Bitter Complaints to Sweet Praises
Day 206: Bitter Complaints to Sweet Praises
James 3:11 (AV) — 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
I wonder if we have ever seen Jesus Christ, if we know who He is? Have we ever heard ringing in our souls these words, “Behold the Lamb of God!” There is a phrase used in America, “I want what I want when I want it.” The way you will want the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire is when you begin to see the Lord Jesus; when you see Him, the great heart-hunger, the great longing of the life will be, “I want to be like Him.” But remember, you must come to Him; it is His prerogative to baptize with the Holy Ghost. It is not a blessing we gain by faith, not a blessing we merge into by devotion and fasting, it is the supernaturally natural result of coming to Jesus as the true Baptiser. One sees lives on the right hand and on the left, turning sour and cynical, seeing only the frauds and disappointments in life—if they would only look to the Lord Jesus! He baptizes with the Holy Ghost and with fire, that is, He makes us like Himself. --Oswald Chambers
Do we realize the sour taste of our bitter heart? Have we heard the sweet voice of Christ and listened to the murmuring and complaining of our souls? Do we long for something better, something more pure and sincere? Friends, there is hope. First, however, we must get our taste buds back. Have you ever ate something so hot that it overpowered the ability to taste anything else? The Ghost pepper has that ability. It can steal the flavor from anything if too much is applied. Our hearts get that way. We get accustomed to bitterness and don’t even realize that it robs the taste right out of the good things in life.
Every story we tell is tainted by it. Our bitter souls have permeated every action and reaction. We need the touch of God to deal with that root of bitterness and cause our hearts to send forth sweet water. This story from when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt tells of God’s power to turn bitter into sweet.
Exodus 15:23–25 (AV) — 23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,
Isn’t it amazing? God showed Moses a tree. When Moses cast that tree into the midst of the bitter waters, the bitter waters were made sweet. That is a type of the cross. It is the cross of Jesus that makes our bitter hearts sweet. Bitterness is a sin. It keeps us from being like Jesus. When we realize our hurts we cherish are like vipers that poison us and cause us to spray venom on all, we love or could love, then perhaps we can take it to Jesus’ cross, and nail them there. That’s where our bitterness belongs. Nailing it to the tree means we crucify it there, leaving it to die.
Only then can the sweet waters flow from our hearts, crowning praise with the power to quench the thirst of those bitter souls around us who long for the taste of the pure life of Jesus.
I liken the world that lies in darkness to a thirsty caravan gathered around Marah’s well where the water is too bitter to drink. High are the Andes, lofty the Himalayas, but the woes of mankind are higher still. The Ganges, the Indus, and other mighty streams pour their floods into the ocean, but what mighty deep could contain the torrents of human grief? A very deluge is the sorrow as well as the sin of man. The heathen know nothing of the healing tree cut down of old, which still has power to sweeten mortal misery. You know it, you have your trials, and you surmount them by the appeals you make to your Lord and by the power of his consolations; but these sons of darkness have your griefs and more, but not your Comforter. For them, the flood, but not the ark; the tempest, but not the refuge. And you have that which would cheer them: no doubt passes across your mind as to the gospel. ....You know that you have a tree that can heal the bitter fountains...I entreat you to present this remedy to those who need it so much...Is there anywhere on earth another healing tree beside that which fell beneath the axe at Calvary? Are there other leaves ‘for the healing of the nations’?--C.H. Spurgeon