August 10, 2015

“Hell in a Handbasket”

I read of terrible things happening to people. Shootings. Divorce. Big corporations running over little people. People groups displaced by greed. Authority misplaced and misused. People doing right and having wrong done to them – unearned pain. I could go on, but you know what I mean. It looks like the world has gone to hell in a handbasket and no one is even noticing. We want to right the boat and yet it feels overwhelming. I want the world to be right again and justice to be found for the wrong done to me and others – family, friends, humanity at large.

What is the answer? Can justice be found and wrong be made right on this earth? Should we try to make it so?

Injustice issues are not new to our century or to human existence. It started in the Garden where we thought we could know what God knows and that we could do what God does – by ourselves, without Him. His timing is too slow or inconvenient. His ways are mysterious. We rebelled in the Garden against His care and protection, wanting more than Him, wanting power for ourselves. We exchanged God Himself, who had given everything we needed in Him, for the creation and our “right” to be our own “god”.

With Him, justice is perfect. Without Him, revenge and hate and greed are never satisfied. All peace treaties will fail, marriages will end in divorce, physical and sexual abuses will get worse and destroy lives. Our pride makes us believe that if we make laws, educate the masses, force compliance, make sure others get their payback for what they have done, that our thirst for justice will be fed, and people will stop hurting other people. The fact that wars continue, revenge shootings increase, abuse and slavery are on the rise, greedy people steal and kill and destroy other’s lives, means we either need to try harder to convince, legislate and educate, or we are going about this all wrong.

In my lifetime and in my life, I have faced abuse, have been wrongly accused, not treated justly for the wrong committed against me. Bitterness, blaming, fear, pride – none of these worked for me to resolve those injustices. They did not bring peace, resolution, change others, keep it from happening to others or myself again and again. The explosion in my soul from the damage injustice had caused, hurt people I loved in ways that are still reaping repercussions in their lives and mine. Decades and decades of this. Then God stopped me in my tracks and said, “Kristin, why are you fighting Me in this process of resolving your pain? What are YOUR methods actually reaping except pain and destruction? I have a much better way. I have been on the receiving end of more injustice from You, than you will ever receive from others. I have forgiven you in the death of my Son Jesus Christ. I call on you to trust Me and extend that same grace and forgiveness to those who have treated you and those you love wrongly.”

You see, our sin against God has created the atmosphere for the injustices to continue and worsen, because we do not see His big picture. We – humanity –  broke the world through our pride and active rejection of God and His ways for us. Then we cry out to Him and blame Him for the repercussions of sin loosed upon the earth. I am not saying we directly earned or deserved what happened to us because we were the ones who actively did something wrong. What I am saying is that the Fall has unleashed pain, hate, revenge, injustice upon the world in a way that is destructive to us – ripples of sin, consequences rolling out across time.

He uses the suffering and injustices in our lives to cause us to see our inability to change anything without Him, that we need Him, that until all know Him as Lord, injustice will continue and increase, without cure. If we who are called by His name, would live that message in our relationships, surrendering our “rights”, allowing Him to extend grace through us, the Gospel of reconciliation would begin turning the tide of the effects of injustice. It will only all be made right when the Lord returns and makes it so, settles all accounts, metes out true justice in light of His perfect righteousness, sovereignty, power, and truth. All things will be laid bare before Him to whom we must give account, revealing the brokenness and repaying the sin. He alone has the love and power to make right all wrongs. True and lasting justice is found in the One who not only demands payment for all sin, but also paid for it HIMSELF at the cross.

I challenge you to read Psalm 73 and 139. Look for the unfolding of:

  • being known by Him,

  • being restored by Him,

  • being vindicated by His sovereign justice

The world is not run into the ditch unnoticed, but the timing of the Lord is for His reconciling work to be done in more lives – those yet to call on His name and be saved. He is patient not because He is cruel, but because He wants MORE to come to Him and be saved. Injustice is not forever. It has a time limit set by God for which He will restore and repay all that was lost by those to whom the injustice occurred. He reminds us that vengeance is His to take, being the messengers of reconciliation is ours to do. So speak His truth and grace into the injustices you see, pray for and support those who are hurting, but know that ultimately justice and correcting of all wrongs are in His hands and in His time.

Balance of helping and trusting Him is key to not losing hope, being salt and light in the midst of suffering- all without growing bitter, fearful and believing it is all up to you to set right. God is still on His throne and I am forever thankful about that!!

  • What hurt do you need to release into His sovereign hands?

  • How does knowing He will repay and that you are called to extend grace, change your perspective on injustice?

  • Where are you seeing injustice that you can share the truth of Christ and stand in the gap for others until He returns to make it right?

If you need help growing in this, contact me and we can schedule a complementary  Discovery Session to explore steps to do just that. Look for it under “Services” tab. I look forward to being your partner in the journey of changing your heart, mind and soul as you grow in your faith!