Tag Archives: bitterness

Getting Past the Pain


By Carolyn Dale Newell

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV

How do you rise above a tragedy? How does your world continue to turn after it’s been shaken? How does life go on when the prodigal fails to return? How do you pick up the pieces when you have lost a child or spouse? How do you heal from the abuse or abandonment haunting you?

For thirteen years, life robbed Joseph of his family and freedom. Even before his brothers sold him to slave traders, he lived with their hatred daily.

Once Joseph arrived in Egypt, he was purchased by Potiphar. Potiphar treated Joseph kindly. Surely, Joseph thought of home. He remembered his little brother, Benjamin. He missed his loving father, Jacob. Joseph depended on God in order to heal and move on with life. How do we know that?

Joseph lived a holy life worshipping God. He refused to taste the bitterness his circumstances offered him. When Potiphar’s wife plotted to seduce joseph, He fled. Joseph wanted nothing to do with her. He remained obedient to his Lord.

Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to seduce her, and Joseph was imprisoned.

No resentment yet! Even in harsh conditions, God was with Joseph, and God caused him to prosper.

In prison, Joseph met Pharaoh’s butler and baker. Joseph demonstrated his gift by explaining their dreams. The butler promised to remember joseph when he was released from prison. Like everyone in his life, the butler let Joseph down.

Two years later, Pharaoh cannot find anyone to interpret his dreams. Finally, the butler recalls his friend in prison. Joseph is summoned to Pharaoh’s castle.

Pharaoh describes his dreams, and Joseph explains they mean two things.

First, Egypt would experience seven years of plenty, but then, they would face seven years of famine. Joseph devised a system to collect grain in order to survive the famine.

Pharaoh promotes joseph to second in command under him. During the seven years Joseph was busy storing grain, he married an Egyptian woman.

Joseph and his bride had two boys. Joseph had his own family. A family that loved him. He was respected by all in Egypt. He lacked for nothing.

Did he remember his father and brothers? Did he hold a grudge?

In biblical times, a person’s name carried a definition. If we examine the names Joseph gave his children, we will discover God healed Joseph’s pain.

His first son’s name was Manasseh, and it means “for God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house” (Gen. 41:51). The second child’s name was Ephraim, meaning “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Gen. 41:52).

Surely, Joseph lived according to the words Isaiah would write many years later (our focal verse). Joseph never dwelt on the past. God did a new thing in his life, and God will do a new thing in our lives too.

Nothing is too hard for God. He creates rivers in the dry barren desert. He heals the broken past. He mends our hearts that ache with memories. Will you trust God to do a miracle for you?

Lord, we ask You to heal our hearts and our broken lives like You healed Joseph’s heart. Ease the pain until it vanishes. Fill us with Your unspeakable joy. We praise and thank You in the name of Jesus. Amen.


Read Genesis 41:37-52.


How much do you pray for God to heal your heart? We often fail to ask God to heal sorrow and heartache, but He wants to make them new. Commit to pray and trust Him.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.


Incense Rising Online Study 4

Have you ever struggled with forgiving someone? Are you there right now? Forgiveness is difficult. Most of us wrestle with it, knowing we ought to forgive, but harboring anger within our hearts. When someone wrongs you, it is hard to overlook. When they hurt your children, it usually means war, except for one thing: we are commanded to forgive.

What does forgiveness look like?

We hear the words, “Forgive one another”, but resentment still lingers. Bitterness takes root, and left to grow, it will consume us like weeds taking over a flowerbed.

Weeds are almost impossible to get rid of, and a bitter heart is much the same.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret – it only causes harm. (Ps. 37:8 NKJV)

The anger we feel when we have been hurt is a natural human emotion, just like hatred. The resentment we feel today will fuel the hatred we feel tomorrow. We cannot allow our emotions to rule us. When we identify these potentially harmful feelings, we must pray.

God will help us relinquish the hard feelings. The problem is sometimes, we want to hold onto our hurt. We want to wear it like a badge. I am the one who was mistreated. They deserve what they get. That is not what the Bible teaches.

As Psalm 37:8 above says, only harm can come from allowing these raw emotions to grow. That harm is self-inflicted. This person has already insulted us, injured us, and injected their venom into us. We can choose to allow them to destroy us, or we can forgive. They win when we cannot forgive.

Unforgiveness will harden our hearts. It will disrupt our fellowship with God. It will hinder answered prayer. It will steal our joy. This is why it is important to take the matter to our heavenly Father immediately before it takes root. It is only by the grace of God that we can forgive. Do you realize we are never more like God than when we forgive? He has forgiven us so much. How can we not forgive?

I am not speaking as someone who easily forgives. I am like Peter. Seven times should be their limit. I am right there with you, trying to forgive the unforgivable.

Read Ephesians 4:26-27.

What does verse 26 say about anger?

If we continue in anger and wrath, what is really happening (v. 27)?

Anger can boil over like a hot pot of water. It spews out from us onto those we love, especially our family. Sometimes, we feel safe doing that rather than projecting our rage on those we are really upset with. We also like to tell everyone about how we have been treated unfairly. In both cases, would it not be better if we turn the heat off the boiling pot? That is what forgiveness does. It removes the source.

Now read Ephesians 4:31-32. Verse 31 tells us what we need to rid ourselves of, and verse 32 tells us what we need to do.

Of course, this is easier said than done, and it can only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Father God, help us forgive others. Remove the anger, bitterness and wrath. Help us move on with tender hearts as suitable witnesses for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.