Will God Act To Bring Justice?
When will God repay those who perpetrate harm on another? This is one of the challenges we struggle with; we want vengeance now! Instant gratification for our vengeance. Why is it that we struggle with delayed justice? Perhaps one of the reasons is because God is calling us to faith, trusting Him that He will do what He promises. This is just another way that our faith becomes practical; when we take matters into our own hands we aren’t trusting in the future work of retribution that God will fulfill.
Along with faith, this way of life also calls us into humility. To leave vengeance to God means that we have to step out of God's role (humility) and trust that He will one day fulfill His promise of repayment (faith).
20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:20-23)
Jesus kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. How is it that Jesus didn’t call down a legion on angels to smite the Jewish Pharisees or Romans soldiers? He entrusted Himself to the Father. This is exactly what Paul and Peter are encouraging us to participate in. When we are wronged, when we are harmed, when we are emotionally pained, when we are been betrayed, when we are called to endure trial, when evil has been perpetrated against us…God reminds us that Jesus entrusted Himself to the Father and in that same way we are called to do that same.
Keep in mind, the Spirit of Christ already lives in you. Will you entrust yourself to Him who empowers you to not take matters into your own hands? You have God living in you and He is able to empower you to entrust yourself to Him in the midst of suffering and trials.
In Romans 12:19 we find a profound truth that cannot afford to forget—Paul starts his command with this remarkable truth. Paul reminds the Church—he reminds us—that they are loved by God (he states “Beloved"). The Church has received the unmerited love of God. As Paul calls the church to live in love, he first assures them that they are loved. This love functions to encourage those in Rome who might experience extreme provocation from Rome, as well as to remind them that God is on their side. Paul reminds them that they are loved before he instructs them to not take vengeance into their own hands.
If the church in Rome during Paul’s day needed to be reminded that they are loved by God—demonstrated in Christ’s death and resurrection—we too need to be reminded of that remarkable truth today.
To love others, including those who persecute us, we must be reminded that we are first loved by God. We need not to take vengeance into our hands since the God who loves us will fulfill His promise to do so.