Have you overheard people expressing their outrage? Maybe its outrage about people selfishly ignoring the social distancing regulations and putting vulnerable people at risk. Perhaps is outrage about climate change. Maybe its outrage at Trump or Pell or the government or any number of things. Some will express it more openly, and some won’t, but all humans carry an innate sense of justice. And when our sense of justice is violated, we naturally feel outraged. This is normal and right.
But here’s the critical question: what do you do with your outrage? I’ve noticed that at first outrage can be an explosive rage that tries to influence others by the sheer emotional force of their own passion. “How dare you not care and not try to make a difference on this issue!” But often outrage turns to despondent apathy. “I can’t change this, why bother caring anymore?” But if you are a Christian, you have a better option than explosive rage or despondent apathy. If God created our sense of justice. If God sees the hidden things of the heart with perfect justice. If God has power over heaven and earth. Trust God to deliver justice.
We can be frustrated and blame God for failing to deliver justice because we want justice NOW. But for now, we can at best have unsatisfying human justice. When someone gets away with “murder” and lives for many happy years, we think God has failed to deliver justice, because we believe the opportunity to make this person pay has closed. But God’s justice doesn’t have to be delivered during a person’s lifespan. Trust God to deliver ultimate justice. Trust God to deliver perfect justice. Trust God to deliver satisfying justice. But we also need to trust God’s timing. It’s never too late for justice because at the end of time, God will judge the living and the dead.
Now, this is a great reassurance to the outraged, but it should also be a troubling thought to you and me that even after we die, God will still hold us accountable for the wrongs we have done, including the secret wrongs of our heart. We deserve God’s just condemnation too, but don’t despair! There is a way to receive mercy from God too. That is why Jesus is central to the Christian’s hope. Justice must be met. But for those who trust in Jesus, he died to take the judgement we deserve, so that God can meet us with love rather than condemnation.