We know the headlines; the media cycle continues to churn out stories of bad news. Christians martyred, forced children soldiers, labor and sex slaves, rampant rape and abuse; there are days when injustice and violence seems to be winning. Is there any hope? The battle for justice in the world is not fought where most people think. The fight against injustice and oppression is not fought on the battlefield of power, or truth, or even righteousness. Certainly, there are fierce struggles on those fields. But ultimately, the fight against oppression stands or falls on the battlefield of hope. There is a Living Hope, which brings us together during desperate times, and compels us to engage in the heaviest, darkest, most difficult places.
1 Peter 3:8-17
8Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10For,
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11They must turn from evil and do good;they must seek peace and pursue it. 12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
Joe Farrell serves as IJM’s Director of Church Mobilization, Northeast. Joe equips churches and communities across the Northeast by sharing the biblical call to seek justice, introducing them to IJM’s work, and mobilizing them to engage in both local and global ministry. For more about Joe, click HERE.