Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

bible Archive



April 2024

Essential to living

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." (John 6:35) | read more on hopereflected.com

Bread has been around since ancient times and is one of the most basic and fundamental food staples. It’s an important—and enjoyable—food that can be used in versatile ways and that has many variations to accommodate people with all kinds of food allergies and sensitivities.

“Labour not for the meat which perisheth”

Readers of the last two columns are familiar with the miracle in which Jesus turned five barley loaves and two small fishes into a feast for five thousand people (with leftovers, no less!). Jesus had provided a feast that filled these poor, hungry people, and they wanted more.

The multitudes in the passage of John 6 were following Jesus, pursuing after Him with passion because of their own self-interest.

Jesus called them out on their self-serving seeking, saying, “Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” (John 6:26).

He exhorted them, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” (v. 27).

Seeking after Christ and feasting on His Word

Bread is of no use to us if we don’t make it or go to the store and buy it. Furthermore, bread is no use to us if we just leave it sitting in the bread drawer and we never eat it. It must, as Ellicott wrote in his Commentary for English Readers, be “appropriated and eaten.”

From this, we can draw a similar picture of our relationship with Christ. If we say that we believe in Him, then we should as effect seek after Him and feast on His Word.

What good is it if we claim Christian as our title but we have nothing to show for it?

Thank God, our salvation is not based on good works, but certainly we should have good works to demonstrate as a result of our salvation.

The bread of life

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (6:35).

The bread of life.

Jesus is essential to living.

He is not optional.

He is our only Hope, and of a surety, He is our greatest Hope.

He is the only way to Heaven.

As Matthew Henry wrote, “he is to the Soul what bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life. He is the Bread of God. Bread which the Father gives, which he has made to be the food of our souls.”

The bread of life must be part of our daily life

So many of us are guilty of indulging in a “fast-food” faith.

The bread of life must be a part of our daily life. To be nourished by The Word requires us to dedicate and spend time in His Word. Just as basic hunger and thirst reminds us to feed our physical bodies and stay hydrated, when we find our souls hungry and thirsty, it should serve as a reminder that we must come to Him and we must believe on Him.

Originally published as “Essential to living.” Independent Plus. September 29, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



June 2021

Sword of the spirit

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

In Ephesians 6, Christians are instructed to “take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” (v. 13). We are not able to just throw on body armour and march into battle. In Biblical times, armour would have been first fitted and tried by whoever was wearing it into battle. A great example of this was David, who before fighting Goliath was dressed with Saul’s armour. David took off the armour because he wasn’t accustomed to wearing it. He was more comfortable going to battle wearing his own shepherd’s dress and carrying his own staff rather than a sword.

we are instructed to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (v. 17). Just as swordsmanship is not learned in a single lesson, so the Word of God is not understood with merely one reading. See more at hopereflected.com

Meant to be read

Further in Ephesians 6, we are instructed to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (v. 17). Just as swordsmanship is not learned in a single lesson, so the Word of God is not understood with merely one reading. The Bible, is meant to be read, re-read, and read through again.

We are halfway through the “new year”, and many have already given up on whatever resolutions they may have started on January 1. Is daily devotional time one of these resolutions? Are we guilty of “giving up” on our reading because we find the reading too difficult, or we procrastinate for other activities that we deem more desirable? David wrote in Psalm 119 that he had “hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (v. 11). To hide God’s Word in our hearts requires us to know and to memorize it, and we cannot know and memorize Scripture unless we are reading and hearing it consistently. If I didn’t have a physical copy of the Bible, how many verses would I be able to recall to mind? The Bible is filled with encouraging promises and truths that are worth remembering, and it’s a comfort to remind ourselves of these when we’re in situations where we don’t have the Bible near at hand.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105). See more at hopereflected.com

Consistently search the Scriptures

Further in Psalm 119, David wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (v. 105). Unlike the bright LED flashlights of today, lamps in Biblical times required lighting by flame. People weren’t able to make an entire journey by lighting a lamp once. Candles would need to be replaced, flames would need to be rekindled. So it is with the Bible. We can’t just read it once and expect that God’s Word will guide us through life. We need to consistently search the Scriptures to find wisdom, to understand how we should properly respond to life’s trials and troubles.

