Some time ago, something happened in my life that taught me how to heal from bitterness. I want to share my story with you today, as some of you have told me that you also need help from the Lord in this area.
Here’s the story:
Something happened to me awhile back that was incredibly hurtful. It was a thing that absolutely devastated my life. There was no rhyme or reason to it; it simply happened.
I forgave the people who hurt me. I really did; and I forgave them from my heart.
Nevertheless, I really struggled with anger whenever I thought about the injustice of what had happened.
Can anybody identify?
After awhile, I noticed that the anger wasn’t going away.
I was really struggling to get rid of it. And I also noticed that, whenever I thought about the injustice that had been done–and I got angry–I got a yucky feeling in my craw. It was a sour feeling that churned up my gut.
That feeling was different from anger. That sour feeling was bitterness, and I actually felt it in my body. It literally, physically felt bitter in my body, soul, and spirit. Very bitter indeed.
Related: Read the rest of the posts in this series:
- Understanding How the Demonic Spirits of Abandonment and Rejection Work Together
- 4 Signs You Have a Stronghold of Rejection and Abandonment
- Why Does It Hurt When Someone Leaves You?
- How To Heal from Rejection and Abandonment (Part One)
- How To Receive Inner Healing from God (Part Two)
As soon as I recognized that the sourness I was feeling was actually bitterness, I went to the Lord about it.
I knew that bitterness damages your mind, will, and emotions. I knew I had to get rid of it. I just didn’t know how.
Here was my dilemma:
I knew I had already forgiven the people who hurt me. I had forgiven them from my heart, with all my being. I had prayed for God to let them off the hook completely and forgive them too. I prayed for them to be blessed.
So it wasn’t a forgiveness issue. I had absolutely forgiven them.
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Yet, the anger hadn’t gone away. So it was obvious that there had to be more to healing from bitterness than just forgiveness.
So I began looking up Scriptures about bitterness, searching for a key. And here’s what I found:
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).
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled …” (Hebrews 12:14-15).
“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6 ESV).
“As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, ‘Bless me, even me also, O my father!'” (Genesis 27:34 ESV).
From these and other Scriptures, I saw a pattern: bitterness and anger go together.
And anger, if it’s not holy anger, is sin.
What is holy anger? Holy anger is God’s anger. It’s the anger you feel if you see a child or elderly person being bullied or abused. Holy anger is what Jesus had when He cleansed the temple of the people who were selling the required temple sacrifices for price-gouging amounts.
But unholy anger is the wrath of man. It’s the anger we feel when something bad has been done to us. And unholy anger is sin because the Bible says:
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm” (Psalm 37:8).
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like;
of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
So back to my story about how God healed me from bitterness:
I noticed several things from the Scriptures above, and from other Scriptures.
First, I noticed that bitterness and anger are mentioned together. And when more than one evil thing nests together, one is often the root of the other. One demonic spirit works with the other in order to try to destroy God’s people.
Secondly, I noticed that bitterness is a nasty thing that wants to get a root in your soul–to attach itself to you so deeply that you leave it there and let it fester. Which would destroy your soul.
So I prayed and asked the Lord for guidance. And He helped me see this:
Bitterness sets in after we become angry. Anger is the root of bitterness.
And anger happens (if we allow it to; we don’t have to allow it) when something bad happens to us in life.
Does that sound familiar? This anger/bitterness thing is another twisted, insidious attack from the enemy.
It’s a lot like how abandonment and rejection work together. When people develop a stronghold of abandonment and rejection, it happens because the enemy sends his demons of abandonment and rejection to try and destroy us after someone really has abandoned us. The enemy attacks right when we are at our lowest; when we’re hurting.
And if we don’t keep our eyes on Jesus, then the enemy gets us to listen to those demons of abandonment and rejection, and he builds a stronghold in our lives.
Well, the same thing happens with anger and bitterness.
Look at the stories of David and Esau. In both of those stories, things really did happen that gave people reason to get angry.
In Esau’s situation, Jacob had just stolen Esau’s inheritance. Jacob stole his blessing; his future prosperity and influence; and his place in the tribe.
Uh, yeah, that’s a little something to get angry about.
In David’s situation, while his men were busy being loyal and serving David, enemy invaders came in and stole all their wives and children.
It wasn’t David’s fault, but that didn’t stop the people from getting angry. Those men didn’t know if their families were alive or dead. They didn’t know if their loved ones had been abused. Both their city and all their possessions had been consumed in flames.
Yeah, that’s also a little something to get angry about too.
However, in both those situations, the people took it farther than just being angry. They also became bitter.
