I’ve asked God that question more times than I want to admit, and I bet you’ve asked it a lot too. There were times when I became discouraged by what I thought was a lack of justice. David had the same question, “Where’s the justice God?” when he wrote Psalm 73.
Psalm 73:1-3, 13-14 NIV Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
In the end he realized that even though he felt that the prosperity of the wicked was unjust God was with him and that somehow, someday, there would be justice.
Psalm 73:23-26 NIV Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
How are Christians supposed to handle justice? What is our responsibility?
The Bible tells us that justice and judgment come from God.
Psalms 37:27-29 NIV Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish. The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.
Romans 12:19 NIV Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
There is a need for punishment when laws are broken, and harm has been done. Yet, the ultimate justice will be from God. While rules and laws keep us safe, those requirements must be followed. Sometimes bad things happen. At those times, justice is sought through the court system, but that system can sometimes have flaws. Remembering that justice belongs to God can help guide us through those troublesome times.
Hebrews 10:30-31 NIV For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
When a crime is committed against a loved one, the desire to have quick justice may try to take over. Emotions run deep when the news shares reports of crimes. There are examples of people trying to take control of situations in the past and present. God wants us to love one another and care for each other. Sometimes, we must make more effort to love each other. History is filled with horrific accounts of people taking justice into their own hands. From lynchings to other kinds of murder, evil was and still is evident in the actions of some people.
How Can Christians Work with Others to Achieve Justice?
Christians often work with organizations that are not Christian and this is an opportunity to work alongside non-believers and show the love of Christ. Conversations, prayers, and daily ways of life may be different. As justice is being sought, Christians can learn how to pursue it from others, then apply those lessons to their spiritual journeys.
Become aware of injustices in your area and the world. Injustice is sinful. From racial abuse and exploitation of the poor or homeless, to abuse of children and elders, to human trafficking, domestic violence, and more, evil must not be allowed to prevail.
Pray and ask God to show you ways to help. Find ways to learn more and seek information on how to become involved. Perhaps you are called to start a group for justice in your community or church.
Until Jesus returns, there will be injustices. As we deal with those injustices, we can show the world the love of God. We should be one in the Spirit, so others will know we are Christians.
John 13:34-35 NIV “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Strive for God’s justice and not our own.
Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.