A.W. Tozer said, “we must allow the Word of God to correct us the same way we allow it to encourage us.” Read more at hopereflected.com

Beyond encouragement, we ought to look to God’s Word to teach us as well. A.W. Tozer said, “we must allow the Word of God to correct us the same way we allow it to encourage us.” Not only does the Bible encourage us, it’s breathed out by God to teach, reprove, and train us as well (2 Tim. 3:16-17). “Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

Originally published as “Sword of the Spirit.” Independent Plus. January 28, 2021: 5. Print. Web.



October 2019

The Infallible Word of God

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"The grass withereth, and the flower fadeth away, but the Word of our God shall stand for ever." (Isaiah 40:8) | Read more about the Infallible Word of God on hopereflected.com

Is God’s Word infallible?

Yes! Is God’s Word truly inerrant? Yes! Is the Bible really relevant in this “advanced” world in which we live? Yes! It’s paramount that we have a solid understanding of Scripture, as our understanding of the Bible will directly affect our world view. “Order my steps in thy word,” wrote the Psalmist in Psalm 119:133, “and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”

One of the ways we can be sure of the infallible Word of God is through fulfilled prophecy. “I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.” (Isaiah 48:3) Many people don’t realize that when the Bible was written, 27% of the Bible was prophetic (it hadn’t yet come to pass).[1] In Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin, and He was. In Micah 5:2, Micah prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, and He was. There are even specific prophecies in Zechariah 9:9 and 11:12-13 that Jesus would ride on a colt into Jerusalem and be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver.

These are just a few examples of prophecies fulfilled concerning our Lord. There are many others, and about additional historical events as well.

God’s Word endures

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8) It doesn’t get much more clear than that. The earth may pass away, but God’s Word will endure (hey, that’s also prophetic). Generation after generation, century after century, God’s Word still stands, and it still proves itself relevant today. The Bible is the best-selling non-fiction book of all time[2], with estimates of more than 5 billion sold. Over no other book have so many people given their lives and been willing to die.

Furthermore, countries were even founded on Biblical principles. The “Dominion” in the name “Dominion of Canada” and the Latin “A mari usque ad mare” (translated “From sea to sea”) on Canada’s coat of arms, are direct references to Psalm 72:8. The Declaration of the United States of America directly addresses God as Creator.

God’s Word stands fast and it will for ever (Psalm 11:8).

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) As Tozer once said, “God’s words are not for me to edit and tinker with, but to believe and obey.”

You can read more about the importance of spending time in God’s Word here.

[1] Bingham, Nathan W. “Fulfilled Prophecy Demonstrates the Divine Inspiration of Scripture.” Ligonier Ministries, 29 June 2016, https://www.ligonier.org/blog/fulfilled-prophecy-demonstrates-divine-inspiration-scripture/

[2] “Best-selling book of non-fiction.” Guiness World Records, https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction/

Originally published as “The Infallible Word of God.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. August 1, 2019: 6. Print. Web.



January 2018

Wednesday Wisdom | Make it a habit to hide God’s Word in your heart

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"Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." (Psalm 119:11) Make it a habit to hide God's Word in your heart | Read more at hopereflected.com

Wednesday Wisdom: Make it a habit to hide God’s Word in your heart

You’ve likely heard the saying, “What goes in must come out” or “garbage in, garbage out”. What’s in your heart will show in your life. Do you have low self confidence? You’ll likely seek out others who are the same and who try to put you down to build themselves up. Is there bitterness in your heart? You and those around you can probably taste it in your words. Is there love in your heart? You’ll give that to others in the way that you treat them.

What’s in your heart will show in your life. That’s why it’s important to fill your heart with God’s truth, wisdom, love, and peace!

The book of Psalms is filled with wisdom, and Psalm 119 — in addition to being the longest chapter in the Bible — is filled with the insight of a person who despite living through a world of difficulties, finds joy and “delight” in following the Lord.

Psalm 119:11 says, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

A practical way to follow the Lord is to commit His Word (the Bible) to memory. I’m not suggesting you memorize the entire Bible (though some have!), I’m suggesting you start simple and memorize some of the verses that have impacted your life.

What Bible verses encourage you? What Bible verses comfort you? What Bible verses remind you what is right? Start with the Bible verses that speak the most to you, and commit them to memory, one at a time.

Maybe you’ll memorize one verse a week. Maybe you’ll memorize one verse a month. A great way to start is to write a couple of verses down on a sticky note, or an index card. Post it on your computer screen, or carry it in your purse. Make it a habit to hide God’s Word in your heart. After all, what’s in your heart will show in your life.

