Job 21:23-25 One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure.
Bitterness is a force of destruction and slavery that destroys people and relationships and makes us prisoners of our hurts and hatreds.
Look at how Job described it in these verses: One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow. This speaks of the man who lives with nothing in his heart, he is calm.
Verse 25- And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure.
This verse speaks of the one who lives with something in his heart towards someone—that is full of bitterness. He does not even eat with pleasure, and all because of bitterness, resentment, hatred, and jealousy, in his heart that has not learned to forgive.
Forgiveness is a source of spiritual and emotional health. Forgiveness has the power to free us from the hurts of the past, whether they are hurts from ten minutes ago or ten years ago.
Here is Job, a man who knows that God has prospered him and blessed him, but who is now lying down in ashes and with malignant boils covering his body. It is in this situation that he refers to these two kinds of men, to make us understand that although death comes to all of us alike, not all of us leave alike.
Here are a few truths about the need to forgive and forget:
I. Forgiveness frees you to love those who have hurt you.
An example of this is Joseph: who in order to love, had to learn to forgive, because it is very difficult to love someone you have not forgiven.
We say, “I forgive him, but I do not forget him.” That is not forgiving at all.
Here Joseph teaches us a principle, a truth that we all have to learn here: Forgiveness frees you to love those who have hurt you.
II. Only God has the right to judge another for the mistakes they make.
A good definition of forgiveness is: "An act of our will in which we renounce the right to hold another person responsible for the mistakes they have made toward us."
We do not excuse the behavior or deny our pain. We simply choose, by an act of our will, to renounce the right to make them pay for the wrong they have done.
Otherwise, we will spend our days in bondage to bitterness.
III. Forgiveness frees you from the destructive habits of a bitter soul.
Ephesians 4:26-32 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Unforgiven offenses give Satan a "place" in our soul. I have always said a child of God cannot be possessed; however, Satan can influence us by taking a place in our life as a STRONG TIE.
That is why there are bitter Christians: they are saved, but they cannot forgive, and they claim that they will not forgive. Satan has taken a place and has built a strong tie. That is why they cannot forgive.
IV. Forgiveness is God's only way to freedom.
I’ll close with this. I once read a letter that a father wrote to a man who had killed his son and had thus received the death penalty. The letter said:
You will probably be surprised that I, of all people, am writing you a letter, but I ask that you read it in its entirety and seriously consider my request. As the father of the man you murdered, I have something very important to say to you.
I forgive you. With all my heart, I forgive you. I realize this may be hard to believe, but I really do. At your trial, when you confessed your part in the events that cost my son his life, and looking at me, you asked for forgiveness, I immediately granted you that forgiving love from my heart. I can only hope that you believe me and accept my forgiveness.
But this is not all I have to tell you. I want to make you an offer. I want you to become my adopted son. You see, my son who died was my only son, and now I want to share my life with you and leave my riches to you. This may not make sense to you or anyone else, but I think it's worth the offer. I have arranged matters so that if you receive my offer of pardon, not only will you be forgiven for this crime, but you will also be released from your imprisonment and the death sentence. At that time, you will become my adopted son and heir to all my riches.
I realize that this is a risky offer that I’m making you; and you may be tempted to reject it entirely, but I’m making it without reservation.
Furthermore, I realize that it may seem silly to make such an offer to someone that took my son’s life, but now I have great love and unchanging forgiveness in my heart for you.
Finally, you may be concerned that once you accept my offer, if you do something you may lose your rights as the heir to my wealth. Which that is not truth. If I can forgive you for your part in the death of my Son, I can forgive you for anything. I know it will never be perfect, but you don't have to be perfect to receive my offer. Also, I believe that once you have accepted my offer and begin to experience the riches you will receive from me, your main response (though not always) will be gratitude and loyalty.
Some would call me a fool for my offer, but if you take my offer, my wish is for me to be your father and for you to call me your father.
Maybe the reason we have trouble hearing God is because of all the unfiltered noise we are allowing.
In order for anything or anyone to be truly successful or lasting, I believe God has rules laid out to be followed.