“The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” (Psalm 33:5 NIV)
Prejudice, discrimination, human trafficking, corruption, and more run rampant in the world. Media and modern-day conversations overflow with just causes, but heartfelt justice requires a deep look into our sin-soaked souls. To fight with courage and boldness, without judgement, and in love. Christ followers know the mercy we’ve been shown, and the freedom Jesus died to accomplish. His love compels us to live our faith, and heartily pursue justice.
What is Justice (According to God’s Word?)
“Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:14)
Both characteristics of God, righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne (Psalm 97:2). He is always fair, always good. Christians are purposed for the pursuit of righteousness. Injustice may seem explainable and fair by worldly standards. But Christ followers are not to sit idly by. God is in charge of all judgement and punishment for sin on this earth (1 Thessalonians 4:6), but we can love others in the name of the gospel by defending godly principles.
For a time, the number of people with knee injuries on my list of healing prayers became so great that I just started to pray, “please bless and heal ‘the knees.'”
Pain seems to unite people. The awful, and seemingly endless strife without solution isn’t anything most would wish upon even their worst enemy. Pain seems to be a peaceful medium we can all relate to.
Imagine that. There is peace in pain.
In today’s verse, Paul is advising the Christians in Corinth to get along with each other. It seems like a simple enough request, to get along with other Christians. But Christians then were no less susceptible to division than Christians today. Disagreement exists within the confines of faith just as rampantly as without. Why is this?
Beyond common ground, we must believe. The only way for people to be “completely fastened together with one mind and shared judgement,” is in a common pursuit of our Savior. “In the name of our Lord Jesus, come together.”
Jesus is the only hope we have for peace.
“Do not allow anything or anyone to create division around you.” Anything or anyone. Anything, like one person’s pain removed when ours remains. Anyone, comparatively, who might have the solution we hope for …or don’t.
“Anything or anyone.”
There are ample opportunities to plant seeds of bitterness, shame, jealousy, malice, guilt, comparison, and hate in this world. It’s not hard to find flaws in people, because all people are flawed.It’s much harder to focus on the good that God promises exists in every person, it’s worth the peace.
The peace that’s born out of the shared pain we endure in this world. Pain isn’t limited to physical aches. Not everyone’s struggle is imminent and obvious. Nor is ours to everyone else. When we compassionately look upon others for the good we know is in them, we act as the arms of the One who died to extend the same love to us.
Father, Praise You for pain. Thank for the way it unifies us and slows us down to depend on You and pray for each other. Forgive us for not coming straight to You with what pains us, in recognition that You alone are our Healer. Please bless and strengthen our faith in You, and the good You put in all of us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!