What is a favourite Bible verse that you’ve memorized?



September 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Invest in something that contributes to your growth

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Wednesday Wisdom

Invest in something that contributes to your growth. God's Word is a great place to start! | See more at hopereflected.com

Invest in something that contributes to your growth.

Ever find yourself talking or thinking negatively about your own body? Or spending time with people who are less than encouraging? Reading or watching things that aren’t uplifting or edifying?

We need to stop pouring energy into things that defeat our spirit, and start spending time investing in things that contribute to our growth.

A great place to start investing is in God’s Word. We often take for granted the treasures found within the Bible! Take a look at God’s will for your life by taking the time to dig into God’s Word!

Here are three incredible ways that God uses the Bible to help us grow:

  • The Bible will teach you: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Encouraging, edifying, and filled with wisdom, God’s Word is given to teach us. You can’t grow if you don’t learn, so why not spend some time equipping yourself for God’s will in your life?
  • The Bible will give you peace: Jesus told the disciples in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” There is no peace like the peace that God provides. In Philippians 4:7 we’re reminded that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
  • The Bible will encourage you: Keep in mind Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Do not be discouraged! Encouragement is the opposite of discouragement, and throughout God’s Word, we are commanded to encourage one another: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) One way that the Bible will encourage you is through the testimony of other Christians who’ve gone on before you! Consider the earthly ministries of Ruth, David, Moses, Noah, Esther, Naomi, and countless others! The Bible is filled with the testimonies of other real life Believers who have gone through this life before us. We can read about their challenges, their triumphs, and ultimately be encouraged by their lives.

Invest in something that contributes to your growth. The Bible is a great place to start!



May 2017

Hope Reflected | Timeliness

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

timeliness God's timing


If you garden, you know that during the early days of Spring, it can prove a challenge to know the right timing for tasks that need to be completed. This year, I questioned the right time to trim back the rose bushes. Wes wondered about the ideal time to re-seed the lawn. Together, we’re still debating where several annuals should be planted throughout the garden. Timing is everything.

The timing you’re struggling with may not be related to gardening; maybe you’re waiting to hear back about that job application, or perhaps you’re waiting and wondering why you’re single when it seems as though all your friends are getting married and starting a family, or maybe you’re questioning the inconvenience of a recent health challenge.

Timing is everything.

  1. There is a time for everything. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Chances are that even if you haven’t read the book of Ecclesiastes, you’ve likely heard the famous song by The Byrds called, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” where we hear that, “To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn),” and it’s true. There is a season and a time for everything. Happiness. Sadness. Love. Heartache. Health. Sickness. Life. Death. The important thing to remember is that God is in control, and it’s God Who has a perfect timing for everything.
  2. Sometimes (OK most of the time), our timing is not the best. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) Have you ever been held up in a traffic jam, feeling frustrated that you’re going to be late? Or have you ever hesitated to make a decision, only to make your choice and find out that the house is off the market/tickets are sold out/position has been filled? We think we’ve got it all together, and we’ve got everything planned out perfectly (according to us) in our minds, however the reality often is that God’s timing is not our timing (and written from experience, God’s timing is ALWAYS the best).
  3. Ultimately, our timing is in God’s hands. “My times are in your hand.” (Psalm 31:15a) Whether or not you’re a Christian, God is in control. God is omniscient (read: He knows everything), and He makes no mistakes. That can be a hard truth to accept, especially when things aren’t going the way I want them to. Frequently, I have to catch myself when things aren’t going my way, and remind myself that God’s timing is greater than anything I could ever imagine. Jesus Himself said in John 13:7, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
  4. We can trust in God’s timing. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Trust can be difficult, especially if you’ve been hurt before, however when you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, He will never let you down. “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:25-26)

God’s timing is perfect. You may think you know the right time for everything, but remember what Elisabeth Elliot said: “God never denies us our heart’s desire except to give us something better.” If you’re questioning the timing of something in your life, keep in mind that God frequently answers our prayers in one of three ways: With a “yes”, with a “not yet”, or with “I have something better in mind.”


Originally published as “Timeliness.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. April 27, 2017: 7. Print. Web.



