I’ve seen some inspirational writing and videos promoting peace and harmony, and paths toward healing. And most of it I really like. What I find missing is straight talk about God.
- What does God think about all this injustice?
- What is God doing about all this hurt?
- What God tells us is that even though we humans cannot get justice right all the time with all people, God does.
God’s justice is just right
The Bible says, “God’s judgment is right,” and then adds, “God is just.” Those two words, “right” and “just,” are the same Greek word. Putting them together says exactly what we need to hear: God’s justice is just right.
Healing, peace and reconciliation are going to be right all the time for all people in all situations when they come from God. Not from my ideas of justice. Not from your ideas of justice. Because you and I have our own subjective bias creating our own flaws and any of us can crack—either in an explosive moment or through experiencing our own culture over time.
The apostle Paul prays “that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:12). The glory of God (what makes him so spectacular) is connected to the grace of God—underserved love, put into action when Jesus sacrificed himself, gave up fairness and superiority and didn’t respond to injustice with injustice but with mercy.
“All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering” (2 Thessalonians 1:5). See this?! Suffering injustice is often a result of God counting you worthy of his kingdom. It’s painful, just like the suffering of Jesus was painful yet also a privilege to be appointed the Savior of the world so that his kingdom would come.
Your kingdom come
When you experience unfair suffering, it’s just right if you let God administer it and look for his kingdom to be coming to you through it. And to others. And, yes, you’ve prayed for this privilege in the Lord’s Prayer with the words “your kingdom come.”
Believers never graduate from suffering injustice, but instead God uses it as his kingdom work for us to grow—and for others to see him in us. Here’s what that looks like: “Your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring” (2 Thessalonians 1:3,4).
How do you feel about people who commit injustices in our cities and world and even on you? Until the day that Jesus returns, they are God’s kingdom work, and yours.
Dear Jesus, you suffered the greatest injustice and responded with love and mercy. Through injustice, you offer me opportunity to do your kingdom work. Grant me a growing faith and increasing love to reach out, to understand, and to persevere in this difficult yet rewarding work of reconciliation. Amen.
On Sunday I preached a message on this section of the Bible 2 Thessalonians 1, called “God’s Justice Is Just Right.” You can find it in the Tomorrowland series at http://crosslifepf.org/messages/. I share a powerful story about a mom and her son experiencing injustice in a restaurant, and how the son responds.