Forgiveness is Hard Part 3
Forgiveness is Hard Because Bitterness Has Already Taken Root
In Job Chapter 10, Job Says:
1 “My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me; Show me why You contend with me. 3 Does it seem good to You that You should oppress, That You should despise the work of Your hands, And smile on the counsel of the wicked?
Sometimes forgiveness is hard because we have an already bitter, sour view of things before anything ever happens to us. I’m sure we all know someone who goes around saying things like this: “I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have no luck at all. It seems like everybody hates me. I guess life is out to get me. I don’t think God even knows I’m down here. If He does then He must not like me. Life just isn’t fair. Why does everyone else seem to catch all the good breaks in life?”
Bitterness is one of the first things that the Devil always tempts us with. Look at Eve in the Garden of Eden. The serpent came to Eve and asked her if it was true that God put her in that garden full of all those delicious fruit trees and then told her not to eat any of it. “Did He really put you down here to starve?” The Devil’s first attack is always to slander the character, love and plan of God. His second attack is to try to drag you into it with him. He knows that if he can get you doubting God’s love and character, then you will quickly grow bitter and will misinterpret almost everything that happens to you due to your newly distorted viewpoint.
Look at the passage mentioned from Job. In it, He accuses God of favoring the wicked more than him. He rebukes God for oppressing, despising, contending with and condemning him. Job’s solution? To give bitterness and complaint free room to speak and finally to Loathe his life. If we deal only with forgiving the person who wrongs us and then with forgetting the sin that was committed, we haven’t done enough. We must ask the Lord to search us. We must beseech Him to shine the Light of His glory into our souls and see where any damage has been done to our emotions, to the love in our hearts, to our minds, our very natures. Just like we must never assume that we can forgive on our own, we must also never assume that we can fully heal without the ointment of the Holy Ghost. Jesus is the great internal physician. The Holy Ghost is the prescription. We do not have the power to discover where all of the bitterness has taken root. Nor can we remove it on our own.
You see, bitterness is a weed of sin. If allowed to take root, it will spread and produce a surprisingly big bumper crop of other sinful weeds. Unforgiveness, resentment, pride and hate all grow in the field of bitterness. If left unchecked, it will choke out all of the good things that we’ve been trying to grow. Bitterness will kill the mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love that are growing in your heart. And just like all other weeds, it won’t back off or die out on its own. Bitterness must be pulled up by the roots. Then forgiveness can have a place to grow.
Let’s Pray to grow in forgiveness:
Holy Ghost, I give you free rein to operate on me, in me, and through me in Jesus name.” Amen.
Pastor Ed Brewer