Why do people become bitter?
Bitterness is simply the result of not seeing suffering from
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Some purposes of suffering:
His power - Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his
resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming
like him in his death,
His glory - I Peter 4:12-13 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the
painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were
happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of
Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
His reign - II Timothy 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If
we disown him, he will also disown us;
Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory
in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore
you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing
greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all
things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves
also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is
done with sin.
Seven Steps to Turn
Bitterness into Forgiveness
12:13-15 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother
to divide the inheritance with me." Jesus replied, "Man, who
appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" Then he said to
them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a
man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
loses as trades
<![endif]>Thank God for the
Thessalonians 5:18-19 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's
will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire;
God not for the offenses but rather His good and overriding purposes in
allowing them to take place.
able to thank God because we cannot be grateful to what happened.
that God owes us something.
on what we thought we should have received rather than on what we did
offender as ďGodís agent.Ē
1:20-21 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he
fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my
mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has
taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish
what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Samuel 16:9-10 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why
should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off
his head." But the king said, "What do you and I have in common,
you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, 'Curse
David,' who can ask, 'Why do you do this?'"
23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what
they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
7:60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this
sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.
purposes for suffering.
<![endif]>Suffering is Godís way of GETTING OUR ATTENTION!
<![endif]>Suffering is our assurance that GOD LOVES US!
12:6-7 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes
everyone he accepts as a son." Endure hardship as discipline; God is
treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?
12:10-11 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought
best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his
holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on,
however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have
been trained by it.
<![endif]>Suffering is Godís call for SELF-EXAMINATION!
Corinthians 11:28-30 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the
bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without
recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That
is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen
<![endif]>Suffering is Godís way of†
CONQUERING OUR PRIDE!
13:10 Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take
11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes
29:23 A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.
<![endif]>Suffering is a reminder†
of† OUR WEAKNESS!
Corinthians 12:7-10 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these
surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a
messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to
take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for
you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will
boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may
rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in
insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am
weak, then I am strong.
<![endif]>Suffering is our motivation to† CRY OUT TO GOD!
our voice - Psalms 3:4 To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his
holy hill. Selah
- Psalms 86:3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
humility - Psalms 9:12 For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not
ignore the cry of the afflicted.
a pure heart - Psalms 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord
would not have listened;
praise - Psalms 56:9-10 Then my enemies will turn back when I call for
help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praiseó
<![endif]>Suffering is our evidence of†
6:11-12 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand
against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and
blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers
of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the
<![endif]>Suffering is Godís method†
of† PURIFYING OUR FAITH!
Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you
may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so
that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though
refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and
honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
<![endif]>Suffering is Godís increasing our† HATRED FOR EVIL!
6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap
destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will
reap eternal life.
<![endif]>Suffering is our reminder to†
PRAY FOR OUR AUTHORITIES!
Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and
thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority,
that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
<![endif]>Suffering is our signal to†
127:2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat--
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
<![endif]>Suffering is Godís means of TESTING OUR WORK!
7:24-27 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts
them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The
rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that
house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But
everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice
is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the
streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell
with a great crash."
Corinthians 3:13,15 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day
will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will
test the quality of each man's workÖIf it is burned up, he will suffer
loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the
<![endif]>Suffering is Godís way of SIFTING OUR FRIENDSHIPS!
17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
<![endif]>Suffering is Godís call to IDENTIFY WITH CHRIST!
3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the
fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
<![endif]>Suffering is our motivation for OPEN ACCOUNTABILITY!
2:20-22 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said,
"Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for
their forefathers and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out
before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them
to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk
in it as their forefathers did."
<![endif]>Suffering is our preparation for COMFORTING OTHERS!
Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our
troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we
ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow
over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
<![endif]>Compare what you
owe God to what your offender owes you.
unforgiving servant - Matthew 18:35 "This is how my heavenly Father
will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your
3:12-13 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe
yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against
one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
between forgiveness and pardon.
but not pardon
6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require
of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
invest in the life of your offender.
6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
5:40-41 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have
your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two
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<![endif]>What things are causing my bitterness?
I carried out the steps of Matthew 18:15-18.
<![endif]>How does my bitterness reveal ungratefulness?
have I lost that is causing me to be bitter?
each case, what was given by God for which I can be grateful?
<![endif]>How are my offenders Godís agents?
will this fact change my attitude toward my offenders?
<![endif]>What are Godís purposes for my suffering?
specific benefits is God trying to bring into my life through my
<![endif]>Have I considered my debt to God?
ways in which I am ďkillingĒ my offender.
prayer to fully forgive my offender, date prayed:_
<![endif]>Have I separated forgiveness from pardon?
offender must make reconciliation with the following people:
<![endif]>What ďtreasuresĒ can I invest in my offender?
<![endif]>Pray for him.
<![endif]>Greet him with a smile.
<![endif]>Praise his positive qualities.
<![endif]>Defend him to others.
<![endif]>Express appreciation to him.
<![endif]>Meet a basic need he has.