When Life Seems Unfair
In our world today so many things seem to be spiraling out of control. Inflation and unemployment are on the rise. More people are losing their homes. War and rumors of war seem to be happening around the world. We often stop and wonder why these things are happening and to people who love God. If God is God why do the righteous face such struggles and often times the unrighteous seem to prosper in the midst of apparent chaos?
When life seems unfair we need to remember that the Bible tells us that God “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and, sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Mt. 5:45 NIV). The question is a matter of understanding and perception. Let's start with the perception. Many assume that as a Christian we should have an abundance of wealth, solid health and no problems in this life. The Bible actually does not promise any of those things to the child of God. In fact we recognize that we will face many trials and tribulations in this life. Peter says the following,” Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV). We may lose things to the unrighteous. We may fall ill to a disease that takes our physical life, experience a horrible accident or be killed by a murderer. Our goal is not the things of this life, nor even a smooth comfortable life, but rather a life that is fully surrendered to God and spent for Him. None of us know how many days we have on this earth. James says the following, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Oft we approach God with the idea of "OK, I accepted You, now what are You going to do for me since I accepted You." The concept borders on "He owes us since I accepted Him" as if we gave up something to gain that which was unattainable except for the grace of God. A. B. Simpson wrote a hymn entitled “Himself.” In the hymn he expresses the change from focusing on things to focusing on God. The first verse says, “Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord. Once it was the feeling, now it is His Word. Once His gifts I wanted, now the Giver own. Once I sought for healing, now Himself alone. All in all forever, Jesus will I sing. Everything in Jesus and Jesus everything.”
This leads us to understand that my life on earth is not the most important. It is not built on things or desires, but on God and experiencing His love, grace and presence. We are given the opportunity to know and to serve the risen King who died for us. The surrendered life looks different for each person, but ultimately it entails sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). Be aware that the Bible clearly states that the unrighteous get all their reward here and now and after that judgment awaits. The believer’s greatest reward is yet to come and this life pales in comparison. Paul says the following, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7-11 NIV).
Life is found to be fair when we find our life in the true Giver of Life, Jesus Christ. Some of us are given 80 years while others are given less. The key to life in Christ is not the number of years, but what you do with the years you have.
Rev. Leonard R. Traina
Principles for Life