Barrier of Bitterness
Hello everyone and thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Roderick caesar the third on the lead pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york. And I’m so excited that you decided to join me for the full Gospel hour. Right here on Global seven. My prayers that you will be blessed. You’ll be encouraged and inspired by this message. Thank you so much for joining and God bless. And so today I want us to look at the barrier of bitterness. The barrier of bitterness. If you have your bibles turn with me to the book of Ruth chapter one verses 19 through 22 or follow along With the Screen Ruth chapter one versus 19 3 22 and the text reads. So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the woman said, is this Naomi? And she said to them, do not call me Naomi, call me mara. For the Lord Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? When the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me, so Naomi returned and ruth the mo a bite her daughter in law with her who returned from the country of moab and they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the Barley harvest. Dear God, I thank you so much for this time. I thank you for your word. I thank you for your people. I pray Lord that as this word goes forth that you would be glorified that you or your name would be lifted High father. That you would help us Lord not to be bitter about the things that have unfolded in this year, about the difficulties that have come up in this year. Help us too. I love you. Help us to trust you, Help us to obey you, Help us to follow you and all these things. We thank you. We give you praise, honor and glory. We ask these things in jesus name. Amen Amen Amen at the opening of the Book of ruth. The very first verse gives us some context, some background and the author writes that he says in the days when Judges ruled there was a famine in the land and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of moab, he his wife and his two sons. If you remember when we’re talking about uh I surrender the I surrender series, A lot of those text took place in the in the Book of Judges Where we looked at Gideon and Gideon’s life and Gideon’s choices and all of these things. Gideon is in the book of judges and in the book of Judges. What we realize which takes place is that there is no king in Israel. One of the common themes throughout the book is there is no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes. And so this text gives us a glimpse gives us a bit of a of a dive into the life of a specific of specific individuals in this text, specific individuals uh that are excuse me in the book of No, not in the book of Judges, but they’re alive during the time of Judges. And so what we see in there in in their lives is that there’s a famine in the land because of the sin of the people. God would send judgment upon them. God would send send nations to oppress them. Or sometimes there would be famines that come along in the land. And we see now there’s a famine in the land and a man of Bethlehem of Judah went to sojourn to the country of moab. Now the more bites and and the more bites was a different culture, a different custom. Uh and there were one that were not people of God. The country of the place of moab was not a place where the people of God would dwell. It was completely different from Judah. But this man from Bethlehem which means house of bread, now leaves this house of bread and goes to this place called moab. It’s ironic because Bethlehem means house of bread but yet there’s a famine yet there’s a famine where there should be a place of plenty because they’re walking in opposition toward the things of God opposition to what God actually wants to do. So the blessing that he wants to give them, he now has to withhold. And so now they leave from Bethlehem from the place that where they should be nourished, where they should be receiving the utmost and they leave and go to moab a backwards place, a place that does not adhere to the things of God. And so what what we see here is uh this man Elimelech, that’s his name. Yes, it’s a tongue tongue twister. Say that five times fast. Right, Elimelech, Naomi and their two sons moved from Bethlehem to Moab. This man is trying to provide for his family. He’s trying to make ends meet. He’s trying to find a place where there is a food and sustenance to feed his wife to feed his sons. And so they take their sons, they leave, they go to moab Bethlehem, the house of bread runs out and it’s now a famine. And now what they leave, they go to moab. They lived there for some time in the midst of their time living there, Elimelech dies, he dies. And so now Naomi is a single mother in a foreign land raising two sons by herself and now these sons grow up and they marry foreign or mow a bite women, they marry the women that they have seen growing up or PPA and ruth and no doubt to Naomi as a jewish woman, one that knows the laws of of the Lord that were passed down, uh, marrying outside of uh, marrying for a man to marry someone that was not an Israelite that was frowned upon. But in this time, his their sons grow up. They marry these more bite women. And Naomi says, all right, You know, it is what it is at this point. But 10 years go by. And in the midst of that time, Naomi’s two sons die. So she leaves. Bethlehem goes to moab, her husband dies. Years pass. Her sons grow up, they get married and years passed. And now those two sons die. And now Naomi says, you know what? There’s nothing for me here. My sons are gone as a woman who in