind Jaylene is experiencing? The kind that slowly begins to take root in your heart and then gradually overtime, you realize that you are bitter about everything, even the things that you have no need to be bitter about. Bitterness happens when we begin to resent the results in life that are happening. It can happen from circumstances that are affecting your life right now or from circumstances that have affected your life in the past.
There are two types of bitterness: bitterness towards God and bitterness towards the people around us. Often times we don’t even know the stronghold that bitterness can have on our lives until we are set free from the bondage that it has on our lives. There have been different circumstances in my life where I could choose to hold onto bitterness and allow it to control my life or I could choose to let it go and trust that God would take care of the anger and frustration I felt by releasing those feelings to Him. My heart has dealt with both sides and I have been guilty of holding onto bitterness for far too long! To the point of where it was affecting everything that I did. I would be upset with every single little thing until it affected the people around me.
Dealing With Bitterness Toward God
Bitterness towards God comes when we resent what He is doing in our lives or what He has done in our lives in the past. Maybe you thought you deserved a job promotion that you failed to receive or you have prayed and prayed regarding a certain topic only to get an answer that you never ever could have wanted. At first I might just be upset but because I allow it to seep in my heart then bitterness begins have its deadly hold on me.
There is a hymn from by Robert Robinson, which has the words, “bind my wandering heart to Thee”. Ponder those simple but complex words for a moment. The Lord knows that my heart is susceptible to wander and to stay exactly where it is; full of bitterness, pride, selfishness. But when I bring my wandering heart before the Lord and allow Him to bind it closer to Him, then I am allowing Him to change my heart and to bring forth all the ugliness that is running rampant inside. There is so much joy that is missing from your soul because the drain into your heart is clogged up with bitterness. The only way that I can let go of the bitterness is to confess it to the Lord. To address every area that is in my heart, every disappointment, every let down, every failure, and every hurt and to lay them all before the feet of Jesus.
Addressing Bitterness Toward People
You can’t deal with your bitterness towards the people around you until you have addressed the issue with God. Once you have released it all to them and allowed the healing process to begin, then you can start dealing with the bitterness you have towards the people around you. Are there people in your life right now or people in the past who are part of the bitterness in your heart? Well, there are a few things that you need to do to upheave that bitterness as well.
First, pray for that particular person and for the situation. Pouring out your heart and feelings to the Lord once more about this particular situation. Then once you have prayed about it, ask Him to help you release the grasp the bitterness has on your heart. If those friends are still in your life, you need to address the issue with them. Ask for their forgiveness for the bitterness that you have been dealing with and how it has probably effected them in one way or another. Forgiving them in person for the hurt they have caused you will allow the healing in your heart to start. How can you heal if you can’t address and verbalize the issue? As hard as it might be, step out in boldness and do it. It is the only way you will experience true healing.
You Have A Choice On How You Handle The Circumstances In Life
We don’t always get to decide the situations and circumstances that we deal with in life but we can decide how we choose to handle those circumstances. Darling, don’t allow bitterness to have its hold on your life any longer but ask the Lord to cast it far away and to let Him heal you. Trade hurt for healing. Trade bitterness for His sweetness and contentment. Trade strife for peace. Trade hatred for love. Truly heal your heart of the bitterness you have held onto for too long and place His love, joy, and peace into your life instead.
“That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness…. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:22-24, 31-32