The Lord Our Help

Veronica Burlock, Worship Pastor, Wheaton | January 24, 2024

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him: if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:19-21

It’s really hard to turn the other cheek and it is even harder to bless those who wrong me. But this is what Paul is talking about in this passage. He said that “vengeance is the Lord’s.” Let’s unpack what this means and what it doesn’t. 

This doesn’t mean to be in denial and act as if nothing happened. This also doesn’t mean being inauthentic with someone—loving them to their face but hating them behind closed doors. This also doesn’t mean that you have to keep toxic people in your life or in your close circles. It is definitely okay to realize that someone isn’t right for you and put up healthy boundaries. 

Here’s what I believe Paul is saying to the Roman church. Don’t plan and plot how to give someone a taste of their own medicine. As sinners we are not able to be righteous when we act out in our anger. Only God can! So as hard as this is—and trust me, I know—when someone hurts you, go to God and ask Him the best way to handle the situation. You are allowed to feel how you feel and grieve. When you leave your hurt and conflicts in God’s hands, you are able to take some time to heal. Then you will have energy to actually  “feed your enemy.” 

God doesn’t want us walking around in denial or in terrible relationships. He wants to help us with our troubles like a loving Father would. He wants us to come to him for help. Hebrews 13:6 (ESV) says, “So we can confidently say, ‘the Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”  God doesn’t want us to sin and repay evil for evil. He loves us so much that He wants to know about our every situation—big or small, good or bad—and step in and help because he cares for us (1Peter 5:7).

Next Steps

When we harbor feelings of resentment or worse toward other people we are actually allowing a block between us and the Holy Spirit. Take inventory. Is there a relationship you need to go to God about? If so, make today the day  to tell Him about it.