“How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors?” Psalm 119:84 (NIV)
Even the most faithful believer can begin to lose hope when an unjust situation goes on and on. We don’t understand why God isn’t doing something about it, especially when we’re the ones being treated unfairly. The next two stanzas of Psalm 119 show us how to live faithfully while waiting for God’s justice.
Remember, the psalmist’s enemies hadn’t just smeared him with lies or persecuted him without cause—they were trying to utterly destroy him (vv84, 86, 87, 95). As he pleaded with God to enact justice he repeated, “I have put my hope in your word” (vv43, 74, 81, 114, 147 NIV). He reminded himself that God’s Word is true, even when circumstances seem to say otherwise.
We, too, must decide where to place our hope. If our only hope is in this life, then we will always struggle spiritually. But when our hope is firmly placed in the Lord, we experience His faithfulness through the enduring power of His Word. Many today disregard the Bible as archaic literature with outdated ideas. Is it old? Yes! God’s Word is eternal and its truths are forever right (vv89-91, 144, 152, Isaiah 40:8).
When people treat us unfairly—and they will—we are not excused from responding in a godly way. Their unjust actions do not justify our disobedience to the Lord (v87). Romans 12:19 reminds us, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
Of course, there are times when the injustice we experience is also unlawful. Waiting on God’s justice doesn’t exclude pursuing legal justice now. But we live in a broken world, and laws and legal systems are not infallible. Even at its best, legal justice often cannot make right the wrong that’s been done. When human systems fail we have the sure hope that God’s justice will ultimately prevail.
Have you been treated unfairly, or perhaps unlawfully? Are you wondering, like the psalmist, why God is delaying to act? Your spiritual well-being hinges on what you do and how you think during this waiting period. Settle once and for all where your hope rests. Resolve to view the world through biblical truth rather than interpreting the Bible by your circumstances. Determine to obey God’s commands throughout your lifetime (vv88, 93), knowing that His justice never fails.