Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Seek not YOUR revenge

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; 
for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Romans 12:19

One of the hardest areas7 in which to trust God is in the matter of justice. When we perceive an injustice, we want to see the guilty party punished. We want justice to prevail, especially if we are the victim. We become impatient if we are not avenged quickly. Yet God warns us that vengeance is not our prerogative. We are to desire justice, but we are not to seek vengeance (Mic. 6:8). When someone offends us, our responsibility is to respond to the offense with forgiveness (Matt. 5:44). God takes the responsibility to see that justice is done. God loves people too much to allow sin to go unchecked.

Peter claimed that God is not slow about His promises to us, but He is patient and long-suffering before He brings about judgment (2 Pet. 3:9). Yet ultimately God has prepared for absolute justice. There will be no sin committed that He will leave unpunished. Either the punishment will fall on His Son or it will be charged against the sinner, but everyone will ultimately give an account for everything they have done (2 Cor. 5:10).
God is absolutely just, and only He can ensure that justice is fully carried out. If we are impatient and seek revenge, we presume that we are wiser than God, and we reveal a blatant lack of trust that God will do the right thing. Only by trusting God's sovereign wisdom will we be free from our anger and preoccupation toward those who have committed evil. If we refuse to trust God's justice, we become enslaved to bitterness and anger. We must guard our hearts and trust God to exercise His judgment against those who oppose Him. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

It's not the way of the world to practice patience and forgiveness towards those who have wronged us.   Satan pushes people to believe that justice should be immediate and harsh. People ought to get utter satisfaction from those who have wronged them.

Yet God says no. That's not what He wants.  In my very short life, compared to many others, He has shown me His idea of justice. 

The media today, especially the news outlets, are kerosene flame throwers in their incitement of people to demand revenge.  They don't need to yell it or scream it in their broadcasts, they just quietly, repeatedly, suggest things that ought not be said to people. After all look at the videos whereby they have been caught exclaiming that it's their job to tell you what to think.  Go ahead and look it up. 

In Christ, we have forgiveness of sins.  In Christ we experience hope, grace, and mercy.  Unmerited favor is grace. Not receiving what punishment we deserve is mercy.  

In my life, there are many incidents where I was met with people of evil intent.  People who were doing things towards me that were indeed more than I could handle.  In the cases of these, I could tell you stories that would make a Stephen King novel look like Sesame Street in comparison when it comes to the truth of people in this world ought not to mess with God's children. I did not seek revenge in those things, God took care of them. 

We should never seek revenge or seek ill will to befall people.  We as Christians should turn over such to God to deal with. Paul writes of doing this very thing to some within the Church.  The thing worth noting is the passage that says "it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God". 

Revenge is not the business of believers. 

Our mission is to share Jesus with others. In our conduct and speech if necessary. Our lives should say to people that we have something they don't have, and it's available to them. Our mission isn't to go to war on a perishing world. 

Do some people deserve to die for their actions?   Regardless of what you think or believe, that particular form of judgment is what "you shouldn't judge" is really about.  Who lives or dies is only, really, up to Jesus. Will Christians be in situations where they may be that instrument of justice and someone dies? Yes.  I believe that is true and Biblical.  Should they seek out such situations intentionally? No. Absolutely not.  Even at the Garden of Gethsemane the Disciples were asked if they had a sword.  War was coming to keep Jesus from the cross.  After the incident at the cross the Apostles would be hunted. Satan is a very sore loser. 

Days are coming when Christians will probably be the hunted again.  It isn't that evil is stronger, it's that the message of the Gospel is the hope for this world and evil cannot tolerate its existence.  People are being incited to violence and revenge. 

The best position for all who believe is on their knees in prayer.  As Scripture says leave room for Jesus to take care of any revenge or vengeful acts.  You will see what a Holy God can do that you never dreamed possible.  Believe me, I have seen it happen time and again. What Jesus did to those who sought to harm me or my family was beyond astonishing.  Don't think your version of it is better until you see the finger of God handling your problem. 

Today my friend leave your anger and desire for revenge with Jesus.  It may be that you will indeed see the hand of God dealing with it. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs.

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