I would think that if I had to point to one thing that causes us trouble in our Christian walk, it would be bitterness. It is the small subtle seed of unforgiveness that you harbor instead of letting go. We all do it! We think we have forgiven, and try, but then that small seed of bitterness, that thing that we harbor in our hearts after the words have left us. After the need to forgive has been effected, after the prayer for help, we often slip a small seed of bitterness into our soul, kind of like for safe-keeping, just in case we need to bring it up. But that seed over time, begins to slowly grow. It may start with indifference such as, “I really don’t care, it doesn’t bother me.” But it does! It causes an offense within you that you carry daily. With bitterness growing, there can be no true peace in your heart. But you say you have peace? It is a peace surrounding the seed growing. You concentrate on peace, but that little germ will not let you fully have it, because the bitterness has not been resolved. Scripture tells us: “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness – without it no one will see the Lord. Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.” Hebrews 12:14-15 This peace is not the absence of war like is so prevalent today, but it is peace that is built within the heart, instilled by the Holy Spirit when you believed. It is a heart that does not like strife, but peace, a heart willing to surrender the will of the flesh, so that the Spirit can clean out the seeds of bitterness. For peace cannot grow in this kind of environment. If you notice that your heart is without peace, for whatever reason, perhaps you harbor resentment, or an offense within you. Perhaps you have prayed for forgiveness, but afterward tucked that little seed of bitterness away for future use. Now is a good time to open up all that is within you, for the Lord to bring refreshing, for Him to bring new life, and for Him to bring healing so that peace can grow. You will know when that happens, for your heart is filled with peace even when the storms close in around you. You will have peace, even when trials confront you. You will have peace for the peace of Christ passes all understanding.
Heavenly Father, on behalf of those who harbor bitterness, please clean our hearts, heal our wounds and our hurts. Transform our understanding that we might let go of that which keeps us shackled with the bonds of bitterness. Lord, please renew peace within us. Renew the joy of the presence of Your Holy Spirit, and bring peace to the troubled soul. I continue to lift up those who struggle today with trials of illness, disease, and circumstance. Lord, you know them for they are on our hearts, and we surrender them fully to You, in Jesus name.