“… when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God."

—1 Peter 2:20b

As a pastor, I’ve seen just about every reaction there is to crises. And one of the most devastating reactions there is has to be bitterness.

You know, from a human perspective, the Old Testament hero Joseph appeared to have a right to be resentful and bitter. His brothers hated him, threw him in a pit, and sold him into slavery.

Joseph had no way of understanding why this crisis had come crashing into his life. In his heart he knew God had a plan for him, but this awful, unbelievable twist threatened that dream. Yet something amazing happened in Joseph’s life. He yielded to God, he was faithful to God, and he rejected bitterness and resentment.

As a result, Joseph was able to forgive his brothers and eventually provide for their needs… not to mention all of Israel’s needs as well!

So today I want to challenge your thinking. How do you respond to a painful, faith-shaking, life-altering crisis? Do you have a tendency to get angry and bitter? If so, God wants to help you with that.  

Anger and resentment are part of a vicious cycle that the devil uses to destroy God’s people. Bitterness is like an acid that destroys its own container. It will devour you.

So the next time you are hurt by someone’s actions, don’t become a victim to bitterness. As a child of God, you never have to bow down to bitterness in your life!

If you’re tempted to be bitter… or would admit that you are bitter… ask God to give you the quiet confidence that he is in control of every single event in your life. Ask him to take your hurt and your pain, and to help you begin anew through Jesus Christ.

REGARDLESS OF WHAT’S HAPPENED TO YOU, DON’T LET SATAN WIN BY GIVING IN TO BITTERNESS!