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The Bitter with the Sweet

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18 ESV

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of cranberries by themselves. They’re too bitter for my liking. But, pair them with something sweet and the tangy berries are the perfect complement. Funny how that works.

I’ve also noticed that cranberries are sweeter once they’ve been through the fire. The same is true when they’ve been dehydrated. Put them under pressure and sweetness emerges. (This is true of many fruits, actually.)

I’ve been thinking about cranberries today as I’ve baked a new Cranberry Breakfast Cake (perfect for fall). I had cake for dinner, actually. (Hey, no excuses. It just sounded good, freshly baked and covered in a sugary cranberry glaze.)

As I said above, cranberries are better when paired with something sweet. In this case, a sweet breakfast cake. Any time of day.

The Bitter and the Sweet Sit Side by Side

Lately, my life has had a lot of bitter moments. Nothing huge. Just too many cranberries for my liking. Obstacles. Work stresses. Health hiccups. Just. . .stuff.

I’ve noticed, though, that the cranberries are often baked into a sweeter story. For instance, a lot of really great things have happened in my life lately (like this blog, for instance). God is opening new doors and doing new things, in spite of the rough patches.

That’s how it goes sometimes. The good and the bad dwell side-by-side. Good news and bad news overlap. Old relationships end and new relationships start. You get bad news at work and great news from a child or a friend. Health problems arise and then fade as healing comes.

When pressures come (and they do) the bitter becomes sweet. No, really. It might not seem like it at the moment, but God really is in the business of bringing the bad from the good.

It’s Not All Bitter

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to respond to the sour cranberries when they overload the story. It’s particularly hard when pressures come. You’re tossed into the fire or placed under extreme pressure and you don’t know how to respond.

I’m learning that God always seems to couch the bitter moments with gentle reminders of His gentleness and sweetness.

God is Still Good

When we’re burdened down with challenges it’s hard to remember that life is still good. We get so caught up in the bitterness of it all that we lose sight of the sweetness.

He is still good, you know. There’s plenty of sweetness to make the bitter tolerable. But sometimes it’s nice to be reminded.

That’s why I decided to list a few verses that speak to the sweetness of God.

Here are some of my Favorites:

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Psalm 119:103 ESC


Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8 ESV


Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:6 ESV

Here’s the Best News of All

God never changes. Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

You can count on His presence, His kindness, and His goodness, no matter what you’re walking through.

Even if it’s a bog of bitter cranberries.

About the Author

Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.


Sunday 25th of September 2022

Thank you! Perfect timing for this blog. Love the verses and will use them. I'm seeing the good coming through the bad, and I'm thanking the Lord!


Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Thank you!!!

Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake - Out of the Box Baking

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

[…] combination so much that I ended up dedicating an entire devotion to these flavors, which I titled The Bitter with the Sweet. The long and the short of it is. . .it works. The tart cranberries. The sweetness of the cake. The […]

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