God’s Word is very clear that this side of heaven, we will all face pain, abuses, disappointments, and trials. We are reminded that we are not necessarily responsible when people treat us poorly, and yet it is possible to respond to poor treatment without becoming sinfully bitter. Our merciful God stands ready to meet us in our time of need and guide us through trials in a way that glorifies His name and strengthens our faith. There is great hope in knowing that bitter circumstances don’t have to make us sinfully bitter. Our behavior flows out of fully functioning heart. Jesus explained it this way in Mark 7:20-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts . . . All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” The word “heart” is used over seven hundred times in the Bible. It isn’t simply the seat of our emotions or the physical organ in our body. In God’s Word, “heart” encompasses every aspect of our inner person. It is our control center and includes everything about us that is not material. It is so important that we are told in Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out if it flows all the issues of life.” Today, remember the words of David in Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my HEART: try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Emphasis mine).