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Leading The Way - Week of May 2

Leave Vengeance to God

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

What do you do when you’ve been insulted, slandered, or injured? Is your first instinct to seek revenge? The thought of “sweet revenge” is tempting. But the Truth is there’s nothing sweet about human vengeance. What we long for is perfect justice, and this can only be carried out by the righteous Judge, King Jesus. So we must wait for His return, taking comfort in God’s promise: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” (Deuteronomy 32:35).

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12. The Christians living in Thessalonica knew what it was to be wronged. Paul was writing to the Thessalonians to encourage them during a season of suffering intensified by the despair of false teaching. There were plenty of reasons for the Thessalonian believers to seek retribution. And Paul never diminished their pain. Contrary to what you may have heard, the Bible never glosses over evil. It never pretends that evil does not exist. God’s Word calls evil “evil.” It calls suffering “suffering” and pain “pain.”

The Bible says that when believers suffer unjustly and experience crushing circumstances beyond their control, not only will God be with them—present in a very special way—He will also not overlook the injustice that has taken place (see 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7; 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:10; Matthew 12:36; 1 Corinthians 4:5).

When Jesus Christ returns in glory, He will set everything right. Those believers who have suffered in this life will be comforted, rewarded, and welcomed into God’s Kingdom. But those who have rejected Christ, mocked God, and brought pain to His people will be punished “with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Instead of spending your life filled with anger, bitterness, and thoughts of revenge, comfort yourself and others with God’s promise of perfect justice and the wonder of His grace for you. Spend your life praying and encouraging others as you ready yourself for His return, having compassion for the lost that leads you to ask, “How can I turn all the bitter circumstances that I have been through into an opportunity to share Christ?” That is the best remedy for bitterness and a sure recipe for joy today.

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust in Your perfect justice and to forgive, remembering the grace I have received. Thank You for Your mercy and grace toward me—for the perfect sacrifice that has redeemed me from the pit as Jesus bore my punishment on the cross. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“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” (Romans 12:19).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Until Christ Returns: Living Confidently in Turbulent Times, Part 1: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW



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