Bitterness Trap

Author: A. W. Smith — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: May 31, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Bitterness Trap

READ: MATTHEW 11:28-30; HEBREWS 4:14-16; 12:15

Have you ever dealt with an ant infestation? If you start noticing a couple ants creeping in the cracks, it might not seem like a big deal. But if you ignore the problem, it will only get worse. Soon you’ll have ants all over—in your bathroom, in your bedroom, in your kitchen, even in your food! An ant infestation is a big problem; it can even make people sick. So, what can you do to handle an infestation? One way is to set a certain kind of trap that has poison inside. The ants think the poison is food, so they bring it home for all the other ants to eat, and it kills them.

Bitterness is a lot like an ant infestation. Bitterness can creep in when we face a difficult or hurtful situation and we’re not able to process it. If we try not to feel the pain of a hard situation, it doesn’t work. That’s like trying to kill ants one by one—they keep coming back!

Instead, when we experience the beginnings of bitterness, we can go directly to whatever its source may be. How? By coming to Jesus. He invites us to share our hurts and all our difficult feelings with Him. Because Jesus is both fully human and fully God, He knows firsthand what it feels like to suffer in a world broken by sin, and so we can bring everything we’re feeling to Him (Hebrews 4:14-16). He will weep with us and remind us that He never leaves us.

As we share our hurts with Jesus, we can also ask Him to remind us of His goodness. When we look to Jesus and remember how He saved us through dying on the cross and rising from the dead, the gospel can give us hope, opening the door for bitterness to turn to thankfulness.

As we work through our bitterness with Jesus, we may still feel sad—or have any number of strong emotions about the difficult or heartbreaking situations we’ve experienced. But even in these times, we can rest in Jesus’s love for us, remembering His promises to be with us always (Matthew 28:20) and to one day make all things new—free from the suffering and death that are in our world because of sin (Revelation 21:1-5). It’s also important for us to reach out to trusted people in our lives (such as therapists, parents, pastors, etc.) to help us process difficult emotions and address any situations that need to change.

So, when bitterness starts to creep into our lives, we don’t have to be afraid to go to whatever its source may be. We can face hard things with Jesus, the One who heals our hurts and sets us free. • A. W. Smith

• Who are trusted people you can reach out to when you’re facing difficult situations and having trouble processing them?

[Jesus] understands our weaknesses…So let us come boldly to…God. Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)