And in my situation, just like Esau and David’s men, something had happened to me that really did give me plenty of reason to get angry. But, it didn’t stop there. Just like Esau and David’s men, I allowed bitterness to grow in me also. It started with anger and progressed to bitterness.
Did you see that? It’s really important. Anger came first, then bitterness.
So the Lord showed me:
The first step to healing from bitterness is to confess our anger to God.
Whenever we allow anything into our life that is not from God, the way to get rid of the evil is to go back and fix whatever we did to let it in. With bitterness, we heal by getting rid of our anger. And how do we get rid of anger? By forgiving first (which I had done already), and by confessing our anger as sin.
Simple confession of sin. 🙂 (See how beautiful and simple the Gospel is! Freedom is not hard if we will just listen to Papa and obey Him!)
Well, as soon as He showed me this, I prayed along these lines:
“Heavenly Father, I confess that I have been angry at _____ for ______. I’m so angry–” …
And I stopped in mid-sentence. As soon as I even got out that first part, confessing that anger to God, I couldn’t even finish my thought because Holy Spirit broke me with repentance for my own anger.
And right in the middle of that prayer, as soon as I admitted to God (verbally) how angry I was, He changed my heart.
He absolutely broke me and gave me a repentant spirit and heart on the spot. And I repented right away. I said:
“Oh Father God, I’m so sorry for being angry. Please forgive me. I know this anger is wrong. I confess it as sin. Forgive me; cover me; wash me in Your blood, Lord Jesus. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit where that was.”
And as soon as I prayed that, I felt the anger drain completely away.
But the bitterness was still there, and it needed to be healed.
Nevertheless, knowing that I had pulled up the root of bitterness by confessing my anger and repenting of it, I knew the bitterness had to leave too. So I continued praying something like this:
“Father God, in Jesus’ name, I renounce agreement with the spirit of bitterness right now. Please forgive me for allowing it in.”
(Then I paused and spoke–not prayer, but speaking–to those evil spirits of anger and bitterness and commanded them to leave me in Jesus’ name. And I continued …)
“Father God, please heal me completely of bitterness right now. Fill me with the Holy Spirit where that was, and make me like You. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name.”
Then I prayed again for the people who had hurt me.
And you know what? As soon as I asked the Lord to heal me from that bitterness, I could feel Holy Spirit soothing me with His healing Balm of Gilead. He absolutely touched my heart and removed–AND HEALED–every bit of bitterness.
On the spot.
He healed me, and I felt totally different. And neither the anger nor the bitterness have returned to this day!
The Bible says that a curse without a cause cannot alight (Proverbs 26:2). The enemy doesn’t have any access into our lives unless we open a door and grant him access.
So if we have an open door to the enemy, we need to close it. And when we confess our sins to God, repent, and get filled again with Holy Spirit in all those places–and when we renounce our agreement with the seduction of the enemy and the lies we’ve been believing, confessing God’s truth instead–we close the door to the enemy.
Are you struggling with anger over something that happened to you? Do you need to heal from bitterness too?
If so, I urge you to follow the same steps:
- Verbally acknowledge (confess) to God that your anger is sin, according to God’s Word.
- Confess your anger as sin. Repent for it
- Renounce agreement with anger and bitterness.
- Command the spirits of anger and bitterness to leave you.
- Ask Father to fill you with His Holy Spirit in that place.
- Then ask Father to heal you from bitterness completely.
And He will.
Healing from bitterness doesn’t have to be a long process. It’s not complicated.
Jesus already paid the price for all your sins to be forgiven, and for all the wounds of your soul to be healed.
So if you’re struggling in the aftermath of pain or injustice today–struggling with anger, struggling with bitterness–are you ready for Father to heal you?
If so, follow the steps listed above. Ask Holy Spirit to help you walk through them. And Father God will watch over His Word to perform it. He will forgive you, heal you, and set you free.
In case it helps, here’s that whole sample prayer together:
“Heavenly Father, I confess that I have been angry at _____ for ______. I’m so angry, and I admit it.
Oh Father God, I’m so sorry for being angry. Please forgive me. I know this anger is wrong. I confess it as sin. Forgive me; cover me; wash me in Your blood, Lord Jesus. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit where that was.
Father God, in Jesus’ name, I renounce agreement with the spirit of bitterness right now. Please forgive me for allowing it in.”
(Then pause and verbally command those evil spirits of anger and bitterness to leave you in Jesus’ name. Then continue praying …)
“Father God, please touch me. Heal me completely of bitterness right now. Fill me with the Holy Spirit where that was, and make me like You. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name.”
(Then pray for the people who hurt you.)
Does this message speak to your heart today? If so, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
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