Bitterness Is Killing Us

Bitterness is a lie, a trick, a trap.

It’s a warm comfy blanket that’s infected with smallpox.

It promises relief, respect and redress. But it never delivers.

It doesn’t rebuild anything out of the ashes, it just destroys what’s left.

It doesn’t redeem the pain, it recreates it, forcing us to relive it.

It locks in our hurts and freezes our worst moment in time forever. It plays our pain on repeat in our heart and mind.

It re-inflicts the hurt and reinfects the wounds.

We’ve gotta fight bitterness like we would an escaped prisoner climbing through our child’s bedroom window. It’s plans for us are equally nefarious.

Bitterness is a reverse mirage. We often don’t see what’s actually there.

Hebrews 12:15 warns us:

“Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”

We need to watch out for it because, bitterness starts so small. Often with a disappointment, an injustice, a hurt.

We often bury that pain. We pretend it isn’t there and hope it goes away. Which has a similar effect to pouring Miracle-Gro on a weed.

Unforgiveness and resentment come next.

And that environment is like a hothouse, providing the perfect breeding ground for bitterness.

We actually want healing, we want things to be right again, but the bitterness takes over, often without us even knowing it’s there.

We start being ruled by fears. And now, we’ve dug in, we won’t give an inch. Usually because we’re scared.

Our love has to be greater than our fear.

Bitterness, more than anything, is fear. The kind of fear which leads to disobedience.

It’s lack of trust, lack of faith.

It’s believing that we can’t obey God because He won’t get it right.

We feel like we have to take care of ourselves. But, if we’re being honest, how’s that working out for us?

God says forgive. Every time.

He’s got great things in store for us and love like we’ve never imagined if we just trust and obey.

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Praising God in the storm

lovebelieves:

I was in the middle of writing on this same subject when this piece popped up in my feed. I put the pen down, because it cannot be said better than this.
As we heed into the week of Thanksgiving, this is an absolute must read!

“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:20-23

Originally posted on daughter by design:

I am thankful for, thankful for, thankful for hardships, thankful list

I’ve always wished that my life was perfect, pain-free, and easy.

But that’s never guaranteed when you are Christian.

God says that the path He calls us to walk is narrow, not wide.

It’s not a path that many people will choose because it’s hard.

It’s a path that leads you through valleys and storms.

It’s a path that includes dying to your own self and being different from the world.

It’s a path where you learn to grow in Christ daily and that doesn’t come without pruning, breaking, and pain.

November is the month everyone likes to make a list of things they are thankful for.

And we always include everything that is good.

The food on our tables and roofs over our heads.

Our families and friends.

The daily gifts God gives us from above.

And those are all things we should always be thankful for.

But that’s…

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Z-Verse | Acts 9 | Suddenly | Nov 17, 2014

Our verse of the day is in Acts 9. Just go ahead and read the whole chapter real quick, the story’s just awesome.

Saul has been killing Christians, and he’s on his way to Damascus, papers in hand, to round up believers and bring them back to Jerusalem to torture and kill them.

He, literally, sees the light on his way there.

Verse 18 says, “IMMEDIATELY something like scales fell from eyes.”

Verse 20 says, “AT ONCE, he began to preach that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Two things jump out at me here.

1.) Things can seem completely hopeless and God can change everything in an instant.

Don’t give up hope.

How many times do we read that word suddenly in the Bible?

2.) We are never too far gone for God to do something in and through us.

I mean Saul was murdering Christians! Families, women and children! God still used him to write two thirds of the New Testament!

I love verse 21, it says that all who heard, “were astonished!”

I bet there are some people in our past that would be astonished if they saw us right now (hopefully in a good way!)

There are also probably some people in our lives, that if God got ahold of them, we’d be astonished.

Let’s let that affect how we treat the people in our lives who are living far from God right now. The people who seem, to many, to be beyond hope. (People like Saul before God changed everything in an instant and he became the Apostle Paul.)

Let’s remember how much God loves them and let’s try to love them the same way!

More: The Z

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Quick Thought | God Will Honor Our Obedience

A couple of weeks ago, my pastor posed a challenging question:

Do we TRUST God enough to OBEY Him?

See, God honors our obedience. [See Proverbs 10:2-3]

Shortcuts short change God’s glory AND our good.

What God has in store for us is far greater than anything we think our disobedience will do for us.

When we do what we know He wants us to–even when it’s hard, painful, or seems to make no sense–GOD will honor that choice. [Read Job 36:11, Isaiah 1:19 and the story of Jericho in Joshua 6:1-27.]

Remember what King David wrote in his older age, with the benefit of great experience:

“Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
Psalm 37:1-2

Charles Spurgeon made a great point about how vital it is to trust in the Lord. He said, “Sight is cross-eyed, and views things only as they seem…faith has clearer optics to behold things as they really are.”

There’s an old hymn that sums it up well:

“Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.”

More: Charles Spurgeon
Sean Sears / Grace Church
The story behind Trust And Obey

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Happy Veteran’s Day 2014

To anyone who’s ever worn the uniform, and their families, “Thank You!”

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for another.”

Or to be willing to…

I am humbled by your service and grateful beyond words.

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What God's Teaching Me Today

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