Bitterness, The Root That Defiles Many

by Pastor Art Kohl

Introduction Hebrews 12:15 says "... lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." It doesn't say few are defiled by bitterness, but many. People are eaten up today with it. They are bitter about their health, finances, family, that others have it better or easier than them, that they are not as good looking as someone else, that life is not fair, that they deserve better, etc. Are you, reader, bitter about something today?

1. Don't Plan Your Expectations Bitterness usually comes when a person plans their expectations and then life fails them. For example, a lady might put thousands of dollars into her wedding and then it rains that day. A man begins to buy a dream house, then loses his job. A couple marries only to find that life is not a fairy tale. A mother gives birth to a child that is not healthy. A widow whose husband worked all of his life to enjoy retirement with him dies suddenly. A poet once said, "I slept and dreamt that life was beauty. I awoke to find that life was duty." Frustrated and bitter will be the person who always plans how things will work out. It's better to enjoy one day at a time with a thankful heart. To plan how everything ends will set you up for a life of disappointment.

Notice James 4:13-16, "Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil."

2. Let God be God Another source of bitterness is the limitations we put on God. We tell God that He must do such and such for us, and then when He doesn't, we become bitter. Or we set up personal guidelines for what WE THINK God can do or can't do, and then when something happens outside of the boundaries that we have made for God, we think He has lost control and can't be trusted anymore. When you tell God what He can or cannot do, or when you setup perimeters limiting God, then you've become God. LET GOD BE GOD! Humbly submit to His work and will in your life. Your blessings will be more than your disappointments. Faith trusts God with one's future. Some things that you are bitter about, God is not finished working out yet.

3. Jesus Still Heals Broken Hearts Jesus said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest... learn of Me... and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light," Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus described His ministry this way, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. HE HATH SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED..." (Luke 4:16).

Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and life right now. Believe on Him and receive Him as your personal Saviour. He'll forgive you of your sins, come into your life, and begin to heal your heart. Conquer your bitterness through Christ before it conquers you. Pray from your heart: "Heavenly Father, I do today receive Jesus Christ as my Savior from sin and its penalty. I believe He died for me and was buried and rose again and trust today in His sacrifice and shed blood for the forgiveness of my sin. Please come into my heart and give to me eternal life. In Jesus' name, Amen."

"WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," Romans 10:13.