Grace to Stay Sweet

Michael Beck

“The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” (Prov. 27:7)

Life is not always sweet. Every human being will at some point have to face a bitter experience. Who has not been disappointed by the way certain things have turned out? The life we hoped and prayed for doesn’t always materialize.

Job certainly drank from a bitter cup. He said: “… I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” (Job 7:11) Naomi’s life was so hard that she wanted to change her name to “Mara” which means bitterness. “And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.” (Ruth 1:20) Each heart knows the unique taste of its own bitterness: “The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.” (Prov. 14:10)

We are at a crucial crossroad when life or people let us down. We can even perceive that God has failed us. Satan wanted Job to curse God. On the heels of unattended bitterness of soul comes cursing. “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness” (Rom. 3:14) Just as bitter water flows out of a bitter fountain, bitter words proceed from an embittered heart. (James 3:8-11) We can become sour and nasty toward a person or a whole group of people when we are offended. Anger and hatred and evil-speaking all grow in the fertile ground of bitterness.

Many are called “sweetheart,” few are. “Staying sweet” is not something that comes natural to us. To maintain a “sweet heart” we need constant care from the supernatural grace of God. We desperately need God’s all sufficient grace to preserve our soul when bitterness would want to take root. This is something we diligently must seek. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Heb. 12:15) We need the rescuing of God from an embittered heart. The Lord alone can take all that was meant for evil and bring good out of it if we are hungering after His righteousness.

Who will we let spread a table before us? Will we let the enemy of our soul take advantage of the painful experiences in our life to make us bitter and hateful? Or will we let the Lord lead us in paths of righteousness? Will goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life, because we have chosen to walk in God’s goodness and mercy toward all men? “With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful …” (Psalm 18:25)

Let us bless the Lord at all times – in the good times and in the bad, when He comes through for us, and when it seems like He hasn’t. And while we are staying a sweet fountain before God, let us bless men as well, even when they have done us wrong. A heart undefiled by bitterness is one of God’s greatest blessings! Keep sweet, even when life is not.

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.