10 The heart knows its own bitterness,
And a stranger does not share its joy.
This isn’t good news. It’s simply an observation of the way things are. But Christians are commanded to get rid of this very real bitterness, while the world and we ourselves often add fuel to the fire of our own pain.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you where sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
People often recommend that we forgive ourselves, that this will heal or comfort us. What do you think? Their arguments don’t convince me. Only the Lord can help us against despair and living with the consequences of our own deliberate foolishness and wickedness, or the real injuries of others. Truly knowing that we belong to Him, and that He has the answers for us is our joy, our hope – even against bitterness which is especially hard to bear, and also dangerous.
I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
1 Corinthians 2
9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
The Lord Jesus Christ tasted gall as He suffered for us – they offered Him gall mixed with vinegar but He refused it. (Matthew 27:34) He also tasted death for us but drank it to the dregs. So let us go outside the gates to Him. Let us trust that truly, really, His joy is our strength. In the very real future He will wipe away every tear we’ve ever shed. But for now we must live with many of the consequences of our wrongdoing, yet with His totally sufficient help.
Seek Him about this! He is the antidote for bitterness and will comfort us in every grief.