Both in America as well as in countries around the world, gangs kill, rape, and rob as a way of life–or to get even for violence carried out against them. And, yes, some people who stop short of violence believe they are entitled to get even the best way they can. They believe personal vengeance is their right. But God takes a different view of retaliation. God says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” Instead of getting even, Jesus taught, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on His head.” God gives us the supreme example of one who endured great violence without retaliation. In Isaiah, chapter 52, we read about God’s Suffering Servant. He underwent such violence that He scarcely looked like a human being. People despised and rejected Him. He suffered both mental and physical pain; and the violence He endured was not for crimes He had done. He was innocent. He suffered for the sins of the world. Then after He suffered, God exalted His Son to the highest position in the universe. Of course, we could hardly tolerate the pain that our Lord endured. But His suffering without retaliation is a model for us–we can endure without getting even. Not only that, when we suffer for His cause, Jesus Christ assures us we can expect an eternal reward.
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