Our hardships should bring forth praise, not bitterness

By: Lisa Wilmore

Scripture: So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me (Ruth 1:19-21 KJV)?

My friends in Christ,

Have you ever been in the presence of others who were extremely negative with nothing positive to say? In fact, when you tried to bring out positive points about a particular situation, they focused on the negative instead. Their bitterness became so overwhelming until you did not care about being in their presence, again. Well, there are reasons persons are in this mode. However, we must encourage them to offer God praise instead of holding bitterness in their hearts.

David declares in the Word of God that, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1). In like manner, we must hold firm in blessing God when hardships are prevalent in our lives. Even though the winds and waves of life are intense, it is important to realize that our storms must bring forth praise, and not bitterness.

In our mentioned text, Naomi became bitter because of hardships. Undoubtedly, the death of her husband and sons caused much heartache. When she returns home from Moab, she tells her people to call her “Mara” which means bitter. With this in mind, we may incarcerate bitterness within our hearts, also, because of this type of sorrow. In spite of her bitterness, God used Naomi (Ruth’s Mother-in-law) to bring Ruth, who was in the lineage of Jesus, our Savior, from a foreign country to Bethlehem in order to fulfill His plan.

During and after our trials and tribulations, we must not fail to recognize God’s continuous blessings and resources He provides for us. Our hardships should bring forth praise, not bitterness.

In the final analysis, Naomi had a reason to be bitter because of her disappointments. Her situation made her bitter, but in God’s timing, He blessed her greatly. Likewise, we may also have reasons to be bitter, but, we must remember that we have the joy of the Lord on the inside of us. So, when hardships come, bring forth the praise and know that blessings are on the way.