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God’s Bitter Things Are Better Things

Rosualdo is just an ordinary person with an extraordinary God, who wants to spread God’s words and love through writing articles and poems.


Bitter things are frequently despised and rejected for the bitter and sour savor it brings. Do all people like the taste of bitter melon or the taste of broccoli and the taste of turmeric? Undesirable things in life are the things with bad and unpleasant flavor and aroma. Why do people dislike and detest painful experiences in life? Most mindsets are pointedly programmed only on ease and comfort that will always believe that unpleasant and bitter taste will only yield to a sour outcome. However not all bitter things have a bitter result, others will generate better output, just as bitter vegetables and fruits deliver good nutrition to the body. The Bible showcases some passages that bitter things will accomplish a better harvest when it comes from God. God’s bitter things will always provide better things.

What are the bitter things from God that will create better things?

1. God’s discipline

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, so 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. (Hebrews 12:7-11 NIV)

As human father disciplines their children, our heavenly Father also disciplines all his children. God’s discipline denotes authentic sonship to all who experience it. It is a sign of love because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son (Hebrews 12:6). The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews encourages his readers to submit to the disciplinary works of God as they did to their human fathers. Human father’s discipline has a temporary purpose but God’s discipline has a lasting and permanent goal. God’s discipline is painful and bitter and will render a sad taste but it will yield a better harvest out from it.

What are the better things coming from the bitter things of God’s discipline?

A. The sharing of God’s holiness

Do the bitter experiences can surpass the harvest of sharing God’s holiness? God designed the bitter and sour savor of his discipline to share and live us on the path of his holiness. God is holy and will not tolerate sins and wrongdoings, and command his children to be holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). The rod of God’s discipline will lead a derailed life back to the route of holiness.

B. The harvest of righteousness and peace

Can the unpleasant and bitter things exceed the great fruits of righteousness and peace? God planned the bitter flavor of his discipline to deliver to us the crops of righteousness and peace. Righteousness through Christ will carry justification and restoration of a man before God. Peace will destroy the enmity between God and man and will generate reconciliation.


2. God’s ordained testing and trials

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 NIV)

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NIV)

and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all 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 the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:4-7 NIV)

When God shows off about Job’s blameless, upright, God-fearing, and shunning evil lifestyle in the face of Satan (Job 1:8, 2:3); the bitter and sour flavor of God’s ordained testing and trials occurred (Job 1:9-22, 2:4-10). Job’s life was bombarded and flooded in all angles with painful and bitter incidents. Everything was forfeited except for his worthless wife aiding Satan’s goal for his downfall. What happened when Job stood the test? Job harvested better things coming from the bitter things of God’s ordained testing and trials (Job 42:10-16).

James and Peter in their epistles motivate believers that joy must be their reaction and must be the choice of all Christians in facing the bitter and sour taste of God’s ordained testing and trials. Why do testing and trials arrive? Both servants of God point out that the presence of faith facilitates or is the factor why testing occurred in the lives of all believers. If there is faith there are trials. Trials are the refining agents of faith as fire for the gold. Troubles, griefs, sufferings, and hardships will always walk in the path of a Christian journey. Even though the journey will be painful because of the bitter experiences from the bitter things from God, the better things will come out from it.

What are the better things coming from the bitter things of God’s ordained testing and trials?

A. The production of perseverance

James points out that the testing of faith produces perseverance or endurance. Without this better thing from the bitter thing of God’s ordained testing and trials, a Christian journey is a futile and useless one. Perseverance or endurance will lead every Christian to the comforting finish line where the reward awaits just like a runner finishing a race. It will be the sustaining power and energy to reach the desired heavenly destination ( Philippians 3:14). Perseverance will drive every believer to spiritual maturity and completeness without lacking anything. The better thing of perseverance will outdo the bitter and difficult things from trials.

B. The crown of life reward

James shows also that believers will be blessed when they persevere and stood the test for they will receive the promised crown of life reward from the Lord. Since rewards dwell only at the finish line, every believer should stand firm and endures the bitter things from testing and trials to receive the crown of life. Exceeding joy will always be the feeling of anyone who received a reward. How much more joy that the crown of life will generate in the Christian heart? Can the bitter things from God’s ordained testing and trials exceed the better thing of the crown of life reward? The pain from trials cannot match the gain of the crown of life.