this, uh, this culture, this custom this time there was no, I’m an independent woman. I can do better by myself. No, no, no, no, no. That’s how we think now. That was not the culture and custom back then. So her husband is dead. Her covering and protection is dead now. Her two sons who then became her covering and became her protection is our now deceased. And she says, there’s nothing for me here. I can’t stay here alone. So he talks, she talks to her daughters in law and says, listen, I’m leaving. I’m going back to Bethlehem. I’m getting out of here. You guys stay, you guys do what you gotta do, live your best lives. Goodbye. I’m getting out of here. I’m leaving. She tells them to turn back and to leave her, I’m leaving. Don’t come with me or papa says, all right, no problem, I’m out of here. I’ll see you. It’s been great knowing you. God bless on your journey. Farewell. Deuces ruth, on the other hand, stays. But she doesn’t just stay. She makes a commitment. She renounces her faith and makes a covenant with not only Naomi but Naomi’s God, and that brings us to the text. Now they’re on this journey, they’re walking back towards Bethlehem and they get back to Bethlehem and the two of them came and went on until they came to Bethlehem. They journeyed on together and when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred up because of them. And the woman said, is this Naomi, the whole town was stirred up because of them. I’m thinking that when they left, perhaps Naomi was uh or Elimelech was someone that was well known in the town. And Naomi was someone of prominence or status in the town. And so for them to come back, it’s not like uh, oh cool, Naomi’s back. No big deal. But it’s like wait a wait a minute, stop everything, hold up. Did you hear Naomi’s back, Yeah, Naomi’s back. Naomi’s back and they begin to whisper and murmur and perhaps she had a prominent role before before they before they left And the woman of the town say, is this Naomi perhaps the same women that if we can bring it to contemporary times they used to take their kids to the park together. They used to maybe go to the nail salon together, go to the hair, the hair salon together. Uh They used to shop for groceries together or the women that were prominent in her life in that day and age in that time. Now see her coming back and say wait a minute. This isn’t that Naomi isn’t that Naomi now think about this from Naomi standpoint for a moment. Let’s just think about this from Naomi standpoint. She says do not call me Naomi call me mara for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me I went away full but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? When the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought this calamity upon me. Now Naomi means pleasant and mara means bitter And now Naomi says this she says don’t call me pleasant, don’t call me Naomi because God has dealt bitterly with me. Imagine with me Naomi’s thought process, she leaves Bethlehem to go to moab follows her. Her husband takes her kids. They go as a family. She says when things clear up in Bethlehem I’m gonna come back, I’m gonna come back and when I do come back my sons will have their their wives, my husband will be by my side. The man that let us out of this famine and gave us bountiful food in moab, we ate of the plenty of the food that was in moab we had some good good work out there. We got some things accomplished out there. My my my sons have grown into some handsome strapping young men. They’ve married some beautiful uh wonderful hard working women. And now we’re going to come back to Bethlehem and everyone will say, oh wow, look at Naomi, look at what she’s done. Look at how her life has turned around. Look at how, how things have have have worked in her favor. Look at how great her family structure is. Look at her young men, they’re hard workers, They have wonderful wives and and beautiful families and and look at her husband who who did this wonderful job of blazing this trail uh for for the family and and providing and putting them in a great situation. Look at Naomi perhaps that was the expectation. But the reality was something very different because her husband is dead. The reality is something very different because both of her sons are dead. The reality is very different because she doesn’t just come back by herself grieving. She comes back with a more bite woman. And I think for us, if we’re honest with ourselves, many of us felt that way a little bit this year or maybe feel that way still today. If you look at the expectation that you had for 2020 vs the reality that 2020 actually gave. and if you’re not careful, you can walk into bitterness, you can let some disappointments fester For me. If we were to make a list of expectation reality, okay Rod, you’re gonna, you’re gonna really sit down, you’re gonna crank out this book, you’ve been working on, you’re gonna, you’re gonna, you’re gonna get it done. This is the year we’re going to make it happen. All right, your, your daughter, you know, Seal is going to be in kindergarten now. So you’re gonna walk into to the steps of the first day of school, it’s gonna be great to take those first day picture. It’s gonna be wonderful. Oh, you have this planned out for your anniversary. It’s gonna be great. You’re gonna have this planned out, you’re gonna go here, you’re going to do this, you have these holiday plans, you’re gonna leave and you’re gonna go out of state to do this and do that. We have great plans for the church. We just started off the top of 2020 strong. We’re going to move forward. We’re