He will pay back?
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you. 2 Thessalonians 1:6
This passage reminds me of another scripture. It is Romans 12:19 that says Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Both of these passages are clear that we are not to repay anyone for an evil done. Our part is not to pay back, our part is to forgive and to love. God does the pay back and that is only after the one deserving of it has had every opportunity to repent and ask God to forgive them.
God’s plan and desire is for His people to love and forgive other people to the point that they are open to hear the message of the gospel. So why is this so difficult to do? Why is it against our nature to let go of hurts and words that come against what we stand for in the Kingdom of heaven? As was discussed a couple days ago, it doesn’t have to be hard if you make it a practice. Just like you practice growing your faith and increasing in love, you can practice forgiving others.
The first place to start is choose a scripture that you can turn to in the time when you want to fight back. At the point that a wrong is done to you, say something like: Ephesians 4:32 – be kind to one another, forgiving each other just as God in Christ Jesus forgave you. Matthew 6:14 If you forgive others when they sin against you, you heavenly Father will also forgive you. Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Luke 6:37 – Forgive and you will be forgiven or Mark 11:25 – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Of course, there are others, but selecting a verse ahead of time to go to when you know it is right to forgive, will lead you in the direction of making the habit of forgiveness. Then, pray for the person that has come against you. Prayer will open the door to connect them to God. In lifting that person up in prayer, you are draining your hurt feelings out and filling back up with love at the same time.
I’ve seen it happen so many times, never really considering why. When I was mistreated, reprimanded, humiliated or embarrassed by someone, I focused on forgiving and praying to rid myself of the hurt I felt. Not long after, I would hear of failure or misfortune coming to them. I didn’t will that, I didn’t even think it, my only concern was to keep my heart headed in the right direction. Whether it was God, or just a result of a prideful attitude, the fall came to them none the less.
Today I want to encourage you to let God handle the payment for a wrong done. Keep yourself and your heart clean from the bitterness and resentment that can result from payback. Forgive and pray and if you find you can’t do this, ask God for help. He will empower you. God will avenge you and you don’t even have to have anything to do with it.
Today’s scripture reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10