There have been some times in my life- when I have come into contact with people in deep pain- faced with tragic, horrific circumstances and I have cried out to God for justice. Sometimes I have been overwhelmed with anger at those who took advantage of the innocent- who selfishly used them to gratify their own desires- parents who beat or neglect their children, incest, forcing them to participate in porn films/photographs from a young age. Allowing strangers to touch their children sexually for money. Yes, I know that these things happen- I have talked to people who have experienced these things firsthand- I have looked into the eyes of parents who have done these things to their children.
I have been tempted to violence (esp. against those parents), to despair- overwhelmed with the evil in the world and wondering how God can stand it. I know that He is just (Deut. 32:4; Job 34:12) and takes very seriously exploitation of children (Matt 18:6).
Psalm 27 has brought comfort to me during times of sadness. Esp. verses 13-14 which says: I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Is it hard to wait for justice, in the face of all the pain I see in the world? Yes. But in those moments of gut-wrenching grief and despair- I cry out to God- and I find comfort- and I pray for those who are afflicted with great pain and sorrow in this life. We will not see an end to evil- until Jesus returns. There will continue to be great evil in our world. How do I handle it? I speak up for those who don’t have a voice, I help take care of those who don’t have family, we do what we can for those who we come into contact with- and pray to God for those who we are unable to help.
I choose to believe that God grieves with me and His anger is great against those who seek to harm His children. He hates evil even more than we do. The Old Testament testifies to the strength and voracity of His wrath. So I wait, calling out in faith to God- because I know He hears our prayers- and that someday He will right all the wrongs- bring judgment to those who think they have escaped. And I am thankful- for I can rest in a God who hates- can’t even stand to be in the presence of evil.
I am thankful that He is merciful- but sometimes I want to see Him as the righteous judge- to calm my troubled spirit- to bring peace when the burden of other people’s anguish and suffering becomes unbearable.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
4 One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
9 Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the LORD will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!