It’s hard to have any vision for the future when you are haunted by the mistakes in your past. As followers of Christ, we are in luck though, because our God is all about reconciliation. We fail and He restores; we confess and He forgives. It is through our faith and repentance that we are reconciled with God and fully forgiven of our sins. It is the Lord’s death that brings reconciliation and it is His grace that brings peace and healing.
Each day that passes, we have a choice how we are going to live our lives and it starts the moment we wake up. God’s mercies are new every morning; whether or not we grab hold of them is the real question. When we don’t, it is real easy to become a bitter person. Speaking from personal experience, bitterness hurts physically. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Bitterness actually does more damage in the life where it is stored than the one on whom it is poured. When you are bitter, the tension required to harden your facial features makes you lose your resiliency to illnesses due to the chemical imbalances that result in your body. Many bitter fruits come from a bitter root, so ultimately it comes back to our choice. Will we choose to be happy despite our circumstances, or will we trust the Word of God that says, “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” It doesn’t say some days; it says every day, so we should always rejoice and be glad in whatever our circumstance may be.
Our bitterness can also result from holding back forgiveness. The irony is that by forgiving, you are setting a prisoner free, but that prisoner you soon discover is yourself. Failure is a powerful teacher and unfortunately I have learned many lessons by this cruel teacher, so I encourage you to learn from my mistakes so that you can see a history of lessons learned and not a list of failures repeated in your own life. This scripture really illustrates my point: “Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). Right now, let go of any bitterness you might have and take hold of God’s mercy and grace that endure forever. Our heavenly Father wants you to be happy despite your past; He died on the cross so that you could and He desires to have an intimate relationship with you. Trust in Him and He will never disappoint you!