Today’s Devotional: Letting Bitterness Go

Joseph’s life was filled with evil actions that he had no control over. His brother’s—jealous of their father’s favor—faked his death and sold him into slavery. Later, he would be falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife of rape and thrown into prison. Joseph had much to be angry about, but he didn’t give into bitterness. Instead, he let God turn his horrible circumstances into something great.

We can learn a lot from how Joseph reacted to each new challenge in his life. At every step of the way he had to make a decision whether to give into the temptation to despair, or to move forward. This devotional from Day by Day points out that holding onto bitterness often ends up hurting us and making us miss out on the good that God has for us:

For many of us, we would sooner withdraw than to seek to find greater purpose in our place. We victimize ourselves and consider ourselves deserving of the bitterness we harbor, all the while ignoring how the bitterness is only hurting us and making matters worse. We turn our entire situation inward and grow more angry with each passing day, and then we convince ourselves that no one could possibly understand, and that no one is worthy of identifying with the pain we have felt. Granted, the pain was real and the hurt very personal. But, the bottom line is that we have a choice as to what that pain and hurt becomes. It can either be evil that remains evil—or it can be turned around by God to bring something that is good.

There is so much in this world meant for evil, and there is so much we will suffer as a result of that evil. But there is a God who is far greater, and there is a potential for good to be brought out from all things. We do not have to allow the evil to hurt us to the point of permanently stealing our joy. We do not have to allow the evil to imprison us in an eternal withdrawal and disillusionment. There is a victory that can come out of the worse circumstances, and a joy that can radiate from a wounded heart. All because God can take what some mean for evil, and use it to accomplish greater things.

Are you holding onto bitterness? What would it take for you to let go of it and trust God?

5 Responses to “Today’s Devotional: Letting Bitterness Go”

  • Sean Scott says:

    I want to point out that harboring bitterness is a symptom of the pride we all have that God dislikes so much. In almost every circumstance where we are hurt there has been many others who have likewise been insulted or injured. To think that we are somehow more special, more deserving of preferential treatment, is simply being prideful.

    The sooner we can humbly accept our true position and listen to God, the sooner we can let go of our resentments and bitterness and live in joyous love and at peace in our Father’s creation.

  • “Today’s Devotional: Letting Bitterness Go”
    Yes, it’s true harboring bitterness hurts you… when we do that you will defile others by doing so, because the inward anger always imerges and will vent to fall prey upon whomever may currently be around. Forgiveness brings forth healing and releases healing to the other person, giving opportunity for change. If the other person acts on it or not is entirely up to them, but you are free. I have experienced this personally and been a witness to it. I have also, seen those who will not let go of anger and how it continues to damage them & others.
    One thing I want to address no one ever speaks of… is the responsibility of those who do bad things to people and it appears they get away with it. No, one really discusses this in the church community. I want to open a discussion about it, because it happens all the time, people want answers. Here is what I think… sometimes we are put in situations where say for instance a friend appears to be kind to your face, but behind your back is not and slanders you. Time goes on, then you are faced with the realization of the friends slander… where it effects you, like for instance in ministry… being falsely accused of not being dependable or doing your job, when you have been… they are covering for themselves by using you as a scapegoat. The end result, you are asked to step down from that position. Ok! What do you do? Get bitter? No! Start blaming God? No! Me, I would accept the change as God doing something new, and wait to trust Him for the next move. I would however go to the head of the ministry and defend myself as Isaiah instructs us in the word. But most importantly, I would pray for the person who caused the confusion because they need it the most. We always focus on the other… and neglect that fact… in reality God loves us all. The test of true forgiveness is when you can pray for that person who has wronged you and then let it go… move on! I promise you, there will be greater blessings for you down the road from God by your actions in doing so, the reward is great. Peace in your mind, body, and soul….and the heart will be filled with joy & gladness.

  • Judy says:

    I am looking for the verse that tells us to get rid of all bitterness. I can’t find it.

    • Nadirah Islam says:

      Ephesians 4:31

    • No1Special says:

      Deuteronomy 29:18
      Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.

      Deuteronomy 29:17-19 (in Context) Deuteronomy 29 (Whole Chapter)
      Hebrews 12:15
      See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.