God is just. He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7a
In 2 Thessalonians, Paul is writing to the Christians in the Church at Thessalonians and giving them encouragement as they are under persecution as well as correcting a misunderstanding about when Christ will return. Some of the members of the Church believed it had come and had even stopped working.
Because God is truly just then He will ensure that those who persecute His followers will get their just desserts however God is also full of grace and will forgive those persecutors who repent. To us this is an upside down view of everything.
A good illustration of this is Corrie ten Boom who spent years in a German concentration camp, even watching her sister die in the camp, and then after the war was speaking at a conference about God’s love and forgiveness, when a former guard from the concentration camp came forward and told her how he had been given a new life in Christ and held out his hand in Christian friendship. As first she struggled to respond and then realised that if God had forgiven him how could she refuse. This brought far more joy and peace than holding onto a grudge.
I find I am often quick to ask for God to rain down my view of justice and punishment on people who upset me but then am challenged by the Lord’s Prayer, forgiveness and my role in it.
Check out the Lord’s Prayer particularly the part on forgiveness and our role. True justice is able to flow when we forgive.
Rev Steve Neuhaus
Eagles Rest Ministries