going to eliminate debt. We’re going to be strategic about releasing ourselves from the chains that have been over us. We just, uh, we’re really transparent about some of the financial situations we’ve been in, we’re gonna make some strides and move forward, we’re gonna, you know, do some a lot more local missions, we’re gonna hit the highways and hedges and do all of these things and then you hear about Covid coming, you pray and for me, my prayer was okay God, like like moses with the door post and the angel uh sprinkling the lamb over the door post and the problem in the passover, we’re gonna be fine. Nothing’s gonna touch this house in jesus name, that’s the expectation. But then we see the reality come to pass. We see what 2020 actually looks like and travel gets shut down. Anniversary plans canceled, right? And I was just the beginning of things. But then you realize, okay, the economy is, is going crazy. So you know, with some of these plans that we had in terms of fundraising and all of that we, we can’t be as forward as we would like to be because of the situation. We have to now adjust. And then you realize that you know, you have members that are getting sick and you say, okay, well this is, this is not how I wanted this thing to look. And then you have some members that actually pass away. You do funerals in the midst of a pandemic and you realize now your family is getting sick and it comes close to your doorstep and your wife gets sick and you have to keep your kids away from your wife and you have to manage all of these different things and you realize, okay, wait a minute, I can’t visit my family is frequently. I can’t go out of state to do this or that and everything that you thought would happen is the expect. The reality is so much different from what you expected. So much different from what you expected. And that’s just a glimpse into my reality into what took place. But for us, if we have to sit down and make a list, sit down and make a list of what we expected this year to look like versus what the reality of it could shake you up. You could say wait a minute, wait a minute. If we’re not careful, it could leave you frustrated. It could leave you going into being bitter. And if we look at Naomi situation, no doubt she expected something completely different. Then what she walked into Bethlehem with she left Bethlehem thinking maybe I’ll come back and this will happen, This will happen. This will happen. But then the reality of the heartbreak, the reality of the loss. And so she said, don’t call me Naomi anymore. Call me mara because God has dealt bitterly with me. I am now bitter. I am not pleasant. I am now bitter. I am not pleasant. And so she wants to be called mara. The text calls her Naomi. But she wants to be called mara because that’s how she sees herself. I am now bitter. The Lord sees me and is dealing with me in a bitter way. So that’s how I’m gonna be. I’m gonna walk out in this bitterness just let us know that we cannot let bitterness be our guide. It can’t be our GPS system. We can’t let our feelings have the final say because oftentimes they will say something or lead us in a way that’s contrary to the way things should be. What I find in life is that bitterness is it’s it’s like a healthy tree that you see beginning to a rot over time. It’s like a tree that starts off healthy but has termites or something or it just begins to rot over time and you begin to see the tree fall apart slowly but surely. And and the wood that was connected that that was on the tree that was once so firm is now easily penetrated barrier, bitterness is like a barrier that prevents you from accessing all that God has for you, bitterness is a bondage that limits you from being as productive as God wants you to be in the season of your life. If he’s in chapter four paul writes, let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor slander be put away from you along with malice, be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in christ, forgave you. The thing about forgiveness is it’s a barrier, but it’s it’s silent a lot of times. Others don’t realize that you’re holding it towards them and a lot of times if we don’t do the work. We don’t realize that we’re holding it towards someone. But it can come out in our comments. It can come out in our choices of what we say or how we interact or what we do or don’t do in our actions sometimes. And we have to be careful with bitterness, especially against the Lord. When things when our expectations don’t meet up with our reality Job. Chapter 40 of the Lord says to job shall fault. Finder contends with the Almighty. He who argues with God, let him answer it. Isaiah 55. Familiar passage for my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways. My ways declares the Lord as the heavens are higher than the earth. So are my ways higher than your ways. