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If you're interested in learning more about some of the roots of bitterness so that you can be watchful for where you may be opening doors to the enemy, go here.


But if you're ready to deal with this issue, get it taken care of now and CLOSE SOME OF THOSE DOORS, skip here

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A Handy “power tool” to pull out at a moment’s notice when there is a “hint of it’s need.

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#1Triage & Rest #2Treatment & Rest - Index #3 Restoration & Rest #4 Physical Therapy
#1 Killing Disease -Worldwide.


A Killer Disease that takes more lives than  Heart Disease

     According to the Department of Health and human services, about half a million people die each year from Heart Disease. Many believe that Heart disease kills more people than any other disease, worldwide, but the disease we're talking about takes far more lives, but  it's symptoms often go unnoticed... or misdiagnosed...
until it's too late.

     I lost a dear friend to this disease recently.  We had not been friends for long but in Christ I thought we were good friends because we held Jesus above everything else in our lives and we prayed together, encouraged one another, and always in and through the Lord. The feeling was mutual about the degree to which each of us saw the Lord's work in our own lives because of the other.  We often walked together and shared our concerns.  I felt that we would be friends for life and that she would always be there for me, and I for her as well.

    She had been unhappy for such a long time, continually hiding herself away in a dark room, drawing the curtains when she got home from work and sharing how depressed her job made her, but I started to see a changed.  

    She had been through deep hurts many years earlier and, as we talked about these and sought the Lord's guidance and healing, she became lighter and filled with joy, experiencing freedom that she said she'd not experienced before.  We prayed on the resolution of pride and bitterness and she started sowing good seed in the heart of her marriage.  

Watch for the “signs”.

    Then one day something happened.  I noticed her doing a few things that she had previously shared that she wouldn't  do anymore because “the Lord convicted her heart”.  At the time, others were in the room and I saw her give me a look which suggested that she knew exactly what I was thinking - but that she was going to do it anyway.

     It was at that point that something had “shifted” in our relationship, and whenever we got together, her discussions included more complaints about others and sometimes, they were so cutting that I was glad the object of her daggers wasn't in the room.  I started praying for her, looking for an open door to talk to her as these visits were often cut short and ended abruptly.

Then she did it.  

    I didn't see it coming. It blew me away and was something I had never quite experienced before.  It came out of nowhere so I wasn't prepared for it but she started to verbally pummel me.  I thought she was doing it out of actual hurt from something that I might have done, so I tried to care for her heart as she told me how negative an influence I had been in her life “all this time”.  She brought up reasons for her feelings: how I didn't like a reality TV show that she liked; that I had a “negative attitude” towards some foods that she enjoyed and other quite trivial complaints.  However,  I took her comments seriously and assumed that somewhere I had hurt her, so I apologized profusely for ever hurting her feelings.

      She then proceeded to complain about my loved ones and I kept quiet because at that time, others were around, and at one point, I “took my marbles and went home”.

I did the “unforgivable”.

    The next day I did something that she considered“unforgivable”: I approached her about the subject.  I told her that I cared about her very much, how concerned I was for her heart, shared the things she had been saying about others, the things that I saw, that I knew she was speaking out of pain and was deeply concerned for the bitterness that seemed to be taking over her heart.  I reaffirmed where I knew she was hurt: the old wounds from infidelity MANY years earlier and from a father who abandoned her, and reminded her how on many occasions, we prayed together for the Lord to bring Healing...and that the Lord DID bring healing when we asked.

     Since we always allowed the other to speak into our lives, I spoke on how we don't have the privilege of entertaining pain to the degree that it overtakes our lives and hurts others, that we've been given the keys to the kingdom and that we had a way to renounce our ' right to anger' and thus, be delivered, just as she experienced before.  I said I would pray with her and support her and stay with her during this period of healing that was needed.  She didn't see it that way.

“Bitterness” is the number one heart disease  

 To make a long story short, she disowned me and our friendship, wanting nothing else to do with me.  My heart ached afterward, seeing her go inside whenever she saw me pull up the driveway, and sifting through all the things that happened in my head to see if there was some way that I could have made a difference.  

    I knew I would be moving within a month and longed for restoration with her as I cared for her so, but the Lord told me that “my job was done here”, ...but I could not move on and it took me many months to let her go, to allow prayer for her to be enough...it just didn't seem enough but as I tried to reach out to her, she avoided my calls.  Only Jesus could reach her heart and pursue her and hopefully she will open her heart to Him again before she reaches the grave.


“Friends don't let friends live Bitter”

If the secular world can come to the conclusion that “friends don't let friends drive drunk”, then we Christians had better get in line with the saying that “friends don't let friends live Bitter”, right?  Or you can put ANY other “conditions for living” in there like “friends don't let friends live in anger”...or in envy...or even in selfish ambition.

