Looking at the current discourse environment, a constant vacillating force is guiding us about how we should live in the world. A danger exists that we get swept up in anger and frustration, and our actions and words create havoc and distress. Ultimately, as we look at the teachings from Scripture, we would not be swayed to give into bitterness and violent behavior. Our hearts would remain focused on striving after peace, even if our lives are not peaceful. Our behavior must align with righteousness, goodness, and grace to remain focused on living in peace. In turbulent times we are most prone to slipping off this ideal, but if we place our trust in Christ Jesus and the results of His suffering, we have an anchor leading us to a transformed understanding and living. 

Peter reminds us where our minds should be focused during these times in 1 Peter 2:19-25.

19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 1 Pe 2:19–25.

We are surrounded by injustice. Some of the injustices we encounter have existed as long as there have been humans, while others are brand new; however, all originate with sin, a separation from God’s ideal. It is far too familiar for Christians to claim injustice when it might be confused with inconvenience. Still, we must carefully approach this allegation, understanding that God calls us to be aware of the various areas in our world where justice is denied to the poor and powerless. When we focus only on how injustice affects us personally, we participate further in the chaotic nature of injustice. God seeks to root out the negative ways that injustice affects those genuinely powerless. Trusting in God allows God to transform our thinking to fight against the actual oppression of sin in our world.

As our minds are transformed to seeking justice and peace, God will guide our hearts toward living in righteousness. Many of our misplaced accusations of injustice come from the consequences of ungodly living. This is not injustice, nor is the suffering we experience building character. During these periods, we need to seek repentance. Our hearts must focus on doing good, and anything that pulls us away from God’s goodness must be cast aside. Doing this guides us back to righteousness, which allows our eyes to see God’s holiness and helps lead us. When we find ourselves in an unenviable position because of the sin in our hearts, we might cry out, asking for salvation from our predicament. Jesus Christ did come to save us from our sins and established peace and justice, which had previously been absent.

God is the primary actor in bringing peace and justice through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Our minds and eyes will stray; however, Jesus brings us back after He pursues our hearts endlessly. This pursuit of our salvation comes because Jesus seeks to restore us and restore peace and justice in the world. Therefore, at times, life is going to be difficult and seem unfair, but during these moments, we must focus on the sacrifice of Jesus and trust that God is carrying us through the most challenging junctures. While Jesus calls us to pursue justice and righteousness, we also understand that none of this is possible without the sacrifice of the Holy Son.

If we trust that Jesus came to do what He said, then our hearts will be moved to honor God with all of our heart, mind, strength, and soul. We don’t wallow in our circumstances; instead, we look for opportunities to help others and bring justice to those trapped in chaotic cycles. In all things, we work to maintain or restore the righteousness in our living, which is the best and most wholesome act of worship. This worship is not because we need to act for God, but God acts because the all-powerful Creator of the universe loves us and acts on our behalf. Therefore, we should trust in Jesus because He already showed Himself trustworthy.

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