When Healing and Justice Don’t Happen: Pt 2
“...if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
(Read Part 1 here.)
As so many of us look to the Lord for justice over wrong done or for healing of afflictions, we have much to unlearn and relearn about what it means to suffer for Christ’s sake, rather than simply suffering.
Our purposes in all things must be Christ. We should never take anything at face value, but must take all things for Christ. The mistake of so many Christians is that we do not temper all things by this Lordship of Christ—we do not do and have all things for His sake. Our prayer must be, “No matter what, Lord Jesus, please deliver me to Yourself.” We must ask if our happiness delivers us to Christ and we must also ask if our sorrow is delivering us to Him. Happiness is not sacred and neither is sorrow (2 Cor 7:10). We must be trained to look upon all of these things and pray, “Lord Jesus, glorify Your name.” This ensures that we have sorrow or joy all based upon what unites us to Him and glorifies Him, and that we have neither that works in us the reverse.
Failure to recognize this is the danger for us. So many of us believe that justice and healing are sacred, but what is worked in us when we receive either of these things? Is it a deeper devotion to Christ as the one leper who turned back to Him, or is it a perverse happiness that doesn’t turn back to Christ as the nine lepers did (Luke 17:11-19)? What God shows us most clearly is that all that matters is what turns us to Christ. Whether suffering or happiness, all things are for that singular purpose, and all things must be weighed there. That is why circumstances can all vary, because they are all controlled by one ruling principle: that which works Christ in us. And it is this that the Christian is most in need of fighting for at every turn in life and at every desire.
Besides these things, God promises us healing and justice and all His promises will absolutely be fulfilled. The trouble for us is that we look so much to what this life will bring us and we do not have the mind of God that looks to prepare us for eternity. We all struggle with this, but which way do we struggle? Do we try to bring things to our own wills or do we struggle to bring ourselves into God’s will? Both appear externally to be a struggle, but they are entirely different in nature. One works for the mind of Christ, that which forms Him within us, and one merely works for the circumstances of our lives to be changed. Yet both appear as faith to the untrained eye.
Again, it is not wrong to hate suffering and injustice; we should be bothered by these things. It’s a very wrong view of “contentment” to try to condition our hearts to accept that which is evil! Rather, the issue is that it is wrong to not love the things of God more than these things, more than anything else. The problem is that we are not committed to follow Christ through suffering, persecution, slander, abuses, and uncertainty if that is where the road of righteousness leads through. Yet in all these things we are submitting to a Holy God and not to wicked man. We are submitting for the holy purposes of God and not for the evil purposes of man.
In part, this teaches us a very essential rule and freedom simultaneously. That we must only suffer for Christ’s sake. We must be very careful about this. For we easily suffer for our own views and opinions, but we must suffer for Christ alone! This teaches us as well where we must endure abuses and where we are free from them. We should not subject ourselves to all sufferings and evils, but rather, we must be willing to endure anything if, and only if, it is for Christ’s sake. Too many of us make our own crosses and fail to realize that by doing so we immediately fail to make them truly for Christ. Rather, we must look for that which is of Christ’s glory, cross or not, and walk along this road.
In the end God will give us justice and healing. That is the promise of God. And this is meant to be a large portion of the peace that we have. Part of this peace is in the great meaning of life lived to God here and now, and the other part is that of God’s justice, healing, and perfection of us in eternity. We must wait, but we must wait in faith, fully knowing and counting on these things to be ours in eternity. “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Pet 2:23) Christ took peace in all the injustice in this world by trusting and knowing God’s judgement to be absolute and just. We must not doubt God about these things purely because He has decided when He will do these things.
God has purposed this life for salvation (John 12:47), and this is a great mercy that we should not scorn God for. God waits for His judgement, He has not forsaken His judgement. He does this so that all people might come to repentance. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Pet 3:9) Those who forsake this mercy of God will be judged in the end (John 12:48). In a word, Christ’s first coming is for salvation and His second coming will be for judgement. We as believers must align our hearts and lives with God’s ways and learn to walk therein.
David was attacked by the enemies and yet he maintained his focus upon God and His ways.
The subject most important to us is not how to deal with these people but how to deal with ourselves in the midst of such people. “Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.” (Psalm 119:23) Let us keep our focus where God calls our focus to be, fully trusting and knowing that He will judge all evils in this world, and heal all our diseases.
All these injustices will be dealt with. We should take great assurance in this. And yet we should be willing to see things as God sees them. The promises of God are all true. Healing? He shall heal us completely. Injustice? He shall judge all things, expose all evil works, and mete out right justice to all. God does not lie by telling us He will do these things and holding back from doing them before our eyes, here and now. We are right to trust Him for these things, and while we wait, we are right to trust He is working His purposes.
We certainly live in a world that is filled with suffering and evil. To deny this in the name of faith is an injustice and most foolish. Our true hope is not that these things be different than they are; our hope is in God, Who is holy, good, wise, and trustworthy. He has purposed much for us in this life if only we would be faithful to Him, obeying and seeking that which He says for us to seek.
November 30, 2020