“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” -Ezekiel 11:19 NIV
There are times in life when we can be blinded by our own bitterness or serve other gods and idols. We subtly get distracted from the main purpose in life, because somebody has deceived us, or we have been taken advantage of. Or maybe we have been the instigator.
You may have experienced the loss of a job or promotion. A close friend may have taken your partner away due to an affair and it hurts so bad because you had so much trust in their friendship. You were partners in a business adventure or real estate deal only to discover you were taken advantage of and lost your investment because everything was stolen from you.
Our hearts can become bitter like hard rock or a wall of concrete. Like the nation Israel, we build a solid wall and turn from God, because we have felt abandoned by the Lord and the pain is devastating. These spiritual walls of bitterness and pain can cut like a sharp two-edged sword. Your heart and mind can become imprisoned, destroying your health and your spirit. As the prophet Jeremiah puts it so well, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is,” Jeremiah 17:9 NLT.
Well, the reality is that God knows your heart and He knows exactly what you are going through, and where you are at this very moment. Unforgiveness leads to a stony heart of bitterness and leads to chasing the wind only to reap the whirlwind.
What do you do, you may be asking yourself? The pain and hardness are so unbearable, yet God quietly prods us to look to him even in the most trying of circumstances.
“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” -Ephesians 4:30-32 NLT
Forgiveness is never easy but know the Lord will help you through any situation. Release whatever bitterness you may be struggling with because God will give you His peace overall.
Have a good day and a peaceful weekend, My Friend.
Pastor Andy Provitola