Giving Bitterness to God
Bitterness is very much like a mulberry tree. Mulberry trees produce a fruit that is both sweet and sour. Likewise, the fruits of bitterness may taste sweet to the heart, but only achieves in souring the soul. The roots of mulberry trees also grow vigorously once the seed takes to its soil. Bitterness acts in the same way because once its seeded in the heart, its roots enthusiastically grow until the soul is engulfed. However, even if the soul is consumed, hope still exists. In Luke 17:6, Jesus says, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” When someone embraces bitterness, they are taking poison. Oppositely, when someone adopts righteousness, he or she is consuming the antidote.
Lamentations is a book written by the prophet Jeremiah while God is using the Chaldeans to discipline the Israelites. In the first 21 verses of chapter three, Jeremiah describes his anguish and bitterness towards God. Lamentations 3:14-18 reads, “He drove into my kidneys the arrows of his quiver; I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, the object of their taunts all day long. He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” Rather than hide his feelings from God, Jeremiah courageously chooses to be honest and righteously gives Him all the bitter emotions. Thus, Jeremiah is able to turn His heart back to God’s love and strengthen His faith. From Lamentations 3:22 to the end of the chapter, the prophet Jeremiah writes about the hope and salvation that only the Lord can provide.
Everyone feels negative and strong emotions because it a natural part of being human. However, it is important for God’s children to give these emotions to Him so they will not sin. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Giving strong emotions to God also grants His children the opportunity to be renewed by His teachings. Philippians 2:12-17 tells God’s children to, “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”