SERMONS, OUTLINES, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND PREACHING IDEAS

HOW TO GET BETTER WHEN YOU'RE BITTER

by James Merritt


How to Get Better When You're Bitter
Dr. James Merritt
Exodus 15:22-27


INTRODUCTION

1. Something that has become a Christmas tradition for our family every year is going to see the play, A Christmas Carol, at an Atlanta theatre. It's one of those stories that I never get tired of seeing. As you know, the central figure is a bitter old man by the name of Ebenezer Scrooge. For much of the play Scrooge is a real downer.

2. But at the end, Scrooge discovers the true meaning of Christmas, and with his heart totally changed, a man who once lived in the desert of bitterness, now swims in the river of blessing.

3. The story that we are going to read about today, is a very strange but wonderful story of how God can take the most bitter circumstances in our lives, and literally turn them into showers of
blessings. It was a happy time. The children of Israel had just been delivered from the clutches of an evil Egyptian tyrant. They had crossed the Red Sea and now they were walking in the
wilderness.

4. They were thirsty. For three days they had been looking for an oasis, but had found nothing and they were desperate for water. Just when they thought they would thirst to death, they spotted an oasis in the distance. They ran as fast as they could to scoop up that water and parch their thirst.

5. Thanking God for His goodness, they reached down with eager anticipation, brought that water up to their parched lips, took one drink and discovered the water was bitter. They even named this oasis Marah, which literally means ''bitterness.''

6. You could actually paraphrase v.23 this way: ''Now when they came to bitterness.'' May I give you fair warning today? Everybody comes to the water of bitterness. Sometime, some place, sooner or later, you will be given an opportunity to be bitter; bitter toward others, bitter toward yourself, bitter toward God. Bitterness is a battle, at some time or another, everybody must fight. If we do not win it, bitterness ...

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