THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
“Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!”
2 Timothy 4:14-16 (ESV)
KNOWING GOD: TRUSTING HIS JUSTICE
Story taken from Dr. David Jeremiah: The Ortiz family ministers to a small congregation in Ariel, about 40 miles north of Jerusalem. On the Feast of Purim, gifts of food and drink are sent to friends. As if in celebration of the holiday, a gift basket was delivered to the Ortiz home. 15-year-old Ami was home alone, and he tore into the package with the anticipation of some candy and some other sweet treat. He certainly did not anticipate the explosion that ripped into his young body. Hundreds of shards, including pieces of metal, safety pins, and screws, pierced him and left him in critical condition. He was blinded by the shrapnel embedded in his eyes, and both eardrums were punctured, leaving him with a significant loss of hearing. Ami spent 5 months in the hospital, lost some toes through amputation, and endured nearly a year in a pressure suit to assist in his healing from his severe burns.
When Ami was questioned by the reporter about his attitude toward those who did this evil to him, he replied: “I don’t feel hate. I don’t see a reason for it. It’s just not there. It wasn’t there from the beginning. I don’t even know how to explain it, but it’s just not there. No hate at all.” How can Ami have no hate in his heart? Only through the cross of Christ.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy in 1 Timothy 2, he knew what it was like to be mistreated. He knew what it was like to be hurt and to be deserted. Paul knew what it was like to wrestle with the emotion of retaliation. Yet, he was able to trust God to bring about justice because he knew God personally.
In Romans 12:18-19 the Bible says, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.” God promises to deal with unrepentant sinners. It’s our job to trust God. Read all of Romans 12 and ask God to help you know what to do with people who have hurt you.