In November, Pastor Bobby Chaw of City Harvest Church preached a message on how to resolve bitterness caused by unfaithfulness.
He gave the example of Anna, who was betrayed by her first boyfriend. Bitterness took root in her heart and she lived a difficult life, finally suffering a mental breakdown. When she received Jesus as her Lord and Saviour, Anna started praying the Lord’s Prayer daily. This helped her to let go of the bitterness in her heart. Today, Anna lives a fruitful life with her two children, serving others.
There is power in the Word of God to break the curse of bitterness. Besides the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), here are six other verses to turn to when it’s hard to let it go.
1. 2 Corinthians 12:9
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The apostle Paul had a thorn in the flesh. The Bible doesn’t say explicitly what that thorn was but it does says that Paul had “pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8) But God told him that His grace was sufficient for him.
God knows that we have weaknesses and that sometimes we find it hard to forgive someone, or to let go of a past hurt. Praying and confessing God’s grace upon your life has the power to get the bitterness out of your heart.
2. John 16:33
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
When we feel so overwhelmed by our emotions, it seems impossible that we can overcome the pain we face, we need to be reminded that Jesus has overcome the world.
Speak this aloud: “If Jesus has overcome the world; I can overcome this issue through Christ who strengthens me.”
3. Luke 6:35
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”
We can become so disappointed in someone that we forget that he is also God’s creation and that God loves him too. Saying that we love the person who hurt us – even when we have feelings of anger towards them – helps us take that first step towards forgiveness.
The very act of saying “I love this person” not only aligns ourselves to God’s will, it also gives our heart a chance to heal.
4. Colossians 3:8, 12-13
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth…Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
If you are prone to anger and cursing, know that the Bible commands Christians to put away all the things that brings bitterness into our hearts. It’s not a suggestion – it’s a command.
Tell yourself: “I need to put away anger; I need to put away wrath, malice, slander and obscene talk. I am God’s chosen one, holy and beloved. I will forgive.”
5. Romans 17-21 (MSG)
“Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.”
That’s one powerful reminder. While God is a merciful God, He also says that He will take care of our enemies. On our part, we need to do good because that is how we overcome evil.
6. Lamentations 3:22-23
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
Lastly, remember that God’s compassion never fails. Some days will be good and you’ll feel like you’re ready to move on; other days will not be so good where even a small thing can trigger us.
If today was a bad day, you have tomorrow to work on overcoming bitterness, because God’s mercies are new every morning. Never stop trying!
This article was first published on City News, and is republished with permission.