May 2017



May 2017

Hope Reflected | 5 Reasons You Should Read the Bible

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5 reasons to read the Bible Hope Reflected

5 reasons you should read the Bible

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was to read my Bible everyday. Even if it was only a Psalm or Proverb, picking up God’s Word each day is just as important as eating. In fact, the Bible is food for the spirit. Without it, our spirits will starve. Just as you wouldn’t go driving off across the country without your GPS (or map if you’re old-school), neither should you start each day without first feeding from the Bible. The Bible is a compass for our spirits and nourishment for our souls.

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” You may think the Bible’s not for you, or it’s not relevant for where you’re at in life or what you’re going through. On the contrary! More than any self-help book or how-to guide, the Bible is factually, historically, and scientifically correct and without error. If you’re wondering what the Bible could possibly do to help you, check this out:

  1. The Bible provides practical answers to life’s questions. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all men liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) Where do I turn when my heart is broken? Check out Psalm 34:18. What should I do when someone has hurt me? Read Matthew 6:14-15. Why does it seem like nothing I do is ever good enough? See Galatians 6:9. Where can I go to get help for my marriage? Head on over to Ephesians 5:22-33. What should I do when I’m worried? Read Philippians 4:6. I could go on. God’s Word is the place where you’ll find all the answers that you need.
  2. The Bible provides strength and encouragement. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.” (Isaiah 40:29) Strength is mentioned more than 360 times throughout the Bible. King David relied on God’s Word for strength throughout his life, and even said as much in Psalm 119:28: “My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.” If you’re looking for strength and encouragement, the Bible is filled with amazing truths that will strengthen and encourage you. A great place to start is in the book of Psalms or Proverbs.
  3. The Bible provides proper perspective, clarity, and focus. “The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130) In some versions the word entrance is defined as unfolding; when you take the time to unfold and open God’s Word, He’ll provide you with proper clarity and focus. Reading the Bible is a great way to reflect, and the Bible provides you with the proper focus. Getting into God’s Word as the start to your day will put your mind in the right place to face the issues of the day; getting into God’s Word before you go to bed at night will clear your mind and help you sleep.
  4. The Bible provides instruction and correction. “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him rest from the days of adversity.” (Psalm 94:12) If you’re looking for a guide for your moral compass, the Bible is it. God’s Word provides instruction and guidelines on every topic, from child-rearing and best business practices to managing your finances and maintaining healthy relationships. The Bible also provides correction – be prepared when you read the Bible that it’s not for the faint of heart (see Proverbs 15:32). The Bible tells the truth, and calls wrong wrong and right right.
  5. The Bible provides the truth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:1-5) There is no other “holy” book out there that contains the scientifically or historically accurate facts that the Bible does. Don’t believe it? Look at the scientific calculations in the Bible, review the detailed prophecies shared in the Bible, and check the historical accounts that the Bible details. All the details are accurate. The Bible is truth.

In essence, the Bible is God’s love letter to you and I. It shares of this world being created, how you and I came to be, and how God sent His only Son to die on the cross to save you and I from our sins. Whether you like it or not, you and I are the clay; He is the potter (Isaiah 64:8). When you take the time to get into God’s Word, He’ll speak to you through it. Don’t take my word for it; read the Bible for yourself! “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Originally published as “5 reasons you should read the Bible.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. March 23, 2017: 8. Print.



March 2017

Hope Reflected | The power of the tongue

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power of the tongue james 3:8

The power of the tongue

One thing that we all have in common is that at some point or another, each one of us, – inevitably, – is going to say something we don’t mean. You may make a comment in the middle of an argument, or maybe it will be something you say behind someone’s back, or perhaps you’ll speak words to someone that just don’t come out right. Or, as Wes experienced this past week, you may say something about a complete stranger that you instantly regret. The tongue. At some point in each one of our lives, our tongues are going to hurt someone else and cause us trouble.

The problem with the tongue is that once you say something, you can’t take it back. James 3:5 tells us, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” We all need to learn how to guard our tongues and watch our mouths.

There’s the old saying that goes, “God gave us mouths that close and ears that don’t so that should tell us something.” It’s so true, isn’t it? How often we speak words in haste when really we should be just as quick to listen. I write that quickly, like it’s no big deal and easy to do, when the reality is more often than not quite different. I struggle at least a couple of times a day to listen when everything in me wants to interrupt. It’s like, sometimes when someone else is speaking and telling me something, the time I should be spending listening to them, I’m actually formulating my response to them in my head. That’s not right. We are called to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” (James 1:19) Don’t underestimate the power of the tongue.

