We often ask God to give us what we want when we want it. That’s a prayer life, right? We see others getting many things. Blessings that we’ve asked for and we know we deserve just as much… or even half as much as they do. Feeling angry for what we don’t have. That’s when jealousy and bitterness creeps in.
I am here to say, I have been there. I’ve looked at others with their loving, supportive, healthy, extended family – something that I’ve always wanted and prayed for – and it hurts my heart that I don’t have that. The few relatives that are still living, are more concerned for themselves, their addictions, or aren’t safe to be around. Most days I feel very unlucky in the family department. I was born the youngest of 8 yet I’m alone. Generational curses threaten to steal my joy, for sure.
But in this life, especially after divorce, I want to become better, not bitter. I’ve seen others in my family become that way. Stopping the cycle and being healthy takes work. The road to bitterness is easy and the world will tell me that it’s okay. But bitterness will only hurt the heart. It doesn’t lead to a thriving life after divorce.
Are you harboring bitterness?
Bitterness is measuring your life against the life of others. Keeping a scoreboard and focusing on measuring the success of others against your own. Looking at the unfair advantages that others seem to have without seeing where they may have struggled or had their own troubles.
Bitterness is not being happy when you see another person succeed. Or worse trying to sabotage someone’s life so that things don’t go well for them. It’s hard to admit if that is you.
God’s healing includes moving away from old thinking, and the world of keeping grudges. He wants you to move past that… to something way better. He wants you to live in peace.
Don’t allow your feelings to control you and steal your joy.
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous “root of bitterness” grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. – Hebrews 12:14-15 NLT
Bitterness will steal your sweetness, eat you alive, and trouble you. So let’s work on moving past that.
4 ways to move past bitterness.
1.) Focus on the good in your life. Instead of looking around at others’ blessings, keep a record of your own blessings. They’re all around if you look for them in expectation. Also, keep your eyes on Jesus. He will help you find something good in the mess of your pain and healing.
Personally, I have a prayer journal where I write down my own prayers and the prayers of others. Adding the praises as they come too. This has helped me to realize that most of us struggle with something and no one’s life is perfect. And most days I’m able to count my blessings.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. – Philippians 4:8 NLT
2.) Keep trusting God to work it all out for good. We just have to keep trusting Him. It’s not our own will be done, but Thy will be done. Knowing God’s will is way better than our own so we can be content right where you are at.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28 NLT
3.) Wait patiently on the Lord to restore and redeem you. Put your hope in Him and Him alone. God knows what you need when you need it. Things don’t often happen in our time. What we think should take a couple months, might actually take years. Trust Him for the victory.
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress where I will never be shaken. – Psalm 62:1-2 NLT
4.) Know who you are in Christ. If you have put your complete faith in God… then you should be secure in knowing you’re a child of God. And the promises belong to you just as much as they belong to any other believer and Christ follower. You’re just as worthy.
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are His heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. – Galatians 3:26-29 NLT
Lastly, become last to be first.
The Scriptures describe a servant who surrenders to God’s will. The last will be first, and the least will be the greatest in Heaven. I know I’d rather be the worst down here, with only the love of my Father, and be first in Eternity. Even if we’re never blessed on earth… we will be in Heaven.
God looks at the inward heart of every person. Let there be peace in the place of where bitterness once tried to take hold in your heart.
Allow God to add the weight of His blessings while you wait for Him to restore and redeem you. He hasn’t forgotten about you. He will open up doors of opportunity when He feels you are ready to receive them in… His perfect timing.
Many days growing and learning in Him,