Life Principles Class Overview Principle of Design Self

Life Principles   Class Overview Principle of Design   Self

Life Principles Class Overview Principle of Design Self Acceptance Principle of Responsibility Good Conscience Principle of Authority Proper Submission Principle of Suffering Full Forgiveness Principle of Ownership Yielding Rights Principle of Freedom Moral Purity Principle of Success Meditation Suffering-Forgiveness-Bitterness Class Overview

- - - Biblical character examples Biblical references Consequences of bitterness Seven steps to turn bitterness into forgiveness Bitterness - Who is bitter in the bible - ? but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast (Gen 4:5) Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. They have

credited David with tens of thousands, he thought, but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom? And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. (1 Sam 18:8-9) Bitterness - Who is bitter in the bible - ? Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar. (2 Sam 13:22)

Bitterness : You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. (Matt 5:21,22) Bitterness : Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

(Heb 12:15) Bitterness is simply the result of not seeing suffering from Gods perspective. Consequences of Bitterness 1. Physical Consequences Chemical Balance Bone Health When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. (Psalm 32:3) A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

(Prov 15:30) Consequences of Bitterness 1. Physical Consequences A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Prov 17:22) A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Prov 14:30) Consequences of Bitterness 2. Spiritual Consequences Inability to love God

If anyone says, I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:20,21) Consequences of Bitterness Doubts regarding our relationship with God But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

(Matt 6:15) Consequences of Bitterness 3. Emotional and Mental Consequences Depression is one of the most significant consequences of refusing to forgive the people who wrong us. It requires emotional energy to maintain a grudge. Just as we become weary when our physical energy is exhausted, so we become depressed when our emotional energy is exhausted. Consequences of Bitterness

Bitterness and resentment create an emotional focus toward the person who offended us. This focus is the chief cause of becoming just like the one we resent. The more we focus on his actions toward us, the more we resemble the basic attitudes which prompted his actions. The moment I start hating a man, I become his slave. Consequences of Bitterness 4. Multiplying the Consequences of Bitterness

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, (Deut 5:9) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 1. Repent of temporal values (greed for objects, tangible or intangible, that have no eternal value) 2. Thank God for the offenses 3. View your offender as Gods agent.

4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. 5. Compare what you owe God to what your offender owes you 6. Distinguish between forgiveness and pardon 7. Voluntarily invest in the life of the offender Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 1. Repent of temporal values (greed for objects, tangible or intangible, that have no eternal value) Reputation, money, social status (education, relationship, )

Someone in the crowd said to him, Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. Jesus replied, Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you? Then he said to them, Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a mans life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. (Luke 12:13-15) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness

As they danced, they sang: Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands. Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. They have credited David with tens of thousands, he thought, but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom? (1 Sam 18:7-8) Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. (Luke 22:24) Personal examples Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness

2. Thank God for the offenses Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:18) What are we really giving thanks for ? For His good and sovereign purposes in allowing them to take place. (will look at this in step 4) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness Why are we not able to thank God

? Assuming God owes us something. Focusing on what we thought we should have received rather than on what we did receive. Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness Examples But God said to Jonah, Do you do well to be angry for the plant? And he said, Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die. (Jonah 4:9) He replied, You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we

accept good from God, and not trouble? In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (Job 2:10) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, Curse David, who can ask, Why do you do this? (2 Sam 16:10) The apostles (Peter) left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

(Act 5:41) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 3. View your offender as Gods agent . You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Gen 50:20) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness

Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head. But the king said, What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, Curse David, who can ask, Why do you do this? (2 Sam 16:9-10) Personal examples Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness

4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. a. Suffering (under Gods discipline) is our assurance that God loves us. b. Suffering is Gods call for self-examination c. Suffering is Gods way of conquering our pride d. Suffering is a reminder of Gods grace in our weakness e. Suffering is our motivation to cry out to God Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness

4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. f. Suffering is our evidence of spiritual warfare g. Suffering is Gods method of purifying our faith h. Suffering is our reminder to pray for our authorities i. Suffering is our signal to reevaluate our priorities Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. j. Suffering is Gods way of sifting our friendships

k. Suffering is Gods call to identify with Christ l. Suffering is our motivation for open accountability m. Suffering is our preparation for comforting others Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. a. Suffering (under Gods discipline) is our assurance that God loves us. because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes

everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? (Heb 12:6-7) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. a. Suffering (under Gods discipline) is our assurance that God loves us.

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Heb 12:10-11) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering.

b. Suffering is Gods call for self-examination A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. (1 Cor 11:28-30) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness

4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. b. Suffering is Gods call for self-examination Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

[c] (James 5:14-16) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. c. Suffering is Gods way of conquering our pride When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Prov 11:2) A mans pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.

