Bible Reading: Hebrews 12:10-17

“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled”. (Hebrews 12:15)

In life and human relationships, we are frequently intentionally or unintentionally hurt. These wounds can sometimes leave deep and lasting scars which haunt us the rest of our lives. When we hold on to these wounds, bitterness forms. Bitterness causes us to be restless. We find no peace and live with constant anger towards the person that hurt us. Hebrews tells us that this bitterness does not only affect us. When we are bitter, we will spread it to all those around us. 

One of the thoughts that we might have is to blame God for all that has happened. We think our life is unfair and that other people do not understand. We resent God and His good sovereignty, who has placed all things in our life for good. 

One of the underlying reasons we are bitter is that we don’t want to accept God for who He is and all He has done. In our heads, we have an ideal image of what a perfect childhood should have been. We think if only my friends were like that person’s friends. Or, if only my family were happy and close like my friend’s. But, the fact is, we don’t want to accept what God has given us. More than that, we don’t trust that God has a purpose in all of this. 

To admit that God is good is easier said than done. Broken families, relationships, betrayals are all fruits of sin. They show the brokenness and evil that we live in. To say something evil is good is hard, if not absurd. But, take comfort in this. God did not leave us alone in evilness and sin. The Father sent His one and only Son to come from heaven to earth to enter all this darkness. He came to speak the truth to broken people. He healed the sick and broken-hearted. Most importantly, He died on the cross to face the wrath of God for all our sins. Jesus entered the problem of evil so that there would be a glimmer of hope and a light in the darkness. 

Because of what Jesus has done, we can trust that God’s ways are good. More than that, we can learn to forgive. This part is hard, but the writer of Hebrews tells us to do it by “lift[ing] up drooping hands and strengthen[ing] your weak knees”. We can learn to forgive and seek God’s way by relying on Him through prayer. Our motivation to seek forgiveness should not be guilt-ridden or for the sake of abiding by God’s law. We should seek forgiveness because God wants us to seek holiness. He wants to set us apart so that we can see God and enjoy a relationship with Him. 

The keyword is enjoy. All this time, we believed that the fantasy of an ideal life and ideal relationships are what would make us happy. Because we did not receive these things, we became bitter. In reality, the joy and peace that we seek can only be found in a relationship with God. He is the one who can satisfy us — no human relationship can. 

Are you willing to seek Him? Do you want to learn to forgive and learn to enjoy Him? 

Lord, You know that content of my heart. Please forgive me for the bitterness which I have stored up in my heart. Forgive me that I think other things apart from You can satisfy me. Please teach me to forgive and help me to seek holiness. Help me to find peace and joy in a relationship with You alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.