God Wants to Make the Bitter in Your Life Better
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).
We’re all broken people. We’re all imperfect. Sometimes we hurt each other intentionally or unintentionally. Life isn’t fair. Innocent people suffer. Everyone has experienced unfair or prejudicial treatment in some way.
How do you respond to it? If you start dwelling on it and stewing, spewing, and worrying, your soul takes a hit. Grudges over what others have done to you will hurt your soul, impairing your thoughts, emotions, and decisions. Resentment, bitterness, retaliation, and revenge will damage you.
The Bible actually says that God’s going to even the score. Judgment is coming one day. People who were mistreated, misjudged, or treated unfairly will receive justice. But it is not your job to avenge yourself: “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it” (Romans 12:19 TLB).
Unaddressed grudges blind you to how much good God has done in your life. You become blind to the truth. You become blind to the needs of people around you. Your soul will not be restored until you let it go. That’s what Jesus wants to help you do. God wants to restore your soul, taking the bitter things in your life and turning them into better things.
Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (NIV).
Of course, we know that not everything that happens to you is good. But can God take the bad things people do to you and use them for good? Yes. Can God take your sins and mistakes and bring good out of them? Yes. Can God take your own weaknesses and your damaged will and work good even then? Yes. Anybody can bring good out of good, but God specializes in bringing good out of bad.
God turns your hurts into holiness. He turns your wounds into wisdom. He uses offenses to remove your pretenses.
When you believe that God can bring good things out of very bad things, he will begin to rebuild your soul -- your broken thoughts, your broken emotions, and your broken will.
Talk It Over
What people or situations are eating you up inside because of something they have done to you or didn’t do for you?
What’s the cost to keep mulling over that offense (or those offenses)?
When we pray for others and tune in to God’s heart for them, it’s impossible to hang on to a grudge. Write down each person’s name from the first question and a blessing for each of them.
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.