All the Changes#4. “Changing the Past—Bitterness.”

All the Changes#4. “Changing the Past—Bitterness.”

Bitterness is a savage companion. Left to itself and it will drain your very last ounce of energy. How many good people have you witnessed travel the sad road from joy to misery over regrets and abuses? Friends, once animated and interactive, have long since lost their energy and vitality. There is no magic wand to erase the past. Hurt and broken lives bear the scars of things rather than forgotten. Self-medication is nothing new, it just the labels that change.

The Christian entered into a new world on the day of baptism. All past sins were cancelled, and a promise given that all future sins will be washed away as you walk in the light. (If you haven’t come to terms with this, you may want to start now – Joy awaits!) The renewing of your mind includes insight into sin’s origin and effect.

When you accept that Satan is the father of all lies, you begin to see the work he has done through you. It is a shock to the conscience to have to admit that you were once one of Satan’s willing workers. But no more! Christ is now Lord and Master. The promise that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28), is built in for the Christian.

Joseph looked back on his life as ‘a slave who rose to Second in Charge of Egypt.’ The sins of his brothers would have been understandable causes of bitterness. He now saw them differently. Though his brothers would have to face God for the sins done against Joseph, Joseph did not hold anything against them. He saw his past in light of God’s providential care. He told his brothers: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive” (Gen.50:20). Satan worked in Joseph’s brothers. But the God of Joseph, who calls according to His purpose, caused all things to work together for his good. Joseph was not going to allow bitterness to rob him of the joy of God’s victory over evil—nor should we.

John Staiger


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