Confession: I don't claim to know all that God thinks.
(and we should all be wary of those who do)
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD.
"And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
But sometimes I sure wonder what on earth He thinks about the injustices and atrocities that surround us. Evil seems to grow powerful and pervasive, and sometimes it makes me desperate and cry out,
God! What do YOU think about this!?
Recently I have been learning about the various industries and their powerful influence over nations and the world as a whole. One evening, after watching a documentary (Blue Gold: World Water Wars) I became especially bothered by the injustice of powerful industry essentially exploiting and killing the poorest of the poor - the 'least of these', and profiting greatly from their oppression.
I could think of little else. I washed dishes and shook my head. I cleared the table, wondering what God is up to. I tucked in the children, wondering what my responsibility is in such a huge problem.
The next morning I opened the Word to continue reading in Psalms. "Lord, help me know what to do" I pleaded, and then began to read Psalm 37.
Know what the first words were that I read that morning?
"Don't worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong."
Lips parted in surprise. I was about to hear from Him on the subject.
"Be still in the presence of the LORD
and wait patiently for Him to act.
Don't worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes."
His Word is so alive and active, isn't it? At this point, I found myself secretly saying something like, "Yeah but... yeah but... what do I DO?? Just sit here and trust you and do not act? Doesn't that make me a culprit too?"
And He repeats about twelve times in different ways, "Trust me".
The stanzas echo in deafening volume the promise given to God's people in Deuteronomy 32:34
"I will take revenge; I will pay them back.
In due time their feet will slip.
their day of disaster will arrive,
and their destiny will overtake them.'
(Side note: You may point out that this passage speaks of the punishment that befalls God's own people when they turn away from Him. But God also addresses His justice on His enemies at the end of the song:)
"For He will avenge the blood of His servants;
He will take revenge against His enemies.
He will repay those who hate him
and cleanse the land for His people."
What God thinks of those who oppress the poor and steal and murder and profit from their misdeeds is clear. He will not tolerate it forever.
In the meantime, He uses these injustices (and I do not presume this to be the only reason!) to purify His bride. It's funny - Christians are widely trained to believe that Jesus came to bring peace and comfort and heaven on earth. And we work feverishly to insulate ourselves from trouble, and complain when hardship dares to afflict us. US! The children of a Holy God! Gasp!
Yet Jesus never EVER said we will live in utopia until He comes. Quite the opposite.
"Do you think I have come to bring peace to earth?
No, I have come to divide people against each other!"
(How does that sit with your picture of Jesus by the way?)
Why does He say this? Brother Lawrence understood well that one must trust God in all things. He knew "God could remedy any mischief, although sometimes He permitted evil for reasons very true and useful in the order of His Providence." (p.18, The Practice of the Presence of God)
And I see the benefit of suffering in my own life too. Repeatedly.
Even now, as I am torn over evil done to others near and far, the Lord challenges me to trust Him: rely on Him and wait patiently for Him to act. This is difficult. It feels lazy and even wrong to just sit and pray.
But this is the working out of salvation; trusting Him beyond understanding. Belief.
"Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you:
Believe in the One He has sent."
Whatever your struggle, I encourage you as the Lord encouraged me: trust Him and wait patiently for Him to act. He is good and able and He. Will. Do it.