In the Bible ‘justice’ usually translates to ‘righteousness’ or becoming righteous. In our culture I see different terms using justice with very different meanings. Sometimes I think people confuse “good things” with justice while others confuse ‘judgement’ with it. According to the Bible, the act of bringing some -one/thing to justice is bringing some -one/thing to righteousness. It is making some -one/thing right with God, which can include elements of judgement and good acts.
It is like looking at this cut on your arm that goes down to the bone and is infected not knowing it is going to cause you sickness or death. Then someone intervenes and you come to the realization of what it is causing and that there is a Holy God just wanting to heal you. You realize you don’t deserve that healing but you receive it. You begin to move from a state of condemnation to a state of healing and forgiveness.
Finally you look at the scar that is now healed on your arm and it becomes a beautiful reminder of what your Savior has done for you. This process is Spiritually violent. Just as Christ’s price for us was paid violently, so it is in (spiritual) violence that we receive it. Can you image the violence each time a soul is ripped from the gates of hell?! How can you not have compassion on the person who is being faced with this? How can we not want Biblical justice? This does not negate the penalty of sin. Sin causes eternal death. But God is a God of Hope, Mercy & Grace, (among other things), and wants reconciliation. We pray for those who are in harm’s way because when they are (and they will be) confronted with the holiness of the living God they have a choice to make….accept Him or reject Him. That is God’s judgment…..Sin without repentance causes death but with forgiveness brings life.
This is the type of social justice we should be a part of. It is not the ministry of good deeds or of passing unrighteous judgement but the ministry of reconciliation we have been called to.
If there is one thing that I’ve been afraid of, it’s pain. I don’t like it. I have lived through years of physical and emotional pain. I think emotional pain, at least in my experiences, is worse. There are no pain reliever pills I can just take to make the hurt go away. Still, I know that experiencing emotional pain is important, even critical, to my spiritual growth. If I put up walls to block pain, they inevitably block love too.
There have been times when the fear of emotional pain was so great that I was frozen and unable to move. The more probable the likelihood of experiencing pain was, the quicker and the more severe the freezing up would occur. The enemy knows this about me and has used the threat of pain against me far too many times. I’m not proud of that. But God has been teaching me how to fight against it. Maybe children grow up faster than I’ve learned this, but I’ll take the slow progress over no progress.
In the process of teaching me how to consistently submit my thoughts to Him, He has given me comfort and strength in Christ’s Passover and Resurrection.
Christ didn’t want to die. His flesh battled fear, very possibly over the pain He would endure. He asked Father to remove the cup from Him, yet still submitted to Father’s plan no matter the cost. I don’t for a minute believe that Christ feared Father not following through and bringing Him back to life. He knew He would hold the key to unlock the captives. Death was nothing to fear for the Son of God. The process of dying was possibly a very different story.
How could a person overcome the fear of a painful death that caused him to sweat blood? I believe that He had experience based faith during His time in human flesh that caused Him to know God’s character in way we too can know. He knew that Father would not abandon Him. He new that Father’s plans were always for good and not even one tiny pinch of pain would be wasted or without purpose.
Because Jesus carried the heart of the Father, His love for all of God’s children compelled him. Who among us wouldn’t gladly lay down our life for those we love? Jesus had far more than one or two people to lay His life down for. He realized the pain He would endure would be temporary, have a purpose, and that Father would be His strength. I believe this gave Him courage to submit His flesh under the authority of the Father.
Spending time in prayer being honest with ourselves and with God, casting down vain imaginations and replacing them with what the Word says, remembering Who God is and meditating on Scriptures are all keys to overcoming fear.
When I look at what Jesus did for me, for all of us, it gives me courage. I know that by following the example He set I surrender my weaknesses to God and He gives me what I need to walk the path He laid out for me. I do as He leads and He guards me. I can confidently know that any pain He allows is under His authority. It doesn’t mean I can be reckless and it doesn’t mean that I look for painful situations. But when they appear, and they will, I can know without a doubt that just as Christ overcame, so can I. Not because of my own ability, but because of my confidence in God’s.
Those who seek truth will happily acknowledge it even when it comes from outside of ones own group/affiliation/point of view. They will also just as easily point out what is false from their own group/affiliation/point of view as they would from an opposing view. Too many people just want to prove what feels right to themselves as being truth. The first thing they hear that feels good is all the proof that is needed. But, there is no such thing as “personal truth”. What is true is truth regardless of who you are or what experiences you’ve had. Our experiences can cause our viewing angle to be different or even blocked and effect our willingness to admit truth. Partial truths are still lies. Truth never changes and is proved when viewed in it’s full counsel.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
There is only one truth and one source of all truth. And the Truth will set you free.