Don’t you remember what it was like when someone mistreated you as a child? Perhaps you were at school and a classmate took a book you were reading. Or, maybe it was a sibling who intentionally broke one of your favorite toys. Whatever the issue was, there’s a pretty good chance that any child would feel as if it was the end of the world. Losing that book or that toy very easily could have ruined your day. Then, once this complete tragedy has taken place, the natural response would be to run off and tell the closest adult, whether teacher, parent, or other. And, if I had to guess, this younger version of you likely would have continued to pester that adult about the issue until something was done to make it right.
It seems to me that as we grow older, we attempt to take these matters into our own hands. The stakes may be a little higher. We have likely lost more than a book or a toy, but our desire for vindication is still the same. While we may often get confused about what Godly justice should look like, our desire for justice is clearly a good thing. Part of expecting the return of Christ is expecting all things to be made right and whole. In the same way that a young child will run off to a teacher or parent to fix their problems, we have the ability to run to God with prayerful petition to make all things whole again. The truth of the matter is that when Christ returns, then justice and mercy, hope and love will reign in ways that we cannot yet imagine. I mean, if we can trust a parent or a teacher to bring justice, then how much more can we trust God to do the same? If we hope police officers and judges will vindicate us, then can we not believe that God will bring vindication in a way that is infinitely better? We serve a God who is coming back, and when He does all things will be made whole. Justice will come. Now, our responsibility is to trust Him to return and shape ourselves into the kind of people who are expectantly awaiting His arrival.
Why is it so much easier for us to turn to the people around us for justice and vindication rather than believing that God will make those things right?
While we do believe that God will bring justice, we still have a responsibility to be just in the present age. There is an uncomfortable tension there. I don’t really have a question for you, but I would encourage you to consider what it means to trust and expect God will bring justice, while also engaging in practices that bring a holy form of justice now.
(By Cody Poinsett)