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.
Visit a Facebook group that is edifying – I’m sure there are many out there!
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
This is our comfort, God is in heaven, and He doth what pleaseth Him; His, and only His counsel shall stand, whatsoever the designs of men, and the fury of the people be.
Letter to Sir Thomas Fairfax (21 December 1646)