Summary: Overcoming bitterness is an informative message that will lead every believer to a richer and deeper walk in the truth. It is only when we see ourselves in the eyes of God’s potential that we become conformed fully to his image.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”
The writer of Hebrews makes it plain and simple to the reader concerning the issue of “bitterness”. A Christian can fail to obtain the grace he needs to stay cheerful and happy in Christ. They can become bitter and troublesome to everyone around them by their constant griping and complaining.
The bitter complaining of a dissatisfied Christian is infectious to the spiritual health of a local church. The Bible is filled with the spiritual and physical carcasses of countless people who were led to die in the Valley of Question and the River of Doubt. The pious will die with those they lead, and many a soul will be required at their hand in the judgment.
The result of bitterness is failure. Paul gives us some solemn advice about failure. He explains 5 things that we can do to prevent failure and bitterness.
(1.) Vs.12 The Strengthening in the work. “Lift up holy hands which hang down, and the feeble knees…”
The drooping hands and feeble knees represent those who have fainted in the work, and need someone to lift them up. Faith, prayer, and love will revive those who have gotten weak in the journey.
(2.) Vs.13 The Smoothing in the work. “Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed”.
As a Christian we are the make the way easier for those who walk the road behind us. We are to never create a stumbling block for another brother or sister to be hurt and discouraged by.
(3.) Vs.14 The Serenity in the work. “Follow peace with all men…”.
God never intends us to be a compromiser of truth. Rather it means that we are not to be contentious, a chronic complainers, or disruptive to the body of his church. There are times we need to let God deal with his people, as we watch in silence, and learn by their mistakes.
(4.) Vs.14 The Sanctification in the work. “Follow….holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
The word says we are to follow or pursue holiness not wickedness. The generations of men are following after the things of this world, either in religion or in wickedness.
(5.) Vs.15 The Shepherding in the work. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God…”
That word “looking diligently” means to oversee or shepherd. As older Christians we are to disciple others that they may grow up and not get bitter by the circumstances of life and the tricks of the Devil.
I want to give you 6 things that bitterness will do to your life.
I. Bitterness will Devastate you Life Spiritually.
If you get bitter in any area of your life you will be doing what God specifically tells us not to do. What is that pastor? Walking in the flesh. Every step you make you either walk in the spirit or you walk in the flesh. Flesh waking is self-walking, but spirit walking is Son-walking.
Galatians 5:16-26 Tells us what is released when we walk in the spirit, and what is released when we walk in the flesh.
II. Bitterness will Destroy you Physically.
Bitterness is like a poison, if left deniably in the life of a Christian. It runs through your life at work, at church, at home, and even in your subconscious mind while you are sleeping.
Medical doctors say that bitterness will even make you sick, and depressed. Bitterness has been linked to high blood pressure, ulcers, head aches, cardiac disorders, and even insanity. Bitterness will drive you crazy.
God’s medicine for bitterness in many is found in three words, “I forgive you.”
III. Bitterness will Discourage you Emotionally.
Where there is bitterness, there is always discouragement. Bitterness will lead you to be paranoid. You will become the victim to everything and everybody. You will become judgmental of others and you will think you perceive their motives. You think people are talking about you. Bitter people eventually love no one including God, themselves, and their own family.
A little bit a bitterness will become your prison bars if it is permitted to grow in your life. Allow God to freely work his grace in your life.
IV Bitterness will Divide the Church.
God is moving in this Fellowship. We are seeing lives changed and people helped on a daily basis. If you want all that to stop, let one person get bitter on God , and everything can change.
Your spiritual maturity mandates that you refuse to be petty and bitter about anything. God allows all of us to be hurt sometimes, as a test to make us more like Jesus. The fact is , if we do not endure the test, we have to take it again, and again , until we pass it.