The Only Cure for Bitterness


In Hebrews 12, the Bible warns us of the dangers of bitterness. We are cautioned in verse 15 to be, “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;” Bitterness is one of the most dangerous sins, leading to anger, depression, sexual sin, and the corruption of others. But God’s Word gives us the solution for bitterness. 

Let’s take a look at the only cure for bitterness.

First, what is bitterness? The Oxford English Dictionary defines bitterness as “Anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.” Bitterness can either be a response to what others have done to us or what God has allowed to happen in our lives. It may begin with complaining, but it develops into an inner resentment. If we allow bitterness to grow unchecked, it will send deep roots into the soil of our hearts. At our church in North Sydney, we want to avoid becoming bitter.

When Job was bitter against God, he said, “Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” (Job 7:11) Complaining was the outward symptom of his bitterness.
If a person is struggling with bitterness, how can they overcome it? God’s cure for bitterness is thankfulness. Now, we’re not just talking about saying grace at meals or thanking the girl at the Tim’s drive-thru. We’re talking about a deep-seated attitude that views life through a lens of gratefulness and optimism. This attitude says, “Despite the hard things of life, God is still good. And He has blessed me so much.” 
Instead of focusing on the negative things in life—people that have hurt us, circumstances that disappointed us, and unanswered prayers—thankful people count their blessings. They obey God’s command in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 by giving thanks in everything. Thankful people forgive the people who have hurt them, and they leave the past behind. Like Paul, they can honestly say, “…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13-14, emphasis added)
Did you know that thankfulness is not actually an emotion? Instead, it is a choice. It means choosing to believe that God is still good, that He has provided all that we need, and that He will continue to meet our needs. Thankfulness brings us joy and gives us hope. In every situation of life, we can choose either bitterness or thankfulness.
Here are a few blessings we can always be thankful for…

-Life and breath (Acts 17:25)

-The Word of God (Psalm 119:130)

-Salvation and forgiveness through Jesus (John 3:16)

-If you have believed on Jesus, a home in Heaven someday (John 14:2)

-An incredibly beautiful earth (Genesis 1)

-God’s mercies, which are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)

If you’re struggling with bitterness and have more questions, contact us at our church in North Sydney. We’d love to provide free, confidential counselling and show you from God’s Word how you can overcome bitterness


Will you choose to thank God and overcome bitterness? Join the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church on Sundays at 11:00 am. 

For more information, call (902) 736-6465 or email