Battles and Bitterness

I’ve heard it again and again. The Christian life is not a playground, but a battle field.

It seems that daily there are battles to fight. In the days when depression plagued me, I battled hopelessness. These days in various areas of my life I battle discouragement and fear on a regular basis.

In relationships I battle to maintain a loving attitude as I face rejections.

Recently I was reminded by the Lord that He fights my battles for me as I cooperate with Him.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV

The vast army in this verse is a literal army, but in my life the vast army can be negative thoughts or destructive mindsets.

Yet in the midst, He intervenes to give me courage when I’m discouraged and faith when fear threatens to take over.

The thought that came to mind not long ago is that if I hold on to bitterness, I block God from fighting battles for me. Bitterness not only affects my relationship with people, but also with the Lord. I let bitterness guide me, instead of the Lord.

I was reminded of this as I counseled a friend to let go of bitterness in her marriage as she battled hopelessness in regard to its survival.

As I spoke to her, I examined my own life and asked God to help me with that very issue in my own relationships.

Bitterness is the sin that trips me up often. Others sin against me and instead of being gracious and merciful, I’m tempted toward bitterness. Sometimes I don’t even realize that it’s residing in my heart until I suddenly lash out.

Some days I falsely believe that I will win battles in relationships if I just maintain my bitterness. The lie that has tempted me is that it’s my forgiveness that keeps people sinning against me again and again.

God’s Word has something to say about bitterness.

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12:15 ESV

The conclusion I come to as I look at this verse is that bitterness blocks God’s grace, which I need to win the battles in my life.

Today and in the days I ahead, I want to let go of bitterness and allow God to fight battles for me, so I can have victory in relationships and give a loving response—no matter what, like Jesus did.

I’m grateful that God never leaves me alone to fight—that the most powerful being in the universe is on my side and by my side and wants me to have victory.

Lord, I praise You in advance for the victory that is mine in every battle that I face.

“Battles” by The Afters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQJWT017Jwc

 

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About elainecreasman

I am a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. Since 1986 I have led the Suncoast Christian Writers Group.
This entry was posted in Spiritual Growth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Battles and Bitterness

  1. calltwowitness says:

    Reblogged this on Call to Witness and commented:
    In the battles that we face, whether they are physical or spiritual, it is easy for a believer to lose hope and despair. That is because the challenges seem so big to us, that we often become overwhelmed by them and we are inclined to fall on our knees, broken and in tears.
    However, it does not have to be that way. Instead of being depressed over over situation, we can come to Lord in prayer. When we do this, an amazing thing happens. The “giants” that we face become smaller and smaller, and our God becomes bigger and bigger.
    Remembering that God is the One who fights our battles is the key to letting go of all bitterness during the battles of life. Let us turn away from these challenges and embrace the Almighty. When we do this, let us be endowed with His strength and we will overcome all things.

    • Thank you for your comment and for reposting this blog on Call To Witness. I like what you wrote about turning to the Lord and having the giants become smaller and smaller. How often I can turn elsewhere. God bless you in your endeavors to pass along truth.

  2. Amen. When we stand on God’s Word and expect the victory in every situation, we will have the victory in every situation.

    • Dear Matthew, thank you for your comment. I confess that too often I don’t expect victory, and instead I listen to the lies of the enemy. Another problem is how I define victory. Sometimes the victory is in my heart or a growing dependence on the Lord instead of a change in the heart of another person. God bless you.

      • You need to know what the Bible says, then you can define victory. When it comes to other people, we cannot change them, but we can change our reaction to them.

  3. Joan Lanning says:

    Excellent…thanks Elaine 🙂

  4. Jeanne Phelan says:

    Loved the song, Elaine, and shared it with my daughter. Reminded me of my grandson and his trust and delight in God. Also, your blog helped me remember the many times when upon self-reflection, I’ve spotted a bitter root growing out of my heart. Good thing the Lord’s our gardener and works along side us as we weed our garden!

    • Dear Jeanne, thanks for your comment. I’m glad I “helped you remember.” I think that’s one of the things God wants us to do with each other. Praise God for His excellent gardening in our souls.

  5. judithbeckman says:

    Thanks, Elaine. Again you get to the point and root of the whole issue. God blesses you and you bless others with a great gift of discernment. Thanks for inspiration that pulls us up from depths of depression and despair.

    • Dear Judith, thank you for your comment. Others have inspired me and pulled me up from depression and despair. It’s my privilege to do the same. God bless you in your endeavors to pass His truth along.

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