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Bitterness to Compassion

Can God exchange a heart filled with bitterness, anger, and gall for His own filled with compassion and hope? Absolutely! Praise be to God who does not leave us as we are but continues to fashion us into His image. I struggled over a situation within an organization that spanned last seven years. The Lord positioned me in this organization and shared His heart for the people. There were some who led out of a seat of corruption which made it an oppressive environment for those under them. The Lord shared with Me that “more cry out to Me than don’t in this place,” which encouraged me to continue to stand.

Over the last years the Lord had risen up many witnesses in this place to speak of a better way, to offer order instead of chaos, and inspiration instead of manipulation of power. Some good decisions were made, but still in certain pockets power mongering and deceptive practices were not dealt with and were allowed to continue. Choice after choice was made to compromise with evil and at times call good evil and evil good. I did not know how long the Lord would have me stand and believe for a better way for its leaders and people, but I continued. He had me proclaim His will over this place and its people as I walked in a field, as I strolled through the kitchen, as I knelt before God in worship and prayer He gave me a heart to intercede for those in power and those under them and for the corruptions to be exposed.

I stood in position, prayer, intercession, and influence yet recently this chapter of my life was closed, and I was released from my connections to this place with its beloved people. I struggled with the broken lives I saw about me and for weeks my spirit was grieved and my heart embittered over the outcome. I became impatient and unimpressed with my life around me, I lost the awe, wonder, and hope of seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. My faith was shaken for how did this happen? Why was there not a great awakening in this organization? Why did the blessings and kingdom principles of God not flow into its hallways and revive the people and leaders, which in turn would influence nations?

I stood in the midst of a worship service silent and laying all of this before the Lord in stark naked honesty. I cried out in my heart, “They broke my heart and the hearts of so many others!” The Lord replied, “Yes, they broke Mine too.” Immediately I began to feel His heart over the decisions of those who did not choose His Way. I stood motionless letting the Lord impart His heart while at the same time taking mine. He replaced my heart of bitterness and grief with His heart of compassion and love. All of the anger, resentment, doubts, fears, exhaustion, and emotional strain left me and I was encompassed with His love, faith, strength, and tenderness.

The Lord gives mankind a choice to follow Him. He will raise up witnesses and voices to proclaim His truths. If they choose His way then all are blessed and His outpouring flows in so many ways. However, man still has free will choice and can choose not to follow God and His ways but rely on his own understanding and follow in the wisdom of mankind. For those of us who have heard God’s voice over a matter and man does not choose Him, we can be tempted to doubt that we even heard from the Lord. We reason that surely if we heard from God there would have been a different outcome. We can resent that man would disrespect, humiliate, and reject us. However, did they not do the same when Jesus came – healed the sick, performed many mighty wonders, and still they spit upon Him, lashed Him, and crucified Him.

Ours is to stand and proclaim no matter man’s response. He can give us a heart of compassion and hope even in the face of great trial and rejection. I pray that organization would find the goodness the Lord has in store for them so that all might be saved. I pray for those who are called on to be a voice and light in that place and that they would stand in God’s strength and fearlessly proclaim the truth.

Just because our role in a story is over does not mean the story does not continue on. Let us not say, “Because they did not change there is no hope for them.”  Rather, let us pray, “Lord, raise up Your faithful ones to continue to proclaim Your truths, so ” We can look back upon a chapter in which we played a part and proclaim, “The Lord strengthened me to stand and now He will bring me on to new heights.” We do not have to live in bitterness, a sense of failure, or even broken faith. His voice is the one we are to hear and follow. We can continue on in renewed faith and vigor and follow Him with all courage, for He is our refuge and great reward.

Psalm 73:21-28

“When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.”