Dealing with Bitterness

“Why, God?” I used to think that this question was harmless. Many times during different struggles I would ask God this question. I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to: reading my Bible and praying every day, trying my hardest to obey in everything and doing what was right. I felt like it was unfair that I should be struggling. I was doing the right things, and I didn’t want to struggle with anxiety, fear, doubts or sinful thoughts. Besides, I saw other people who weren’t doing all that I was, and they didn’t have any of the problems that I was facing on a daily basis. It wasn’t fair       didn’t make sense. “So, why God?”

It was only a few nights ago that I saw the bitterness and anger that was directed towards God in my asking this question of Him. I wasn’t sincerely and humbly asking God why I was struggling or if there was anything I needed to change or do. I was angrily inquiring why God was letting this happen. I was angry and bitter because I knew that God can do anything He wants, and He could free me from my struggles with a single word. So why wasn’t He? I was obeying Him, right? So why?

It surprised me when I suddenly realized the bitterness in my heart. Several times before, my counselor had asked me if I was angry at God for various different reasons. I had sincerely answered, “No” every time. How could I be angry with God? That wasn’t right. I wasn’t willing to admit that there was bitterness and anger in my heart towards God. It was only when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes that I suddenly heard the anger and bitterness in my questioning.

Once I could acknowledge that I was angry, I could make a conscience decision to let go of that bitterness. When I did this, my struggle was easier to bear. Faith is what is often times needed in struggles like this, and my constant questioning of God was tearing that faith down. I learned that the question, “Why?” was questioning God’s faithfulness, His intentions towards me, and His goodness. It was also laying the blame for my struggles on God and not on my true enemy, Satan.

Once I could let go of my anger and questioning of God, I was grieved that I should have been angry at the One who had died for me so that I could be forgiven, the One who is one day coming to make all things new, the One who has given me such great and precious promises, the One who has been faithful to me in all things. I had to ask God for forgiveness for my sinful attitude towards Him. Jesus never promised me that my life would be free of struggles. But he did promise me that, “’Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD who has compassion on you.” (Isai. 54:10). And he did say that “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17).

Once we make a choice to let go of questioning God let go of being bitter and angry —- we can instead find faith in the promises He has made, and rest in them instead of questioning them. The peace with God that comes from this and the unwavering trust in Him, in His promises, and in His intentions will shield us from the attacks of the enemy and bring us peace and stability in times of struggle.

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