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Bitterness or Joy

by J. M. Farro on January 20th, 2019

   “Only the person involved can know his own bitterness or joy – no one else can really share it.”  Proverbs 14:10 TLB  

   My husband, Joe, and I have known each other for more than 45 years.  On our first date, I shared my entire life story with him – the good and the bad – and instead of him being turned away, he actually told me that day that he was going to marry me.  As close as we have been all these years, the truth of Proverbs 14:10 (NIV) still rings true:  “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.”

   When I suffer a loss or a disappointment, as compassionate as my husband is, he cannot fully empathize with me and my pain.  To be honest, there have been times when I have been angry with my husband because he couldn’t relate to my suffering.  Then I would have to remind myself of the Scripture above, and how even he cannot share or feel the depth of my anguish, and it’s wrong for me to impose unreasonable expectations upon him.

   But there’s good news.  Hebrews 4:15 (AMP) says:  “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.”  You and I have a Savior who “knows exactly how it feels to be human.”  He “sympathizes and understands” our weaknesses, and He feels our pain.  In His earthly existence, He wept human tears, and He suffered the pain of rejection and betrayal, as well as unimaginable injuries and wounds.  And as one Bible commentator puts it, “He has taken His human experience with Him into heaven.”

   One translation of Proverbs 14:10 (ERV) says, “When you are sad, no one else feels the pain; and when you are happy, no one else can really feel the joy.”  Christ is the exception to this rule.  When we are hurting, He feels our pain.  When we are joyful, He shares our joy.  As followers of Christ, you and I have a Savior who not only feels what we feel, but who sympathizes with us, and wants to comfort us and lift us up.  Best of all, He is all-powerful and all-knowing, and He can do for us what no one else can do.  Turn to Him.  Run to Him.  And release your cares and hurts to Him.  He’s waiting for you!

   Lord, today I surrender to You all of my disappointments, my losses, my hurts, and my wounds.  Heal me, comfort me, and strengthen me as only You can.  Vindicate me and right my wrongs.  Fill me with a fresh sense of hope.  Turn my misery into miracles.  And draw me closer to You – and deeper into Your purposes for me – than I have ever been before.  Thank You for making Yourself real to me now in healing, comforting, and life-changing ways!

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