In his study of Numbers 5, City Harvest Church’s executive pastor Bobby Chaw taught the church how to resolve bitterness in life.
Anna’s boyfriend betrayed her trust when she was 17. He was her first love. Their relationship failed and Anna became bitter towards life.
She got married at 19 and had two children. Four years later, her husband died of lung cancer. Anna tried to look for a fresh start in life but death and unfruitfulness kept coming at her. Things got so bad that at one point she had to be admitted to the Institute of mental health several times.
Her turning point came in 2002 when her friend invited her to City Harvest Church. Anna decided to invite Jesus into her life. She asked Jesus to turn all that was bitter in her life to something sweet. At a prayer meeting, God delivered Anna and healed her mentally. She realized at that point it was the bitterness caused by her first relationship that affected her mind.
Since then, Anna would come before the Lord daily and confess that Jesus has taken away her curse of lifelessness and nailed it to the cross. Today, Anna walks in total freedom. She has experienced blessings and promotions like never before in her life.
Anna’s story illustrated executive pastor Bobby Chaw’s point: “If you don’t deal with that root of bitterness, you cannot find life. The problem is not your environment or circumstances, but the bitterness from within [you].”
Chaw was preaching at the weekend service on Nov 18 and 19. He used Anna’s story to bring across his point on dealing with bitterness. The message is a continuation of his study of the Book of Numbers, through a series of messages he had started early this year. Chaw recapped his teaching so far by reminding the congregation that the book of Numbers records the journey of the children of Israel in the wilderness, which mirrors a Christian’s journey in the present world.
In Chaw’s last sermon, he had discussed two out of the three case studies on the different perspective of sin found in Numbers 5. In this sermon, Chaw taught on the third aspect of sin: unfaithfulness.
Numbers 5:24 says, “And he shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter her to become bitter.” Chaw explained that unfaithfulness in a relationship would often lead to bitterness.
“Marriage is meant to be the most intimate, open and vulnerable relationship between two people. As such when there is unfaithfulness or betrayer, the trust is broken and it causes devastating pain and disappointment which often leads to anger, bitterness, and hatred.”
Bitterness, when not dealt with properly, causes unfruitfulness in life.
Who Then Can Deliver Us From The Curse Of Bitterness?
Exodus 15:23 says, “When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter.” When Moses and the Israelites came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah as it was bitter. After Moses cried out to God, God showed him a tree. The Bible showed how the tree caused the bitter water of Marah to turn sweet after the tree entered it.
“Church, who will deliver us from this bitter water?” asked Chaw. “It is the tree, the cross of Calvary. Only the tree can turn the bitter water and make it sweet again. Jesus is the answer!”
Jesus took the curse of unfaithfulness onto Himself on the cross so that those who believe in Him can experience blessings.
Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).”
Jesus drank from the cup of betrayal. He experienced the full spectrum of anger, bitterness, and unfaithfulness. Chaw said, “When we are disappointed, betrayed, we know in our head that we must forgive but our heart hurts. Only if you would give Him a chance to come deep into your soul, healing will come. Give all your bitterness to Jesus.”
The first step to deal with bitterness is to bring it to the Lord. “Not in my power or function to judge. You, (God) is the Judge.” Chaw pointed out after quoting from Romans 12:9, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
Quoting from Romans 12:21, which says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”, Chaw taught the congregation that God is the judge while praying and doing good is the people’s job.
“God’s job is to be the judge; our job is to submit, do good, pray and bless,” Chaw concluded.