Since my college days, I’ve always enjoyed a good cup of coffee. Far from a true connoisseur, however, I’ve stocked my supply with everything from the brand on sale at the grocery store to the flavored blends at a specialty shop. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do some traveling and—while in Honduras—I learned from a local storeowner that the best type of coffee to buy is shade-grown. When she explained that the shade makes the coffee less bitter, I began thinking of how this coffee concept connected to times in my spiritual journey.
In Luke 17:1, Jesus clearly stated that temptations would come. In an interesting train of thought, He continued by emphasizing the importance of forgiveness (Luke 17:4). While bitterness is not a sin that readily comes to mind when we think of the temptations we face, it’s no less a reality. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
Acts 8 tells us that although “Simon himself believed and was baptized” (Acts 8:13), Peter sensed that Simon’s desire for God’s power in his life was wrongly motivated. In reading the passage, we can see Simon was a man fascinated with power. Furthermore, he wasn’t just jealous—he was bitter.
When we experience difficult situations in life, the powers of darkness stand ready to tell us that we have to prove ourselves to others—whether by gaining their approval or by gaining power in ourselves. For the believer, though, God has promised to be our shade (Psalm 91:1). He is the Lord Most High, the One who has promised to be our protection (Psalm 17:8, 36:7). As we take Him at His Word, our lives become a rich harvest rather than a bitter regret.
When have you been tempted to be bitter? How did you respond? What does staying in God’s shadow look like in the practical everyday decisions we make?
Taken from “Our Daily Journey”