(Prov 29:23) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. c. Suffering is Gods way of conquering our pride he said, Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty? The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like

the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. (Dan 4:30-33) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. d. Suffering is a reminder of Gods grace in our weakness To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great

revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christs power may rest on me. That is why, for Christs sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:7-10)

When we see someone do something well, we might glorify God for their gifts, even though we praise them as well. However, when we see someone who is weak and yet is able to overcome by Gods grace, we praise God because it is clearly by Gods grace and not of the persons own strength. Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness

4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. e. Suffering is our motivation to cry out to God For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted. (Psa 9:12) Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. (Psa 56:9) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness

4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. e. Suffering is our motivation to cry out to God Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. (Psa 107:6 read whole chapter ) God wants us to be in a place where we see our need for him and are desperate for his help. He is not looking for people who are strong (hao4 chiang2), but those who are poor in spirit (Mat 5:3) and realize their complete dependency

on God. 5:3 Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. f. Suffering is our evidence of spiritual warfare Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes. For our struggle is not

against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph 6:11-12) When we are participating in the work of Christ by sharing the gospel or building up believers, the enemy will try to bring us down in the areas we are the weakest. (This is also a reminder for us to pray especially for those in spiritual leadership. To

be discussed later) ( ) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. g. Suffering is Gods method of purifying our faith In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Pet 1:6-7) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. g. Suffering is Gods method of purifying our faith

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4) It is a great blessing when we come to the point where we can truly rejoice in trials, because we can see our faith being refined and matured through these times.

Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. h. Suffering is our reminder to pray for our authorities I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

2 (1 Tim 2:1-2) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. h. Suffering is our reminder to pray for our authorities Sometimes we see things that may need to be changed in our leadership, but we often neglect to pray for them. Sometimes we neglect to do our part.

Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. h. Suffering is our reminder to pray for our authorities Evangelical Christian votes decreased for decades before 2000 (about 15 millions out of about 60 millions Evangelicals). 2000 2004 23% (28.9 millions) of all votes cast were evangelicals. An 80% increase over 2000 on evangelicals votes. 2004 - 23% 2000 80%

Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. h. Suffering is our reminder to pray for our authorities Moral issues (i.e., marriage, abortion, selection of Godfearing judges) ranked among the top reasons for voting. Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. h. Suffering is our reminder to pray for our authorities

2002 and 2004 Election Results 19 new members to the US Senate: 15 were pro-life. 94 new members to the US House, 61 were pro-life (almost twothirds) 19 15 94 61 ) Judges change 2 strict-constitutionist judge addition Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. - 2 Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. h. Suffering is our reminder to pray for our authorities

The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act A religious liberty measure was signed into law chaplain prayer - The Fetal Farming Ban The defunding of a $300 million grant to build a gay-lesbian center in Los Angeles Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. h. Suffering is our reminder to pray for our authorities The Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial Act

Court cases won in Athletic Prayers, Crosses in City Seal, student expression - Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. h. Suffering is our reminder to pray for our authorities 2006 Election Decrease in Evangelical Christian votes 20 millions (drop of 30% from 2004). -2 2004 30% 54 new members to the US House 17 were pro-life. 10 new

members to the US Senates only 2 were pro-life. 54 4 10 2 First Muslim senator Keith Ellison elected from Minnesota sworn in by the book of Koran. - Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. i. Suffering is our signal to reevaluate our priorities In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves.

(Psalm 127:2) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Matthew 16:26) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. i. Suffering is our signal to reevaluate our priorities The major theme of Ecclesiastes is that life without God is meaningless. Although one may seem to be successful and

prosperous in the worlds eyes, the hardest suffering is to deal with internal emptiness without God. Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. j. Suffering is Gods way of sifting our friendships A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Prov 17:17)

Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. k. Suffering is Gods call to identify with Christ I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. (Phil 3:10) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering.

k. Suffering is Gods call to identify with Christ Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Rom. 6:3-4) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness

4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. l. Suffering is our motivation for open accountability Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did.

(Judge 2:20-22) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. l. Suffering is our motivation for open accountability Achan - When Achan son of Zerah acted unfaithfully regarding the devoted things, did not wrath come upon the whole community of Israel? He was not the only one who died for his sin.

(Joshua 22:20) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 4. Learn Gods purposes for suffering. m. Suffering is our preparation for comforting others Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Cor 1:3-5) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 5. Compare what you owe God to what your offender owes you

This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. (Matt 18:35) Therefore, as Gods chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

(Col 3:12-13) Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 6. Distinguish between forgiveness and pardon Forgive but not pardon. He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Seven Steps to Turn Bitterness into Forgiveness 7. Voluntarily invest in the life of the offender For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:21) And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. (Matt

5:40-41)

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