GRC ONLINE DIGITAL CARE GROUP #19
Is there pain or bitterness in your past that’s weighing you down? Perhaps you were treated unfairly or disappointed by someone you trusted, and you’re struggling to move on. Or maybe you’re still beating yourself up over a mistake you made years ago.
In this session, our pastors and leaders share personal experiences and Biblical truths on how you can beat bitterness and live life conscious of God’s abundant grace and forgiveness. Don’t let offense take root and poison your heart, but allow God’s grace to set you free and live a full and abundant life!
You can participate in this digital care group session on your own or with your friends and family. Feel free to use this guide to follow the conversation with our pastors, use it for your time of study, or to facilitate more conversations with your community.
This session is based on the message:
- Joseph Prince—Encounter True Grace And Experience Success (Aug 7, 2022) [Sermon Notes]
1. Don't let bitterness consume you
God’s heart for you is one of freedom and joy. He doesn’t want you to be weighed down and consumed by bitterness.
While it’s important to acknowledge your hurt, you don’t have to let it define you. God’s grace enables you to rise above bitterness and focus on something higher. You may not be able to stop difficult situations from happening, nor can you control the words, deeds, and actions of others, but through the grace of God, you can choose how you respond to them, and be able to move on from moments of hurt with a fresh perspective.
2. The cure for bitterness
“who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
— 1 Peter 2:23–24
Jesus experienced the greatest injustice on the cross. He understood what it was like to be wrongly accused, condemned, and reviled. Yet, in the face of this unfairness, He did not retaliate. He endured the cross so that you might be made the righteousness of God in Him and live the abundant life that He came to give you (John 10:10).
Jesus did all that even while we were sinners (Rom. 5:8–9). Before you even knew Him, when you were still in sin, He already loved you. There was nothing you did that could deserve His forgiveness and love. Knowing how much you are loved and forgiven gives you the power to overcome bitterness.
3. The power of forgiveness
Forgiveness is not about simply ignoring or dismissing a wrong that was done to you. As children of God, we do not forgive simply because it is expected of us, but because we ourselves have been forgiven by God.
I know that the path to forgiveness is not always an easy one. Maybe you’re in a season of hurt, or perhaps you’re still living with the consequences of someone’s else actions, and forgiveness is the furthest thing from your mind.
The Lord understands your pain and He wants to help you gently release that bitterness. You don’t have to force yourself to forgive. Before you can even learn to let go of our hurt, you have to first lean in the Lord’s love and grace, and receive of His undeserved favor towards you.
When you receive and understand the extent of God’s forgiveness, it gives you the strength, supply and revelation to extend that same forgiveness to others. With a fresh revelation of God’s infinite love and relentless grace toward you, you can begin to live a life free from bitterness and anchored on what Christ has done for you on the cross!
4. Own the Word
OWN THE WORD
Set your mind on God's Word
In this care group, Pastor Darren used a powerful metaphor to help us understand that we can’t overcome bitterness alone. While our best efforts can bring temporary relief, only God’s Word can bring true restoration and complete healing.
The apostle Paul tells us, “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ” (Phil. 4:8)
Instead of dwelling on past hurts, set your mind on what God’s Word says. Here are some verses you can meditate on:
- When you feel discouraged: 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17
- When you feel let down and hurt: 1 Corinthians 10:13 MSG
- When you feel weary and weighed down: Matthew 11:28–30
- When you feel like giving up: Psalm 34:18
Take some time to read and muse on these beautiful promises found in the Word, and allow the cleansing and healing power of His Word to flush out every hurt and bitterness.
You are made to be planted in the Father’s house and strengthened in community. If you’re struggling to let go of bitterness, know that you don’t have to do it alone. Head over to the Lobby and receive support from others in our community who can stand in faith with you.
Questions about this topic
- I’m struggling with the idea of forgiving someone who has caused me significant losses (e.g., financial, emotional, and health). Is it possible to move forward despite all that I have lost?
Dealing with a betrayal and loss can be incredibly challenging but we find comfort in knowing that our God is a God of restoration, and He is most able and willing to restore whatever you have lost.
If you feel you have been robbed—of good health, of experiencing wholeness in your relationships, of opportunities in your workplace or career, know and believe that your loving Savior’s heart for you is to restore to you much more than you have lost. Believe that He can and will make you a gainer because of that loss.
If you find it difficult to forgive the person, bring Jesus into the situation. Instead of trying to will yourself to forgive them, look to the cross and see how perfectly God has forgiven and loved you through the finished work of Jesus.
When you receive the revelation of how much He loves you and has forgiven you, being able to forgive that person will eventually come as a byproduct. The more you can let go of offenses against you, the less the enemy will be able to make inroads to attack your mind, heart, and body.
- I’m trying to let go of my hurts and forgive this person but they don’t seem interested in repairing the relationship. What should I do?
When it comes to matters of the heart, it can be so frustrating and discouraging when we can’t change how someone feels or responds. Nevertheless, when you invite Jesus into the situation, He can mend and heal what seems impossible to us. Jesus can heal the deep hurts in your heart that nobody else knows about, and to minister to your personal issues and fears.
As you entrust your relationship to God, know that whatever is important to you, is important to Him. He is already working behind the scenes to heal hurts and surround you with His unconditional love. You can take comfort in the Lord, knowing that He is working all things together for your good (Rom. 8:28) because He cares for you. We are standing in faith with you! We believe that if it is a relationship that is good for you, by His grace and wisdom, the Lord will bring breakthrough and healthy restoration in His time.
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