Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft is said to have once given a speech at a High School on: ‘11 Things you don’t learn in school’. Top of the charts at number one was: ‘Life is not fair – get used to it!’ You may well think, “It’s OK for him, he has his 100 billion dollars to comfort him!” But the fact remains, life is not fair. We hear daily of terrible cases of injustice. Our news is filled with stories of violence, abuse and murder as well as an ugly plethora of lesser examples of wrongs committed. And of course, we have our own experiences to throw into the mix and would not be human if we didn’t ask the “Why?” question. (Then, we might also ask, “Where did this sense of right and wrong and the deep craving for justice come from?”) However, the problem of life’s injustice is a biggie and should not be brushed aside.
God is Just
Woven throughout Scripture is the theme of the Justice of God. This is ever the comfort and consolation for the child of God in the thick of a world of inescapable injustice. The Apostle Paul points a beleaguered church away from their present persecution and suffering to the day when all injustice will be dealt with. ‘God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.’ 1.
Glorious and Terrible
On that day, the longing deep within every human heart for justice will be fully satisfied. For those whose transgressions have been covered by the redeeming work of a Saviour, it will be the end of all sorrow and the start of endless joy. But – in stark distinction – for those outside, it will be the end of any earthly happiness and the start of endless sorrow. The much uttered phrase ‘Be careful what you wish for’ contains too much wisdom to be disregarded. Observing the condition of the slaves in America, Thomas Jefferson said: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; and that His justice cannot sleep forever” 2.
It will soon be here
We are clearly told when and how justice will come, and exactly who will administer it.
‘This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed…’ 3.
All will be changed
CS Lewis, speaking of the glorious change God will perform in his redeemed people wrote : “(He) will transform the feeblest and filthiest of us into dazzling, radiant, immortal creatures, pulsating all through with such energy, joy, wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, into bright stainless mirrors which reflect back his character perfectly” 4.
We who have this hope should be filled with confidence and compassion. We ought to be delivered from any sense of self-pity for personal injustices suffered, whilst overflowing with gracious urgency to those longing for justice yet who, without Christ will be have to endure the full weight of divine justice for all eternity.
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1. 2 Thessalonians 1:6;
2. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia;
3. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
4. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952; Harper Collins: 2001) pp 205-206