Lesson Ten • Tribulation

Devotion 3: Crying Out for Justice

Pastor Josh Yates


International Justice Mission shared a touching story:


Hope was just a 13-year-old boy when a woman came to his village in Ghana sharing news of a man looking to hire local boys. The woman promised Hope’s family that if he came with her, he would be sent to school and given opportunities that he would never find at home.


Driven by their dream for a better future, both Hope and his mother agreed he should go. So Hope left his family and soon learned he would not be given the opportunities he was promised. Instead, he became one of the thousands who are currently enslaved in Ghana’s fishing industry – many under the age of 10.


Thousands of children like Hope are enslaved on Lake Volta, working long hours in Ghana’s massive fishing industry. Hope was enslaved on the lake for five long years, enduring fear, abuse, and the constant risk of drowning. Out on the water, nets sometimes became snagged, and Hope would have to slip under the water’s surface to try to free them before he ran out of air. More than once, he thought he would not make it out alive.


When we read stories like this, our hearts cry out for justice. We want rescue for this boy. We cry out for punishment for those that enslaved him.


Then again, there are deep cries for justice in the situations and circumstances in and around our own lives. Some wives are in the middle of abuse from their husbands. There are children that go without food. Some parents rarely provide for their children. There are bullies at school. We cry for justice.


There is a reason that we all cry for justice. The way things are is not the way things were created to be. A brief look back at the creation of the world in Genesis shows us that we were meant to have a perfect relationship with God and with each other. The world has been broken by sin: Adam’s, Eve’s, yours, and mine. With sin comes great injustice and so we cry out for God to make things right.


Here is the Good News, God has made things right and will make things right! You might be thinking, “Wait! How can both be true?” I am so glad you asked that question!


God gives everyone the opportunity to be made right at the cross of Jesus Christ. Justice came because Jesus took the penalty of our sin upon Him and offers us salvation. In 1 Peter 3:18, we read, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.” 


God will also bring justice to every single person that has ever lived and will ever live. God will judge the people of the Earth for the sin that has been committed by every one of us. The seal judgments (Revelation 6), the trumpet judgments (Revelation 8-9), and the bowl judgments (Revelation 16) will pour out God’s wrath on all sin during the tribulation.


While there are different theological viewpoints about when the rapture will occur (God’s people taken to Heaven – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), one thing is for sure: God will judge sin. Justice is coming because our God is just.


The question for you is, “Will you bear the judgment of God for your sin or will Jesus?” The choice is yours. Jesus died to pay the penalty of your sin and to give you eternal life with God. God’s free gift is offered to you today. Have you given your life to Him and asked Him to save you? You can do that right now, where you sit. Ask God to forgive you and save you from your sin and He will do just that. If you have questions about that, text “RIVERCONNECT” to 97000 and let us know. We would be honored to speak to you and help!


Reader, justice is coming. God will make all things right again and redeem all those that have run to Jesus for salvation. This is something we can be sure of and rejoice in. Praise be to our God!


Revelation 19:1 says, “After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.’”