Life is not fair! Have you ever uttered those words before? You probably have, because I think everyone has at one point or another. Are you going through a struggle or hardship right now, and wondering why is my life so hard? Why don’t things ever work out for me? I can tell you one thing, you are not alone. In the past week I have encountered my own struggles and heard other peoples hardships that seem there is no easy answer to. So how do we overcome these monumental difficulties in life without giving up, or going into a depression or becoming hardened?
We feel life is not fair when things don’t go the way we want them to go. But how do we know that the way we want them to go is the right way or the fair way? Isn’t this when we become bitter and resentful, when we don’t get our way? Our way can seem very fair, we can pray for a family member with cancer to be healed. Or we can pray for our children to be healthy or a marriage to be reconciled only to have the family member die of cancer, children to be sick and marriages fall apart. And we say or think, this is not fair. But what are we comparing fair to? Are we all to always be healthy and live to 100, never get into an accident, never have an argument with our spouse, never have parents with health issues? But what are we basing these assumptions on? I think it continues to fall on the fact that we don’t want these things to happen and when they do we say it is not fair based on our expected outcome. So what do we do when things don’t go our way, how do we overcome it?
“For the Arrows of The Almighty are in Me” Job 6:4
Let’s look at the Bible and some situations people fell into that we would call unfair. Let us first look at Job. He had lost his sons and daughters in a horrific accident, he lost all of his money(livestock) by fires and thieves, and then to top it off he was inflicted with excruciating boils from his feet to his head. What did he do to deserve this you ask? Nothing, he was a very good upstanding citizen who loved God and didn’t seem to have a bad bone in his body. It was during this time when his own wife told to curse God and die, nice wife right? I would say this would fall in the not fair scenario. So how does Job respond to all of this? I am not going to say he was giddy over it by any means, at one point he wished that he had never been born. But he never lost perspective of who he was and who God is. He said in Job 13:15 “Though he slay me I will hope in him” (referring to God).And in Job 19:25-26 “For I know my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” Even though Job was going through hell on earth he never lost sight of who God is or lost his hope in him.
Another great example of an unfair life is the life of Paul. Paul turned into a very godly man who went on to be a great missionary preaching the good news of the gospel everywhere he went. Therefore God must have blessed him beyond measure for being such a faithful servant right? I will let Paul respond to that question. 2Cor 11:23-28 “…with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from the gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst often without food, in cold and exposure. And apart from other things there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches”. Because of this Paul shouted out to God and said “this in not fair, why are you doing this to me. I am a good person doing your work, why are you punishing me like this, why are you not answering my prayers” Actually he never said that, but he probably had every right to. Isn’t that what we would say and do say when afflictions come our way? But what does Paul really say? Written in the same letter we find Paul saying this about his hardships, 2 Cor. 4:17 “For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”. WHAT!! a light and momentary affliction? I think after the one imprisonment I would have given up and started with the why me’s. How are Job and Paul able to have these responses to such horrible calamity?
Having the Right Perspective.
I believe Job and Paul were able to overcome there difficulties because the had a right perspective on life. Both Job and Paul kept their focus on God and not themselves. Job remembered Who God is and Paul remembered what Jesus had done for him. What is more important to us will determine what rules us. What is bigger to you in your life; your problems or God? What are you focusing on more? When Paul was in prison he wrote the book of Philippians which is known as the book of joy. If I wrote that book it would be called be book of woe is me. Paul goes on to write words like everything is trash compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. We have a choice we can either be self centered or Christ centered. One leads to into a spiral of self pity and despair filled with depression. The other leads to life, joy, peace, and ultimately to our salvation. We need to keep our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith and take them off of ourselves. Life is not fair, but not in the way you are thinking. It is not fair because we deserve death for or sins and turning our back to God, but Jesus gave up his life so that we may have eternal life, Jesus took our place on the cross taking on the full wrath of God so that we never have too. I am sure Jesus easily could have said this is not fair. I never did anything wrong yet I am being punished for everyone else. It is with this knowledge that we may say like David did in Ps 40:16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually. “Great is the Lord”.