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Now. Ruth was persistent, It was persistent and as a result of her persistence we see Naomi shift from anger to action. We see Naomi shift from anger to action. Oftentimes if we’re honest with ourselves, we cannot get out of bitterness by ourselves. We cannot get out of bitterness by ourselves. And Ruth’s name was derived from the hebrew word for friend and it’s great that she stayed because a friend is exactly what Naomi needed in this season of life. Naomi told her to leave. Naomi told her to stay. Naomi told her said look don’t don’t stay. Leave. You have your best years are ahead of you. Stay. Stay. Stay. Excuse me. She said stay don’t come with me stay. Your best years are ahead of you stay. But Ruth’s response is do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you for wherever you go, I will go wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, Your God shall be my God where you die, I will die. And there I will be buried. May the Lord God do so to me. And more. Also if anything, but death separates me from you. I love verse 18 when they only saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. It’s like wow, that’s really tell me how you really feel. Ruth. You know it’s like when you die, I will die with you. We’re in this together. Let’s go. It was like I’ve got nothing to say come on, let’s go. But I want us to see the commitment that Ruth had to Naomi, it wasn’t just uh was my mother in law. Uh No, she she she tied herself to Naomi and said where you go, I go. Your God is my God, your people as my people. And I think that’s that’s a beautiful picture of what God does. Yes. The grace of extending someone from moab someone outside of the people of Israel and bringing this person into the fold into now being called the people of God. And it’s a beautiful thing. But because I believe that if Ruth did not go with Naomi, Naomi’s life would have looked drastically different. And sometimes we try to block the blessing because we think we know what’s best. Ruth was a blessing in Naomi’s life. But if Naomi had gotten her way because she was responding in sadness, if Naomi had gotten her way because she was responding in bitterness. If Naomi had gotten her way, because she was responding in Brokenness, then Ruth would not have come with Naomi and Naomi would have been miserable because she blocked the blessing that God had for her in ruth, she didn’t, she did not block the blessing. And as a result of that Ruth was able to come with her and things really begin to shift when we enter the second chapter of Ruth. Now, a lot of times we focus on in our culture where we we almost idolized a marriage or put marriage on a special pedestal, It is something that is wonderful and that God has a special place and purpose for. But in our, in our way of uh pushing marriage all the way to the forefront. Oftentimes we utilize this book and we say, oh, you know you’re gonna meet your bow as one day, just gonna be a lovely thing, you and your bo as right. But it’s about more than that there’s so much within this book, I’m just gonna summarize this really quickly. But what ends up happening is ruth catches the eye of boaz by following the instructions that Naomi gives her, she speaks to a a wiser woman, she submits herself to the authority and the advice of a woman who’s been down that road before and knows the culture and the custom. And she gets the guidance, not from her peer group but from someone that’s older wiser and able to give some instruction in that regard. And so Ruth catches the eye of boaz. And Naomi is strategic in becoming their matchmaker. Now, it’s a long story which talks about Israeli customs and uh kinsman redeemers and different phrases of of of purchasing and and come to people coming together during this time and during this culture, I’m not going to get into all of that. But what I want to focus and highlight in this point is that Ruth being present with Naomi gives Naomi purpose. Ruth being present with Naomi gives Naomi a reason, gives Naomi a drive, gives Naomi something to accomplish. And oftentimes we can grow bitter if there’s nothing to look forward to. Oftentimes we can grow bitter if there’s nothing uh that that that we have on the horizon, if there’s nothing that we have that we can roll our sleeves up and get to work. Oftentimes we’ve heard about stories where people work jobs for, you know, all their life, they’re working, working, working the same job, wonderful. They finally get to the age of retirement, they retire, moved down to florida and within three years they passed away. Why? Because they they’re just they’re going through the motions just day after day. But there’s nothing really to look forward to in terms of what’s driving them in terms of what’s keeping them in terms of what’s pushing them and what the beauty of ruth coming with. Naomi is, it gave her uh some type of purpose, something to connect herself with to be able to get things accomplished and get things done. And so in chapter three, what we end up seeing is a brand new Naomi a brand new Naomi. She goes from now being bitter to now being walking in strategy and and and what she, what she does is she, she orchestrates some things to really bring ruth and bring boaz together. And boaz is key in this story because he becomes a very, is a very important person in Naomi’s life and Ruth’s life and in Naomi in ruth and boaz coming together. This now gives Naomi a sense of of of of restoration God is now restoring her through this. And the text says in Ruth chapter four verse 13, Boaz took ruth and she became his wife and he went into her and the Lord gave her conception and she bore a son and then watch this shift. It’s it’s we started in chapter one with the woman saying, isn’t this, Naomi what’s going on with her. But now in chapter four near the end, the same woman say to Naomi blessed be the Lord who has not left you this day without a redeemer and may his name be renowned in Israel. He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourish er of your old age for your daughter in law who loves you? Who is more to you than seven sons has given birth to him. The Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse and the woman of the neighborhood gave him a name saying