Will There Be Justice?

by Sheri Schofield

Knock! Knock! No, it’s not a joke. It’s that woodpecker putting holes in the side of our church! Every day it comes by and pecks a little bit more of the wood away. He’s pecked a sizable hole already.

We’ve tried chasing him off – there’s a pile of small stones on the ground outside for the men to use to chase him away when he pecks during the church service. But that pesky bird keeps coming back! He’s persistent.

It reminds me of a story Jesus told. There was once a woman who had been harmed. She went to the judge of her city and begged him to help her get justice. But the judge was a scoundrel himself and felt contemptuous toward everyone else. He didn’t want to help her. Day after day, the woman went to the judge. “Please give me justice!” she would beg. Day after day, the judge ignored her.

But the woman’s persistent plea, day after day, finally got to him. He thought, “I don’t respect God or man, but this woman is really getting under my skin. If I don’t give her justice, she’s going to wear me out. So, just to get rid of her, I’m going to give her justice.”

Jesus said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:6-8, NIV)

Have you ever been a victim of injustice? How important is true justice to God? The prophet Isaiah writes, “For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing.” (Isaiah 61:8, NLT)

This world is full of injustice, for the prince of darkness, the devil, rages against the day when Jesus will return and put an end to him and his works. Until that day comes, there will be injustice. Around the world, Christians are put in prison and killed daily because of their faith. Those who want to do right are often harassed and slandered here in our own country.

Are you one who has suffered because of your faith?

Our family faced a huge injustice years ago, and the debilitating results are with us to this day. At first, I was so angry that every time I heard the name of the group that hurt us, that name would light up in flaming red capitol letters in my brain. Those around us refused to believe what we had suffered, for it didn’t fit their ideas of what America was like. There was no validation, no comfort. No justice.

Then the Lord spoke to me out of Romans 12:19 (NIV) where Paul writes, “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.”

Because of those words, I was able to gradually relax, trust God, and have faith in him. He alone knows what true justice is. Now, years later, I have been able to let it go. Not because we received justice, but because God used our experience to help thousands of others receive it. Though God graciously showed us why we had to suffer, God’s people do not always get to see the reason. We must live by faith, not by sight, and know that when we leave room for God’s justice, it is enough.

Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24 NIV

Will There Be Justice? – encouragement from Sheri Schofield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.

Join the Conversation: Have you experienced an injustice? How did God reveal Himself as you went through that struggle?

Secondhand Forgiveness

by Debora M. Coty @DeboraCoty

“Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. ‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it.’” Romans 12:19 MSG

My daughter Cricket came home from second grade in tears. Again. Her teacher had rebuked her in front of the class for asking another girl for help with a math problem. Cricket felt humiliated and stupid. And it wasn’t the first time.

Because of a learning disability, Cricket had difficulty with some subjects, particularly math. I’d already spoken to the teacher – new to the school and extremely harsh in her control tactics – about Cricket’s special needs.

Cricket began tearfully wrapping herself around my leg at school drop-off. I had to pry my sobbing child off my leg and force her into the classroom. My fury flared toward this insensitive teacher. I simply could not forgive what she’d done to my previously happy little girl.

I knew that secondhand forgiveness is important to Papa God, but my angry heart balked.

Like secondhand smoke afflicts innocent bystanders, secondhand forgiveness is necessary when somebody hurts someone you love. The injured person may forgive the offender, but you continue to harbor resentment indefinitely. And like cigarette smoke, unforgiveness pollutes and corrodes internally.

Secondhand forgiveness is especially hard for us mama bears when somebody messes with our cubs. Our protective instincts kick into overdrive. And we tend to hold grudges far too long.

We forget that that how we feel has nothing to do with forgiveness. We forgive as an act of the will, because Papa God asks us to, not because we feel forgiving. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV). 

But in the throes of furious indignation, how do we carry out this biblical mandate? Let’s unpack this verse:

  • Be kind to one another. Our kindness as Christ-followers isn’t dependent on anyone else’s behavior. We don’t wait for someone to be kind to us; we show them how it’s done. Kindness is similar to forgiveness in that we don’t necessarily have to like someone to be kind to them. Writer Samuel Johnson said, “Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.” Likewise, we can forgive someone whether we like them or not. But we might end up feeling quite differently when we’re on our knees.
  • Be tenderhearted. Heart tenderness is the willingness to enter someone else’s world and share in their suffering; it’s the step beyond kindness, usually motivated by compassion.
  • Forgive one another. Forgiveness is the element essential to finding inner peace. Resentment is poisonous; the poison gradually spreads and chokes out the Son-light within you, leaving dark bitterness in its place. Forgiveness isn’t about changing someone else; you don’t have the power to do that. It’s about changing something within you. You don’t have the power to do that either, but Papa God does.
  • Even as God in Christ forgave you. To truly forgive others as the Lord forgives us, we must tap into our Savior’s vast supply of supernatural grace (undeserved favor). He specializes in grace – He proved that at Calvary, when Jesus willingly paid the price for our sins and died in our place. He forgives you for your wrongs and wants you to do the same for those who wrong you.

Through much prayer and Papa God’s grace, both Cricket and I forgave the insensitive teacher, although she left the school after three months due to extensive personal problems.

Forgiveness becomes a little easier when we realize there’s always something going on beneath the surface of other people’s lives that we can’t see.

Say, my friend, is there someone who needs your secondhand forgiveness today?

Offering Secondhand Forgiveness When Someone We Love is Hurt – @DeboraCoty on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

*Adapted from Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms by Debora M. Coty with permission from Barbour Publishing.


About the author: Debora M. Coty lives, loves, and laughs in central Florida with her longsuffering husband, Chuck. Debora is a popular speaker and award-winning author of over 40 inspirational books, including the bestselling Too Blessed to be Stressed series. Her newest release is Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms. Join Deb’s fun-loving community of BFFs (Blessed Friends Forever) at www.DeboraCoty.com.

Join the conversation: When have you had to offer second-hand forgiveness?