Winning Over Bitterness

This article is part 4 of 6 in the series Winning Over Bitterness

        “Let The Healing Begin”
   This is the last in this series, but, it can be the BEGINNING of healing for you. Bitterness has caused many of our problems, because we have carried burdens of resentment and hurt too long. Now it’s time to begin to heal, to drop pieces of the load, until all are placed in God’s hands. It is time to begin to release the stagnant past, instead of using it against someone over and over again…  and move on. 
   The story of Joseph is found in Genesis 30-50. Joseph was the favored child of Jacob, (Genesis 37:3-11), thrown in a pit by his jealous brothers, sold into Egyptian slavery (Genesis 37: 15-28). He eventually came into favor with Pharaoh and was second in command. His brothers came for food, but didn’t recognize him, but he recognizes them. His options….. put them to death, enslave them, take all they had, have his vengeance. He had the authority he needed to do what he wanted. Instead, he tests them. (Those who break trust might need to be tested, just as Joseph tested his brothers to see if their intentions were good, Genesis chapters 42-44). Yet eventually, when the testing is done, Joseph forgives them. “Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it”(Genesis 45:1-2).
   Genesis 45:3-8, “Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.  For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”
   Later, when Jacob was dying, he sent a message to Joseph “I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” “When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them”(Genesis 50:15-20).
   Forgiveness brings freedom, and healing to the heart and soul.  The ‘wound’ is healing. Eventually it becomes a scar to remind you of God’s grace and forgiveness, both kept, and shared.
   You can indeed win over bitterness, grow old and be a “sweet  person” in the Lord. Give yourself a chance to live by forgiving, and in time, healing. 
   The things which Joseph went through between the ages of 17 and 30 surely had it’s toll on him. There must have been times of great sadness, and dispair, tears and rage. Yet through it all, Joseph seems to have held to his trust in God. Although not understanding everything that was happening, not the plan which God had in mind, he still held on to his faith. Prayer surely was a part of his process of healing, as well, as the fruition of the plan of God.
   His song well may have been, “Now I know, O God, I know… Time has come and gone, but now I know.” The one thing which Christians must keep in mind, while trying to recover, and heal… we are not alone in the struggle of life. He cares, He really does. Spend much time with God in prayer over these things, take captive every thought for Christ so as to not dwell on the past, spend time in studying his word… and be ‘accountable’ to a Christian who’s faith is unquestioned, to keep you on track. 
   God bless you, and give your heart the healing it deserves. 

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