a son has been born to Naomi. They named him a bed and he was the father of jesse, the father of David. Now I want us to get this just because I heard it said like this uh heard a pastor say this uh just because God gives you back something and it’s amazing and incredible just because you reap something it doesn’t negate or it doesn’t automatically cancel out the grief for the thing that you lost. Just because God restores or gives you something new, it doesn’t automatically replace the thing that you you’ve been grieving about. But sometimes we have to continue to move forward. Even when uh we feel the pain of grief or even when we can we feel the sadness, we have to not rob ourselves of the potential for the joy and the new thing that God is doing because we’re still hung up on the being sad about what, what transpired or what took place or who is no longer here. Yes. We can grieve. Yes, we can mourn. But that’s not supposed to keep us frozen. I had a professor once that said uh that said that uh he was doing some counseling and some of the parents that he counseled. He went up to their room to the room of one of the daughters. This daughter had passed away and the room looked exactly how it was. When the daughter passed, they made no adjustments, they made no changes, They did nothing. And he said it wasn’t a room anymore. It was just a museum to someone who is no longer here. And a lot of times that’s how we can live our lives in terms of uh it’s stopping us from being able to truly move forward and truly make progress in life because we’re stuck and tied to the things of the past. And what I love about this text and what it shows us is I believe that it shows us that. Yes, Naomi had some difficulty. Yes. Naomi had some adversity. Yes. Naomi felt bitter. Yes. Naomi felt broken. Yes. Naomi was angry. Yes. She had so many difficult things and tragedy strike her life. But she didn’t let that stop her from moving forward. She didn’t let that stop her from saying you know what God is still good. Even in my difficulty even though I’m angry with him. Even though there’s pain in my life. I’m going to celebrate the new thing that God is doing. Even though yes, I still feel pain for the loss of my husband. Yes. I still feel pain for the loss of my sons. But God is doing something new and I can still celebrate that while still giving honor to to to to to those that I’ve lost. So celebrate and walk forward. And the new thing that God is doing and what I want us to see is the last verse. It says the women of the neighborhood, the same woman that we’re looking saying what’s going on with Naomi now they’re singing her praises. Now they come and they give this boy the son of ruth a name saying a son has been born to Naomi now in jewish culture. Yes, this is Ruth’s son. But because of the intricacy between boaz and Ruth and Naomi being related to boaz, it’s a lot of some complicated things that once again, I won’t iron out right now. But this is also seen as Naomi’s son at the same time in that lens in that way. And they named him a bed and he was the father to jesse who was the father of David. Yes. That David, you come at me with a sword and spear. I come at you in the name of the Lord of the God of Israel slingshot killed the giant grow up to be king. Yes. That David, that David king David who received the promise that through his line, the messiah jesus christ would come. That is such a testimony because we realize that jesus christ now comes through the line of Naomi who also uh made this connection, happened with ruth and boaz and ruth being a mobile woman who comes into the full but lets us know that God so loved the world that he gave his only son. God loved us all that he gave his only son. Not just the jewish people, not just the Israelite people, but you and gentile can be brought into the family of God. Now jesus christ is born into this line and Naomi realized like we can realize that all things work together for those who love him and are called according to his purpose. A couple points very quickly on how we can get rid of bitterness in our lives. The first is this do not hide it. Naomi was completely honest. She said do not call me Naomi call me mara. For the Lord has dealt bitterly with me. I’m bitter. I’m bitter. I’m bitter. I’m angry, we lie to ourselves. We put on a christian face, oh God is good all the time. All the time. God is good and that may be true but we don’t feel it. Maybe it’s true, but we don’t feel like it. That may be true. But we are hot and angry. That may be true, but we are disappointed because our expectations don’t meet our reality. That may be true. But Naomi says don’t call me Naomi I don’t want to hear that pleasant stuff. I am bitter. I am angry. God has dealt bitterly with me and we don’t like that. It’s not pretty. It’s not polished. It’s not sexy, it’s messy but it’s honest. It’s honest, it’s honest and it’s honest and you cannot heal what you don’t reveal right? We come to God with a mask on and we expect we expect healing. But what we have to understand is we can grieve. We can grieve. We can grieve. We can grieve and not be bitter. We can mourn and not be bitter. Grief is a natural process. Morning is a natural process. But bitterness is a choice. When we hold on to something. We have to understand that God is with us in our pain And God wants to hear about the pains that are on our heart. The bible is filled with people in the psalms. People in the prophets who are open and honest and transparent. God says, look, come, let us reason together though your sins are red as scarlet. I can