Summary: Troubles will make you better if you do not allow it to make you bitter.
Exodus 1:14 begins with the phrase, “And they made their lives bitter…”
• According to the Strong’s Concordance the root word used for “bitter” can also mean “stronger.”
• As a matter of fact, according to the Bible Reader’s Companion, some suggest that the root translated “bitter” actually was intended to be “strong.”
o Pharaoh intended slavery to crush the spirit of the Jewish people, and to cause many to die.
• Pharaoh sought to make their lives unbearable.
• Instead he served to strengthen them.
• When he intended to make them bitter he instead made them better.
• Bitter became stronger!
• More often than not, trouble and trial comes into our lives because Satan intends to use them to destroy us.
o It is his purpose to crush us under the heavy load of adversity and opposition.
• It is his purpose to make our lives bitter.
• It his purpose to cause us to despise every breath we take.
o But, in the course of his diabolical plan, God makes a way to turn trouble into triumph.
• God makes a way to turn tragedy into growth.
o The Israelites were supposed to give up and become subservient.
• They were supposed to be weakened and bitter until they despised life itself.
o But instead bondage and oppression caused the to grow stronger in body and in number.
• Death and loss became the catalyst for liberty and freedom.
o What Satan intended for evil, God used for good.
• The bondage was imposed to prevent their multiplying: but according to verse 12, “the more they afflicted them the more they multiplied and grew.”
• Some lessons Satan never learns.
o The same transition from bitter to better is repeated throughout the biblical record.
• Satan thought he would tear Job down with bitter trouble and opposition.
• But in the End God multiplied Job and Job emerged from his trial with more than he ever had.
• Nero thought he would crush the church with persecution.
• But in truth he compelled the church to fulfill the great commission as he scattered them to the ends of the earth.
• The church didn’t go underground as it spread, instead it established itself across the entire world.
• Hell has determined that trouble and opposition can take you out of the fight.
• Hell thinks that your life can be made so bitter that you will be rendered spiritually ineffective.
• But what Hell hasn’t counted on is the fact that God turns “bitter” into “better.”
• The thing that was meant to destroy you is the thing that God will use to advance you!
• I want you to know tonight that when Satan brings bitterness into your life.
o When controversy and trouble rise up to attempt to crush you.
o It is important that you recognize the fact that Satan is not in charge of your life, God is.
• And God works all things together for good to those that trust him.
• It may not look good now.
• It may not seem good at this present time.
• But have faith my friend, God has your best interest in mind and he’s working your life out for good!
• When Satan produces bitter God always answers with better.
o It was the bitterness of the cross that resulted in the beauty of salvation.
• It was the bitterness of death that resulted in the beauty of resurrection.
• It was the bitterness of being beaten that resulted in the promise of our healing.
o Every great thing that Jesus did for us was accompanied by the bitter assault of this world.
• But God took the bitter and made it better.
• What was intended to destroy the messiah
o What was intended to cut off salvation
o What was intended to crush the healer
• Instead loosed the mercy and grace of God.
• The bitter wrath of hell loosed the tender mercies of heaven.
• In the entire Bible there is no better example of this principle than the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis.
o It all begins when Joseph has a dream that someday he will be exalted above his brothers and even above his parents.
o Naturally his brothers aren’t thrilled to hear this news, and soon their hearts burn with envy, jealousy, and malice against Joseph.
• When opportunity presents itself, they throw Joseph into a pit, intending to leave him for dead.
• They end up selling him into slavery to a caravan of Midianite traders.
• Then they go back home, tell their father Jacob that Joseph is dead, and forget all about him.
o Meanwhile, Joseph is purchased by Potiphar (who was the Pharaoh’s head of security.)