C. The unperishable, unspoiled, and unfading inheritance

Peter illustrates that the believers should rejoice because of the inheritance kept in heaven as a reward while they will undergo the flaming griefs of the bitter things from testing and trials. Paul urged Christian slaves to obey their earthly masters as they are working for the Lord since they know that they will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward (Colossians 3:22-24). Since this inheritance is kept in heaven as a reward, Christians should endure hardships and sufferings to obtain it. Their joy should overpower the anguish from trials to hold this inheritance. The bitter things from God’s ordained testing and trials will validate that they are the recipient of the inheritance. Can the bitter things from trials outshine the better thing of the inheritance reward? The better gift is far profitable than the bitter experiences in life.


3. God’s appointed task and will

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (Hebrews 11:24-26 NIV)

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you. But rejoice since you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. (1 Peter 4:12-16 NIV)

Jesus before going to the most painful and shameful sufferings and death on the cross went to Gethsemane with his disciples to pray to the Father. He asked three times that the cup of suffering be taken away from him. Before his plea, his soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Jesus mastered his will by submitting, surrendering, and aligning it to God’s will when he said, yet not as I will, but as you will (Matthew 26:36-39). Agony is at works before the Savior undergo and accomplished God’s appointed task and will. But Jesus endured the cross and disgrace to provide salvation and life to this lifeless world.

Moses in fulfilling God’s appointed responsibility and will encounter hardships. He chose mistreatment over enjoying temporary pleasures of sins and viewed that disgrace for the sake of Christ is more valuable than all the riches of Egypt. The painful sufferings he faced caused him to ask God to end his life (Numbers 11:10-15). With God’s burden-cutting initiative Moses endured the distressful journey.

In doing God’s appointed task and will, Christians will experience persecutions, oppositions, accusations, threats, dangers, insults, beatings, hunger, slanders, prisons, betrayals, death, and all bitter hardships associated with that responsibility (2 Corinthians 11: 21-29). Peter taught every Christian that fiery adversities coming on them are not a strange happening that they will be surprised. Their sufferings must not originate from doing evil or criminal acts or even as a meddler but as being a Christian, a disciple, and an obedient follower of Christ’s will and commandments. They should not be ashamed of suffering for being a Christian but praise God for possessing that name. What are the consoling and encouraging things of suffering as a Christian? First, a Christian should rejoice because of participating in the sufferings of Christ. Since Christ suffered for us we must also be ready to suffer for him. Second, Christians are blessed for the Spirit of glory and of God rest on him. The indwelling presence of God’s spirit makes the availability of the bitter things to come on us yet it will strengthen us to overcome every pain. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil (1 Peter 3:17). It is better to obey God’s appointed task and will than to fear the bitter happenings resulting from it (Acts 5:29).

What is the better thing coming from the bitter thing of God’s appointed task and will?

The future reward

Jesus received the reward in accomplishing God’s appointed task and will. He endured the cross and received the joy set before him and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. His humility and obedience achieved God’s exaltation of him to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name. In his name, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:8-11). Jesus earned the better things coming from the bitter things of God’s appointed task and will.

Moses persevered mistreatment and disgrace because he was looking ahead to his reward as Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before him. Christians must rejoice while facing bitter and sour situations because of the future reward, the eternal glory that will be revealed to them in fulfilling the divinely instituted task and will. Paul instructed Timothy to endure hardships in doing God’s appointed duties of his ministry as what he had done to receive the award, the crown of righteousness as he kept and fight the good fight of faith and finishing the race (2 Timothy 4:5-8). The better things of the future reward will outperform the bitter things from God’s appointed task and will.


For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV)

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18 NIV)

The comforting and motivating realities from Paul’s epistles show that the better things will always surpass and outweighs the bitter things in life. The result coming from pain and suffering will always be great. God’s bitter things are better because the better harvest will come out from it. God designed the bitter things to achieve better things for us. Endure the bitter to acquire the better.

© 2021 Rosualdo Ponce

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