The reports about Andrew Brunson’s release are just another example of how little the media know about evangelical churches.
We do not often remember that bitterness is one of Satan's favourite weapons.
A small amount of bitterness can ruin our lives. As can the great defeats too... although this did not seem to matter much to the great swimmer MATT BIONDI who, when he failed to win gold in the 100 metres free-style in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona (a race in which he was the favourite) said: "It is not the end of the world, my dog will still lick my face." A sportsmanlike way of accepting defeat.
How much suffering is created by very small things! On many occasions we may have fought well, have worked in the best way possible, we have done everything we could, and our work produced great fruit.
However, for some reason we may return home bitter: a bad gesture, a cynical smile, or an ill intentioned word that can cause a great party to turn into a lonely, melancholy celebration.
Many times I have been involved in evangelistic campaigns, where God has demonstrated his power in an extraordinary way.
At the end we all cry with joy, but... suddenly someone found a small defect, somebody who spoke badly about someone else, someone who got upset because they did not have anything important to do, and everything changes to sadness.
We do not often remember that bitterness is one of Satan's favourite weapons. We forget that bitterness is sin! We do not have the right to spoil the joy of God's service because of a small silliness. We do not have the right to sadden others with our petty feelings of resentment, our sensitivity or bitterness.
And as well as not being our right, it is also sin. When we allow sin to grow in us, we are going against God's word. We have to cut it out at the root.
Look inside yourself, in your own roots. Look at what is growing inside you. If there is a root of bitterness, do not nurture it, cut it out. Start to plant roots of joy. And make sure they grow.