  1. Once you say it, you can’t take it back. “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.” (Proverbs 12:18) Like the toothpaste leaving the tube analogy, once you speak words, you can’t “un-speak” them. That’s why it’s so important to consider our words before saying them aloud.
  2. Actions speak louder than words. “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) There’s the saying that goes, “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” The way you live is just – or more – important than the words you speak. There is no such thing as a part-time Christian. Living a life that is pleasing to God happens every day of the week, every where, – whether you’re in the barn or in the office, – authentic Christian living does not just happen on Sundays while you’re in church.
  3. Take a step back; give it some time. “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” (Proverbs 13:3) If you’re anything like me, sometimes you just need to take a step back before you react. I’ve learned the hard way – and learned several times, actually – that in the heat of the moment is the wrong time to hit the ‘send’ button on that reactive email or to say something out of spite. Usually, the best practice is just to sleep on it. Give yourself some time to cool off before you answer anyone in a heated tone. “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace.” (Proverbs 17:28)
  4. It’s never too late to apologize and ask forgiveness. “’Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘Return to Me with all your heart.” (Joel 2:12) In earthly terms, words can be forgiven but not forgotten. But God, when we truly repent, He forgives and God has the ability to wash our slate clean and make us white as snow. If we’re truly reflecting a life lived for Him, we’ll seek forgiveness to those we’ve wronged through our words (and our actions). It’s never too late to seek forgiveness, and you might be surprised how well received a sincere apology will be.

Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” James 3:7-8 shares that “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue.” It may be small, but the tongue is a mighty weapon. May each of our words speak love and truth.


Originally published as “The power of the tongue.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. March 9, 2017: 8. Print.



March 2017

Hope Reflected | Bitterness

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work




Cain and Abel. Saul and David. Hillary and Donald (OK maybe not so much the latter as Hillary did handle herself gracefully after Donald won the election). Bitterness. It dates back as early as the book of Genesis, and it’s still consuming people to this very day.

Just saying the word sounds sharp. Bitterness blinds, blocks, hurts, and steals. Like its cousin comparison, bitterness is a thief. If you let it creep in, bitterness will steal your joy. You may think you’re above being bitter, but guess what? You’re not. Who can blame you? That person last week who gave you a back-handed compliment, you’re right! It was rude and it wasn’t fair. That person who purposefully tried to sabotage you and throw you under the bus? Of course you feel completely justified in not speaking to them. Bitterness. It’s the antithesis of sweetness.

Last week when I came home ranting and raving about some rude comments that someone made, Wes (almost always the voice of reason) reminded me that while others may speak out of spite or selfishness, as Christians we’re called to be careful about our reactions. While it may be tempting for me to get upset, or to carry hard feelings, ultimately the only person that it’s going to hurt, is me.

Here’s what I know about bitterness:

  1. Bitterness makes you lonely.
  2. Bitterness hurts other people.
  3. Bitterness hurts you more than it hurts other people.
  4. Bitterness blinds your eyes to beauty.
  5. Bitterness bars your soul from love.

When it’s put like that, bitterness kind of loses its attractiveness, doesn’t it? So when we’re feeling wronged or like someone’s hurt us, or like the situation we’re in just won’t get better, what should we do instead of becoming bitter?


  1. Pray about it. “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25) Is it another person or a certain situation that’s caused you to feel bitter? Pray about it! Take it to the Lord and pray for the person who hurt you, and pray for the situation of which you’re in the middle. Pray that God will help you forgive and move forward.
  2. Put your faith and hope in God and trust His power. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) No matter who hurt you, and no matter how huge that situation you’re in may seem, God is bigger. Seriously. He made the sun, moon and stars. He is the One Who knows every grain of sand and every bird of the sky. He created you. Though you may not know it – or think it – He’s got a reason for everything (Isaiah 55: 8-9).
  3. Focus on the good – and right – things. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32) Don’t let your mind go where it shouldn’t. Is it easy? Not always! Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to focus on the negative, but harbouring bitterness will only hurt you. When you catch yourself focusing on the negative, bring it back and focus on the good.
  4. Let go, and let God. “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-21) Only the Lord can free you from your bitterness, so it’s only by seeking Him that you will ever be free from your bitterness.

Don’t get bitter; give it to God and get better. As Dave Willis says, “Bitterness and love can’t live together in the same heart. Each day, we must decide which one gets to stay.”

Originally published as “Bitterness.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. March 2, 2017: 8. Print.