14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. (Hebrews 12:14–16, NKJV)
God did not promise peace to His people in this life. Indeed, Jesus said, “in the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jno. 16:33). God’s grace in Christ gives us sure hope, even as sorrow and pain tempt us to abandon the very grace that sustains us as we walk this vale of tears. And so, we are warned not let life’s sorrows and trials turn to bitterness. Once bitterness takes root in the heart it is a dreadful enemy to peace and holiness. The bitter heart has lost faith, and so falls short of the grace of God. Esau serves to illustrate the base values that led him down the path of bitterness. When life does not turn out like you wanted or expected, do not become bitter. Strive for peace and walk in holiness; resist the temptation to become bitter. Bitterness of heart prevents pursuing peace and holiness, and finally, it prevents a person from seeing the Lord throughout all eternity.