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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bitterness, Fear, Hope & God

Someone sent me this via email.
This is what I learnt today.

Bitterness Is Fear In Disguise
With ref to ~ Ephesians 4:17–31 (scroll down below)

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, 
along with every form of malice." ~ Ephesians 4:31

It's just not fair!' 
~ says the 8-year-old when his parents say they can't afford to buy him a Nintendo DS; 
~ and the 18-year-old X Factor hopeful as she's voted out of the competition; 
~ and the 28-year-old computer programmer when his application for promotion is turned down for a second time; 
~ and the 38-year-old woman when yet another month has passed and she's still not pregnant; 
~ and the 48-year-old who finally gives up on her hope of getting married; 
~ and the 58-year-old who is made redundant years before he is ready to retire; 
~ and the 68-year-old whose children and grandchildren move to Australia without her; 
~ and the 78-year-old who is forced to sell her house to pay for her care; 
~ and the 88-year-old who fears she will die alone. It's just not fair.

'Hope deferred makes the heart sick, 
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life',
says Solomon in the Book of Proverbs (13:12). 

A sick heart can eventually turn into a bitter heart, and a bitter heart into a twisted one. Bitterness takes root when we give in to the fear that our deepest desires will never be met – and we hold it against God. So can a bitter heart ever be made sweet again? Yes, but we need to forgive and we need to let go of our unfulfilled hopes, dreams and disappointments. I don't know why God doesn't sometimes grant us our heart's desire – and, indeed, it doesn't seem fair that other people get the thing we want most. But I do know that God asks that He be our heart's desire above all else. If we put Him first we will never be disappointed.

'Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, 
and he will give you everything you need' (Matt. 6:33, NLT).

Ephesians 4:17-31
(New International Version, ©2010)

Instructions for Christian Living

17 ~ So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 
18 ~ They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 
19 ~ Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 ~ That, however, is not the way of life you learned 
21 ~ when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 
22 ~ You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 
23 ~ to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 
24 ~ and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 ~ Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 
26 ~ "In your anger do not sin"[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 
27 ~ and do not give the devil a foothold. 
28 ~ Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 ~ Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 
30 ~ And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 
31 ~ Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

[a] Ephesians 4:26 Psalm 4:4 (see Septuagint)

Bitterness, Fear, Hope, God, Bible Fav,

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