Modern popular theology leaves a person believing that if one will submit himself to God, “accept Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior,” and commit his/her life to the service of the Master, life will be good and everything will work out fine. Money worries will be resolved, physical ailments will be relieved, emotional distress will be calmed, cars will run better, you will always have employment, even the weather will be designed to accommodate your planned activities . . . . Everything will work out right.
THIS IS NOT TRUE! Godly people will still have financial problems. Some get involved in accidents. They get sick. Some die. Some suffer abuse, hardship, heartache, emotional distress, broken marriages, and even breakdowns. Life is sometimes tough for even good people.
The world was just, fair and righteous before man ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and sinned. There were no animals killing other animals to eat; all lived in a paradise home in which there were no problems because there was no sin.
Yet we live in a world today where dog eats dog, and it seems we fight in a rat race where the rats are winning. And we hear the mantra of the age (especially by teenagers); “That’s not fair,” or “life is not fair.”
What makes us think that life should be fair? Fair by whose standards? Will we admit that it must be fair by what God calls equal or fair? And how shall we determine that? If we lose sight of the fact that the Bible is the only standard which men may follow to determine what is right or wrong; then your idea of what is “fair” will be different from my idea of “fair.” If, however, we understand that “fair” in the Scripture means “just” or “right,” and we have the standard of justice or righteousness in Scripture, then we can determine what is right or just or fair. Otherwise, my opinion is as good as yours. Some might go so far as to argue that whatever society says is right or just is right or just, but we can look throughout history and see that society’s ideas of justice and righteousness changes depending on leadership or ideology. ( Hence, Nazi Germany, Communism, even socialism will have to be argued as being just, right and fair, when it isn’t by other standards.)
We don’t think it is fair that we get a speeding ticket when so many that we have seen pass us get by without one. We don’t think it is fair that we may have been born in or to a family that is not as privileged as others. But then, who is privileged and who is not is really a matter of debate, isn’t it (depending on if you are the recipient of “privilege” or not). Some feel like life owes them everything; others feel that life owes them nothing.
Even the children of Israel would argue with God about this issue in Ezekiel 18:25, 29; 33:17, 20. They said to Ezekiel “The way of the Lord is not fair, or just.” People arguing with God about his way of dealing with things – imagine that! Do we see their descendants among us today?
Consider the apostle Paul: he suffered terrible hardship. The pressure was so great that he wrote, “. . . we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
Perhaps one might think Paul deserved this because of his treatment of Christians before he became a Christian (Acts 8-9; 22; 26; 1 Timothy 1:13-16). But could we say the same about the spotless, sinless Son of God? See him on his face in the garden . . . notice the sweat drops of blood . . .hear his words, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death . . . O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you.” (Matthew 26:38-39).
Things will go wrong, and we will be treated unfairly and unjustly at times. So, when difficulties arise . . .
FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS!
“But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:21-25. Look at these points:
1). He committed no sin.
2). He did not retaliate.
3). He made no threats.
4). He entrusted himself to God.
Finally, look at Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” All things; fair, unfair, suffering and good times, works out for good to those who love God.
No, life is not fair, and we should not expect it to be because we live in a sinful world. But “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.” All Things! ALL THINGS! May we learn, as Jesus did, to rely not on ourselves, but on God!
Adapted from an article by Milton Bird