Evil. It always seems to be ready to show itself in daily life. It can come in the form of some sort of comment made to another to injure their self-esteem or wound their resolve. It might come in the form of violence or a violation of another person’s life. In recent weeks, in the state of Minnesota, we have been hit with the realization that evil is still at work and doing harm to innocent people. It bothers us because we want justice. We want to see an end to it. We want to feel safe in the mall or walking around in our communities. Well, obviously that is not always immediately seen, as evil is allowed to take place and innocent people are hurt. Does that mean God is not present? Does it mean that God is not good?
Nothing is out of the sight of God. For example, in James 5 when the wealthy were hurting people and not even paying the correct wages to their workers, it says “The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.” I wonder sometimes if my cries are reaching the Lord, but clearly He hears and sees everything. All of those evil things done in secret, all of it, is completely seen to the Almighty God. Don’t assume that just because there is a long reprieve between some act of evil and justice that God is ignoring it. He is far more patient with us than we are with each other. He has far more love for humanity, sinful and evil toward him, than we are to each other. Now, granted, there are some horrible things that have taken place and it is so hard to wrap our minds around it. But just because sinful people hurt other people, does not mean God is asleep at the wheel.
Do you want an example? Look at Jesus Christ.
Jesus was condemned as an innocent man. They could find no fault with him, yet he was still killed. And look at what God did in that. He took an act of evil and used it as the centerpiece of his plan to bring a sinful world back into relationship with Him. Evil had its moment in the spotlight, but God overcame it when Jesus walked out of that tomb.
Yes, the world’s system is selfish and harsh. Yes, it is shameful to see what people do to other people. It hurts us to see what took place all those years ago with Jacob Wetterling, or to see people attacked while shopping at the mall. Where is the justice? It was taken care of on the cross of Jesus Christ. Right now we see a dim reflection, but one day we will see Jesus Himself and things that once we mysterious will be fully known. Oh, how we long for that day!
God is bringing about a good end, so be patient. Live with the Lord’s coming in view. Do not fear. Jesus is coming and He will take care of it.
“Be patient, then brothers, until the Lord’s coming.” James 5:7
For more on this, see the sermon titled "Until the Lord Comes."