Pursue peace with all people, and holiness,
without which no one will see the Lord:
looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble,
and by this many become defiled…
~ Hebrews 12:14-15 ~
It is Passion week; a week of remembering that Jesus became our peace and reconciled us to His Father. It is a time to reflect on the love that has been given to us, the sacrifice made for us by Jesus, and to examine our hearts.
I found that something was amiss. Nothing seemed to work out well; my spirit was unsettled, and I could not figure out what was going on.
There is a prayer for times like this, found in Psalm 139:23-24:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
God is faithful to respond and reveal what is going on inside when we pray this in earnest.
That is where I was yesterday morning. My heavenly Father faithfully searched me and knew what was in my heart; then He revealed that wicked way in me: Resentment and bitterness, those siamese twins of discontentment, had stealthily crept into my heart and were strangling the abundant life Jesus gave me.
Bitterness is ugly; and the heart caught up in bitterness is uglier. Bitterness skewers a heart with its barbs. Like barbed wire, it entwines itself around and through the very core of a heart. When it enters and roots itself in a heart, it produces anger which eventually becomes hatred. Bitterness defiles and is destructive.
I nearly choked when He showed me three areas which were affecting my heart attitude: Health, finances, and a heart-wrenching situation. I thought I had fully accepted my health status quo and our financial state of being, but I was wrong. As to the third situation, the more I thought about it, the more wretched I became.
He again showed me that my body is in His hands; He is being glorified whether He heals me or allows me to continue in the status quo. In the financial area, my responsibility is to learn to be the best steward of what He provides. The heart-wrenching situation is to be laid at His feet and I am to pursue peace with others, with the same grace He gives me — as Hebrews 12:14-15 states.
There was only one thing that needed to be done and I did it; I confessed my sin and He was faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from unrighteousness. Immediately, the barbed wire that had been keeping my heart imprisoned was removed, and that unsettled state was gone. He restored me.
Though these three areas are not changing — for the time being — my heart response and attitude should be one of gratitude. He is my Abba, Father; He loves and cares for me like no one else can. That means that whenever my heart becomes embroiled, entangled, or entwined in something that is unpleasing to Him, He will make sure that I know about it.
If you find yourself in an unsettled state, pray through Psalm 139:23-24, and He will show you what is going on. He is faithful and true to reveal hidden things!
May the abundant life promised to those who believe and receive the salvation that came with the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, spring up and revive and restore you as you seek Him.
If you do not know Him as Savior, He is ready to come and save you. Just call on His name, Jesus, and He will reveal Himself to you.
Father, thank You for forgiving and cleansing me; for restoring my soul, and leading me in Your paths of righteousness. Thank You for Your kindness, Father; thank You, Lord Jesus, for bringing us to Your Father and reconciling us to Him. In Your name we pray, amen.