make you white as Snow. David talks about his pain within the psalms about the difficulties that he’s going through and the trials that he’s been facing and it’s not pretty. It’s not polished. But it’s honest. And what we need to do is be honest. Before the Lord be transparent before the Lord say God I am bitter when you’re talking to someone, don’t just say, oh I’m fine, I’m doing well, you know God is you know God is keeping me, God is keeping me Yeah, but you’re going through and you’re angry and you’re bitter, if that’s how you feel, you can be open and honest with someone about it, don’t hide it, be open and be honest, secondly, do secondly, accept help. Don’t reject your blessing. Naomi almost rejected her blessing because she was bitter. Imagine if ruth had stayed, Naomi wouldn’t have anything to look forward to. The marriage between ruth and boaz wouldn’t have taken place. The line of of of jesus would have happened a different way if ruth stayed, Naomi would have missed her blessing and if you’re in bitterness oftentimes you’re stuck and you cannot move forward, you’re only seeing the offense being replayed again and again and again and again and there’s no possibility for what’s to come. We have to let go of bitterness and not let bitterness win. Do not dismiss help from others because bitterness can block your blessing. You focus only on your pain, bitterness is what had cain kill Abel bitterness is what had cain kill Abel they both put sacrifices before the Lord, but God said to cain look man, you know that’s subpar bro, come on, come on king. You know that’s a part, you have, you need to you need to offer a different type of of sacrifice. Your heart needs to be in the right place. You need to do the things according to what I’ve actually said to do. And Kane looks at a ball and says, oh, so that’s that’s that’s the kind of sacrifice you want, All right? And he’s bitter about it. He’s angry about it. And the Lord stops him. It says cain look, if you do right, don’t you know, you’ll succeed. Don’t you know, I’m always with you, don’t you know that I have a great plan and a purpose for you. If you do well, you’ll be rewarded. But sin is is waiting for you Crouching for you to pounce on you don’t let it be your master. You must rule over it. But instead cain in bitterness and frustration and anger and resentment lashes out and kills his brother Abel So, it’s a bitterness that gets Abel killed. Its bitterness. That that bitterness that gets Hagar and Ishmael vanished when Sarah has this wonderful plan with Abraham and says, hey, uh if the promised son isn’t gonna come through me, why don’t you sleep with my hand? My maidservant. And you know, that’s how the promise will happen. A man made promise. So, Abraham says, okay, does that uh Hagar has Ishmael. But then when the promise actually does come through Sarah, like she didn’t see it happening. But it happens anyway because God blesses us in spite of our mistakes. The promise does come through Sarah, we see that Ishmael you know, being a big brother, teasing, teasing uh Isaac Sarah gets bitter and angry. It doesn’t like this and says to Abraham, you gonna let her talk to your son this way and sends Hagar and Ishmael out. And of course God protects them. And as we know in scripture, Hager is the first person to call God to call out to call out to God. And but that’s what God Hagar and Ishmael banners was the fact that Sarah was bitter. And so for us, what we realize is that we have to accept help uh from other people and not hide it, not hide it because if we accept help, if we hide it, we’re dealing with it ourselves. If we don’t accept help, we’re dealing with it ourselves. So, I understand that we need some assistance in that. Thirdly, we need to look for God’s hand. Look for God’s hand. Naomi saw God’s hand when things went bad, she said, look, don’t call me Naomi call me mara for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me job said naked, I came from my mother’s womb and naked, I shall return. The Lord gives the Lord takes away blessed be the name of the Lord. Remember Saints of God, we are on the wheel, We are on the wheel. And even though we are in uh some painful and some trying times God is the potter we are the clay Don’t be upset when God is trying to fashion you in one area that you forget that his hand is at work and another. And the problem is because we’re out, we’re inside of time. God is outside of time. He can be working on things that we don’t even see, he’s working on just yet. So in the midst of our pain, we’re focused on our pain when God is working something out a year from now. God is working something out two years from now that we don’t see just yet. Some events in life may be painful, but it does not mean that God is not with us bitterness will block your blessing. So don’t let it do that. The last thing that we need to do in order to remove ourselves from being bitter as I close is this, we need to forgive God. Yes, you heard me correctly, you need to forgive God to forgive, means to stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offense for a flaw or a mistake. Now there’s a uh a comedy sketch me and whatever you wanna call it that’s going around where God is talking to one of the angels in heaven and he says, hey, did you uh, prepare all the events for the the years that I told you about and the angel looked back and God looks back at God and says years. I thought you made a year. And I was like no years and he said, no, no, no. Like wait, what do you mean? I thought you made a year And what this is showing us is this is why 2020 has been so hectic because apparently God meant to put this over a span of multiple years. But everything that’s taking place is just in one year because oops somebody and haven’t made a mistake. But that’s not how it is. That’s not how God operates. God does not make a mistake. It’s not like he was preparing 2020 and said, oops, not too much of this over, not too much sickness, not too much pandemic, not too much grief, No, no, no. God does all things well. And even in difficulty, we have to understand that God’s ways are not our ways. