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On the Other Side of the Valley of Suffering and Injustice

On the other side of suffering and injustice you will find two paths:  bitterness or closeness to God. This article will take a brief look at both.

The Bible is very clear; in this life we will suffer (John 16:33). Psalm 34:19 gives us a very unwelcomed and uncelebrated promise as it states that “Many are the afflictions of the righteous…” (ESV) God gave his creation free will; we have the free will to love or to hate, to do good or to do evil. We are not robots! This is the reason why in this life we will all suffer in one way or another; it is unescapable. However, suffering is not the devil’s ultimate goal for humanity. To complete his job, the devil wants us to become bitter. He knows how damaging the root of bitterness is. Hebrews 12:15 tells us,

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. (ESV)

The word bitterness is the Greek word, pikría “…denotes extreme wickedness, highly offensive to God and all good men, likely to be hurtful and destructive to others… A “root of bitterness” in Heb. 12:15 means a wicked person whose life and behavior is now offensive to God and obnoxious to men (cf. Deut. 29:17; 32:32; Rev. 8:11). Bitterness in the sense of bitter anger (Eph. 4:31; Sept.: Jer. 15:17)”.[1] By this definition we learned that Bitterness is: 1) highly offensive to God, 2) highly offensive to moral people, 3) it is hurtful and destructive to others, 4) obnoxious to men and 5) an expression of anger.

Job was face with choosing one of these two paths; some may say he was justified to embrace bitterness. After all, he was a righteous man. We can argue that he did not deserve such treatment. Even his own wife told him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). After everybody spoke God took just a couple of chapters to put things under divine and eternal prospective. When God finished Job showed us the path that we all should take when he states, 

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
    but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself,
    and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6 (ESV)

Beloved, did you see that? Job said that he knew God because he heard about Him. However, on the other side of his suffering he now was able to see God. His relationship with God got closer. Noticed that in verse six his attitude changed, and he developed an attitude of humility before the Lord. On the other side of suffering don’t allow bitterness to develop in your soul, like Job, get closer… God will never leave nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)

[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

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