October 20: “When Unjustly Suffering, Look to the Divine Judge”

5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Kings 1
2 Thessalonians 1
Daniel 5
Psalms 110-111

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

2 Thessalonians 1:6 (CSB): “since it is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

The verse I have chosen for today is a bit negative. It deals with a harsh reality. Yet, it seems relevant to the times in which we live, including Americans.

This past year, the media and social media have been used to highlight injustices between police and black citizens.

We have also watched on the screen as videos are shown of thugs firing a gun at point-blank range at police sitting in their patrol vehicle. Once again – injustice.

We have watched as peaceful protests often spawned riots that unjustly stole and destroyed property and buildings.

We have observed as a self-righteous culture justly condemns slavery while defending a woman’s right to kill her own baby and insisting that a pro-life justice on the U.S. Supreme Court is a threat to their murderous desires. Unjust!

These and so many more instances highlight the fact that unjust suffering has been experienced by so many people in our society. But, when we look at our own sub-culture of Christianity, we realize that unjust suffering has been escalating within our ranks for years.

As we move further and further into a post-Christian American culture, we hear of Christian bakers who have been unjustly sued for not wanting to bake a cake for an LGBTQ+ wedding. We have watched as Christians have stood up for their biblical convictions in public schools or the workplace and have been punished or even fired. We have even observed state governors demanding that churches stay shuttered while those same governors allow abortion clinics, bars, and other “essentials” to remain open.

So much injustice. So much suffering.

What is to be done about it?

Among the diminishing range of options we can pursue while on this earth, we are told in our Bible readings today that God is going to deal with those who unjustly cause us to experience suffering for living out our faith.

2 Thessalonians 1:4–10 (CSB): “Therefore, we ourselves boast about you among God’s churches—about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and afflictions that you are enduring. It is clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, since it is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to give relief to you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels, when he takes vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious strength on that day when he comes to be glorified by his saints and to be marveled at by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed.”

Find comfort in the fact that while you may be unjustly suffering at the hands of others right now, and while it may seem that the injustice is proceeding unchecked, realize that God is noticing. If He doesn’t deal with the perpetrator in this life, He will deal with him in the next life.

If you are following the Lord, God’s got your back. He loves you and He takes it personal when someone hurts one of His children, especially when they were simply doing what He told them to do.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I realize that God is the one who instilled within each of us a sense of justice. We instinctively know when someone is being treated wrongly. Help me to rest in Your promise to deal with those who would cause me to suffer because I’m following You. I’m so glad that I’m not the judge. I would be either far too lenient or far to strict. But you are a perfectly fair judge, perfectly capable of righting the wrongs done against all of Your followers. I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Photo by Macu ic on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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