January 13
‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,’ Ephesians 4:31a
Bible reading: Psalm 73:21-28 (Go to the Bible passage)
There are people who talk fondly about God but prove to be very unreliable in business. Hence it stands to reason that people who do not know the Lord can be very suspicious of Christianity.
Reading today’s passage, we will not have any problems with the first line: ‘When my heart was grieved, and my spirit embittered’. We all know that grief, that bitterness. It is something terrible that can drain our lives. But many people have learned to live with a bitter heart because they know no other way of life.
Asaph, the writer of this psalm, knows how terrible it is to be bitter, ‘I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before You.’
To us feeling bitter may be a normal condition, perhaps even a reasonable one, but Asaph realizes that God feels quite different about it. ‘Before You’ means: in God’s eyes.
Whoever thinks that he has every reason to be bitter, vindicates himself, and does not want to obey the Lord Who says that we must get rid of all bitterness! If we start confessing our bitterness as sin, we will experience God’s peace in response to our confession. That is such riches that we desire nothing upon earth besides Him.
Whoever shares in that secret of faith, will realize that it is no achievement, no sacrifice, to desire nothing besides Him on earth. No, the joy of His peace deep in our hearts and the deliverance of all bitterness is so precious that it is mere foolishness to desire anything but Himself.
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