There are several ways to approach bitterness, so it doesn’t become a settled problem in our lives.
The first step is honestly admitting it is a problem and we need help to both deal with and prevent it. This is where recognizing that Jesus came and died so that our sin, including bitterness, can be forgiven. Believing and trusting in Him opens the door for real change. Choosing to follow His lead and instructions is how we become the new people God created us to be.
Review the message notes and then take some time to meditate (give deliberate and focused attention) on the following verses that provide guidance for us individually and as members of Jesus’ church to overcome and prevent bitterness.
For examples of how God works in the midst of tragic and evil circumstances, read the story of Naomi in the book of Ruth, and Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-50. In both of these historic accounts, God was working a plan that neither understood at the time.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8 (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NLT)
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Romans 12:12-18 (NLT)
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:13 (NASB)