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. And even when we don’t understand it, God is still good. So we need to forgive God. Why? Because forgiveness is what? Feeling angry to stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offense flaw or mistake. God makes no flaws. God makes no mistakes, but how God moves is so different and contrary to the way we move, that we can be offended by God’s actions. We can be offended because we don’t understand how God is moving. We can be offended when we don’t see what God is doing. We can be offended when we don’t see the bigger picture and as a result of being offended, we can have resentment toward our creator toward the God that loved us, toward the God that gave everything. So we can be toward the God that gave everything. So that we can be in relationship with him. We can be offended by how God moves. It does not mean his ways are wrong. It just means that they’re different and because we don’t understand it, we can grow offended. We can grow bitter. We can grow with with resentment toward the things of God and feel angry about what God is doing. So do not keep your complaints from God. You can say, look God, it’s difficult, but I am. I forgive you, Lord. I release you from the offense that I’ve had for you. In my heart, I’ve held defense. I’ve been angry at you for so long and I don’t understand your ways. I don’t understand why you took me this route. I don’t understand the difficulty, God, but I forgive you. The beautiful thing about God is God is the God of the exchange. Is the God of the exchange, Isaiah 61 says that God gives those that more in a beautiful headdress instead of ashes. He gives beauty for ashes. He gives the oil of gladness instead of mourning. He gives the garment of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. That we may be called oaks of righteousness. The planting of the Lord. That he may be glorified. Yeah. We need to accept that exchange and leave our bitterness. Leave our baggage, leave our pain at the foot of the cross. What are we leaving at the foot of the cross? What are we leaving in the hands of christ So that God can make an exchange? God can make the exchange. But we have to be willing to forgive God can make the exchange. But we have to be willing to let go of bitterness. God can make the exchange but we have to be willing to release. God can make the exchange. But we have to be willing to let go of bitterness and walk in freedom. Let go of bitterness and walk in forgiveness. Let go of bitterness and walk in wholeness. We have to let go of bitterness. Saints of God so that we can be able to walk into the new thing that God is doing. Don’t let bitterness block you from your blessing. Let go of bitterness and walk in the new thing that God is doing. God bless God bless. Let’s pray dear God, I thank you so much for your people, for your sons, for your daughters, for those that are listening. For those that have heard this message. I pray Lord for those that may be bitter that may be angry. That may be frustrated with you for the way that this year has unfolded. I pray Lord that you would give them a heart that forgives to forgive you. Should we give maybe those that have offended them, those that maybe they thought should have come through for them but maybe didn’t God just the disappointment. God help them to let go of the disappointment, let go of bitterness and walk in the truth of your word, thank you and praise you God for who you are and who you’ve called us to be in jesus name. We pray amen now if you heard this message and you realize you don’t know jesus, you don’t have a relationship with him and you want one. I’m gonna ask you to text the number. Text save to the number across the screen. We’ll have someone be in touch with you. I’m gonna pray with you. Dear God, I thank you so much for those that maybe don’t know you that are texting right now. I pray that you would be with them, you will strengthen them, help them to let go of their bitterness as well and come to the knowledge of you as Lord and Savior. I thank you father for the fact God that you sent your son to die and live and live again so that we could have life and life more abundantly be with those that are now committing their life to you. We thank you. We praise you. We ask these things in jesus name and everyone said amen and amen God bless you so much. Don’t let bitterness block your blessing. God bless hello again and thank you so much for tuning in to the message at Global seven. Once again, my name is Roderick CAesAR, the third, the lead pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle. My prayer is that you were blessed and encouraged by the message. And if you want to contribute and give to the ministry, you can text B g T F I 277977 again, you can text B G T F I 277977. We’re so thankful for you and my prayer is that God will continue to strengthen and empower and encourage you as you listen to this message, we hope you tune again later and God bless you. Thank you so much. All right.