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God of Love, God of Justice – Rick Warren

“Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’”

Romans 12:19 (ESV)

Life is not fair. God never said it would be!
Life is unfair because there is sin in the world. Jesus came to make things right, and, one day, they will be. But, right now, sometimes bad people prosper. Sometimes good people suffer. Sometimes innocent people get hurt.

If you have been discriminated against because of your race, culture, language, or gender, if you’ve been abused, if you have been harassed or mistreated—that breaks my heart, and I am sorry for your hurt.

We should do whatever we can to correct injustice. But there’s something even more important than the way I feel about it. It’s the way God feels about it. God has seen every hurt in your life, and he grieves over injustice, too.

When somebody asks me, “Where was God when your son died?” I say, “He was at the same place he was when his Son died—grieving over man’s inhumanity to humanity.”

So why didn’t he stop it? God could stop all the evil in the world just like that. But it would mean taking away our freedom to choose.

God may not stop a hurt from happening, but God is keeping a record. Not only that, but he’s “storing up your tears in a bottle” (Psalm 56:8). The Bible also says, “Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (Romans 12:19 ESV).

Because God is loving, he is also a God of justice. To allow evil to hurt his children and not seek justice would be unloving.

Since God seeks justice, you don’t have to spend your life holding on to hurts. In fact, God doesn’t want you to waste one second of your life on resentment, retaliation, or revenge. That’s just going to fill you with the poison of bitterness. Don’t waste your life on bitterness!

Some of you are allowing people who hurt you 10 years ago to still hurt you today because you’re holding on to the memory of that hurt. That’s foolish! They can only hurt you when you choose to hold on to the hurt. You have to let it go.

Justice delayed is not justice denied. God is very aware of what people have done to you, and there will be a day of reckoning.

Do you trust him? If you do, you’ll let it go. Surrender your hurt to Jesus, and let him settle the score.

Talk It Over

Who is better at getting justice: you or God? Why?
Why do you think God gives us the freedom to choose him?
What hurt have you been holding on to that you need to surrender to God today?

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