     Now, living the Christian life is often a balancing act and it's easy to get into unhelpful extremes when seeking to find the balance and things may not always work out the way you intended them but it's the Lord's job to sort that out, in you and in others.  We are still called to love enough in Christ to not see our loved ones go towards death.  I'm not a 1 Timothy 5:20 kind of person who is comfortable publicly rebuking others “so that others may take warning but I totally feel comfortable with 2 Timothy 4:2 which says;

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

No one really WANTS to stay in bondage to anger or bitterness.

     Galatians 6:1-6 says we're to “gently restore one another” from any trespass, to bear one another's burdens, to think of ourselves not as higher than another, to examine our own work, for each one will bear his own load and to share God's word and be teachable. We have to love one another enough to help them out of this trap.
Another dies in bitterness of soul, and never tastes of good.  (Job 21:25)

       This is getting a little off track but again, each one of us can think of someone who needs ' gently restoring”, and if you are the one in bitterness, sidle up next to someone strong in the lord for this next season of having it restored.

Those who live in bitterness will  
             NOT SEE THE KINGDOM

Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lust-fulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)  

    Ok now, this is pretty serious, right? Jesus says many times who will not “see the kingdom” and He wasn't talking to the Lost, right?  Because we already know that there is a bigger reason why they won't be getting in the doors and that's why we're left here on earth still, right?  For the advancement of the Kingdom, right?  I mean, He could just as easily take us up to be with Him when we received him as Lord and savior of our life, right?  Do not be fooled and take lightly what God's word says about such things.

“Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  (Matthew 7:21)  

“looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled by it;” (Hebrews 12:15)  


     We HAVE to be willing to love enough to reach out to those who are being swallowed up in record numbers by this rampant “disease”.  I'm sure most of you can think right now of someone you know who is bitter to some degree, hurt, angry or frustrated.

 
Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord, (Hebrews 12:14)

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.  (Ephesians 4:31-32)  

Resolving Bitterness.

      If you're struggling with this and RECOGNIZE that the roots of bitterness have set in your heart, this is a GREAT BEGINNING because you can do something about it TODAY!  It's so easy!  

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)  

We don't DO THE WORK!

     WE don't have to “work through it”, “work harder at NOT being bitter”, or work at anything other than being willing to surrender it!  This means repenting (RENOUNCING) it, not being willing to continue to OWN it, entertain it or let it thrive in our being anymore.  We just have to be willing to ask the Lord to take it then and HE does the work as we ask for peace, for more of HIS love and grace and mercy.  (HE Does the Work)

Another dies in bitterness of soul, and never tastes of good.” (Job 21:25)  

      Life is filled with MANY avenues for one to be disappointed, hurt and angry.  If not resolved, these emotional stresses, if not resolved at the throne, can rot like garbage not taken out!  The outcome can be bitterness and resentment which can fester and snowball deeper into such a hard root that it seems almost impossible to get over, affecting everything you do and effect everyone around you.  

Consequences of “entertaining” bitterness in your heart;

•  affect your work and relationship with co-workers, could even cost you your           job.
•  affect your marriage to the point of destroying it
•  affect your relationship with your children, alienating them or turning them           bitter and resentful themselves, creating insecurity or a myriad of other            outcomes.
•  Affect other relationships such as with parent or siblings.
•  Affect relationships with sisters and brother in the church, between            individuals or over church matters even.
•  Affect your friendships with close friends.


Emotional can affect the physical
 
      It's been noted in many different sources that your emotional stress can affect your physical body.  Some studies have found, for instance, that anger is most commonly associated with the liver, resentment associated with the gallbladder, grief associated with the lungs and fear is associated with the kidneys.  We have all heard that stress affects your health and it thing this is another important reason to look at bitterness or anger but it will make you crazy if you try to dig out, research or 'fix' this issue by going this route of reasoning.
 
      The main reason we want this issue resolved is that it is not of God, it is a SIN...and sin brings consequences!  The ONLY way to resolve SIN is REPENTANCE. The only way to be FREE is to RENOUNCE sin.  Do it every time even if it's a million times a day but do it, knowing that each time you do, it will be taken from you as far as the east is to the west.

"Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19)

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”(Psalm 103:12)  


     Bitterness will cause isolation and loneliness because even other people not affected directly don't want to be around someone who is bitter. It will destroy your heart and it will continue the rest of your life unless resolved. No one can have peace and happiness with such emotions tearing at them.  God can free you from this “disease” if you are willing.

The “CURE” for the disease

Below is a “fork in the Road”, where you can learn more how we open doors to the enemy through sowing seeds of bitterness (this one is a sneaky hindrance to healing) or you can go straight to resolving any bitterness in your heart and closing any doors that the enemy can take hostage..  Another great article to help you through this is “I HURT and can't let go”.  If forgiving someone is hard for you right now, to release this bitterness, then reading Receive Forgiveness to get Healing may help greatly.  
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