Flourishing Faith: Vengeance belongs to God.
Vengeance - Punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong. When someone wrongs us or mistreats us sometimes our first instinct is to get even or wait for them to fall into calamity and experience the same kind of pain they caused us. But I want to ask you today is that really the mentality and mindset a true follower of Christ should have? I'm not here to excuse someone's behavior of have they mistreated you or to diminish how you feel but really think about this question.
I asked this because culture and even the sacred society of the church has dressed up the idea to want to see our enemies hurt. Even preaching sermons about seeing your enemies fall and waiting for God to punish them. Yes there is evidence that reveals the wrath of God against those who violate others. But God also wages His wrath against evil. Wanting to see others hurt because they hurt us is... evil. Today I want to educate you and share some ways to cope when you've been mistreated or wronged and to remind you that vengeance belongs to GOD.
First we have to understand that rejoicing because our enemies fall is not ok. Proverbs 24:17-18 says Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him. This text revels that not only should we not rejoice when our enemy falls but it actually displeases GOD to see us excited that some one else is hurt or stumbles.
This requires a heart check. Instead of waiting to see someone repaid for their evil done to us. We should place our attention on GOD. Lay the problem at His feet. Each time you recall what happened do as 1 Peter 5:7 says and cast your cares on God. Romans 12:19 says "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord." Instead we are encouraged to overcome evil with good and to do what is honorable in the sight of all men. (Romans 12:21-22) This can be easier said than done and can often seem to be impossible. But with God nothing is impossible. Including having to forgive others.
Secondly we have to realize that we are not perfect and are capable of inflicting the same pain onto others. Even if you have not intentionally, you are still without sin and the wages of our sin caused the death of Christ. However we are redeemed through the blood of Jesus by grace and now should share that same grace to others. After we understand this we also have to renew our minds just as Romans 12:2 says and remember that we are not fighting against strangers and loved ones.
Ephesians 6:12 says For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. And the best way to combat this type of warfare is through constant training & sole confidence in power of the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-14 goes on say how to withstand these kinds of attacks and even tells us to armor up. So this advises us that not only is our warfare not physical but indeed spiritual and impactful enough to cause us to have to walk with protection.
You see our faith and hope should be that God will fight for us and we MUST allow God to deal with people. If we do it in our own strength it can backfire and the real lesson will not be learned which is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we mistreat someone how is that loving our neighbor as we love ourselves? Ultimately, the victory & vengeance belongs to God and He will right every wrong done to you. Instead delight yourself in God through His word and remind yourself to be confident in Him. Psalms 56:8 says He stores our tears and records them in His book. Psalms 94:1 says "O LORD, the God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth!" Understand that He will vindicate you.
May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding reign in your hearts.
Until Next Time,