What do you do when you’ve been insulted, slandered, or injured? Is your first instinct to seek revenge? The thought of “sweet revenge” is tempting. But the Truth is there’s nothing sweet about human vengeance. What we long for is perfect justice, and this can only be carried out by the righteous Judge, King Jesus. So we must wait for His return, taking comfort in God’s promise: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” (Deuteronomy 32:35).

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12. The Christians living in Thessalonica knew what it was to be wronged. Paul was writing to the Thessalonians to encourage them during a season of suffering intensified by the despair of false teaching. There were plenty of reasons for the Thessalonian believers to seek retribution. And Paul never diminished their pain. Contrary to what you may have heard, the Bible never glosses over evil. It never pretends that evil does not exist. God’s Word calls evil “evil.” It calls suffering “suffering” and pain “pain.”

The Bible says that when believers suffer unjustly and experience crushing circumstances beyond their control, not only will God be with them—present in a very special way—He will also not overlook the injustice that has taken place (see 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7; 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:10; Matthew 12:36; 1 Corinthians 4:5).

When Jesus Christ returns in glory, He will set everything right. Those believers who have suffered in this life will be comforted, rewarded, and welcomed into God’s Kingdom. But those who have rejected Christ, mocked God, and brought pain to His people will be punished “with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Instead of spending your life filled with anger, bitterness, and thoughts of revenge, comfort yourself and others with God’s promise of perfect justice and the wonder of His grace for you. Spend your life praying and encouraging others as you ready yourself for His return, having compassion for the lost that leads you to ask, “How can I turn all the bitter circumstances that I have been through into an opportunity to share Christ?” That is the best remedy for bitterness and a sure recipe for joy today. 

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust in Your perfect justice and to forgive, remembering the grace I have received. Thank You for Your mercy and grace toward me—for the perfect sacrifice that has redeemed me from the pit as Jesus bore my punishment on the cross. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Until Christ Returns: Living Confidently in Turbulent Times, Part 1: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW


Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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