Better, Not Bitter

Michael Beck

“The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.” (Proverbs 14:10)

Each individual heart knows its own bitterness and its own joy. We may know something similar, but every person’s experience is uniquely personal and felt only by them.

No one is exempt from pain and no one is precluded from pleasure in this world. But pain or pleasure becomes unduly amplified when we take too obsessive an interest in either of them.

We can become addicted to self-pity as easily as we become addicted to any cup of pleasure. Comparing our lot to that of another only increases our sorrow. We think: they have been given more; we have been given less. They have received privileges and been afforded opportunities we have been denied. The sweet has been withheld from us, and the bitter has filled our cup.

But despite how bitter our cup has been, we don’t have to become bitter people. If we are hungry for God’s kingdom and righteousness, He will make every bitter thing sweet. (Prov. 27:7) He will not merely show us a silver lining in our cloud, but will make it the conduit of an abundance of rain and refreshing to our life; bringing great good out of great evil.

Yes, the world around us is often not as we hoped it would be, but through it all, if we will let God transform us, we can become better for our trouble, not bitter because of it.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.