It's not fair

When Life Isn’t Fair

It isn’t fair! This has been the cry of every elementary aged child that has ever sat in a classroom. It was repeated often among my classmates when I was a student, and I heard it repeated among my students when I was a teacher.

The classic answer from parents and teachers is, “Get used to it, because life is NOT fair.” As adults we have come to learn that the hard way, just as children today will eventually learn.

To a child, unfairness usually means that Sally ALWAYS gets to help the teacher. Or perhaps, Billy got 100% on his spelling test and Susie got 99% because she forgot to put her name on her paper! That shouldn’t count, right? It’s not fair! Or the whole class had to miss recess because a few people were talking.

Unfortunately life doesn’t become more fair when we become adults. What we consider unfair might change slightly, but the unfairness of life is still very real.

My Story

I remember being a young mom with a one-year-old and expecting our second child. I was looking forward to adding a new little one to our family, hopefully a boy that time! However, a couple months into the pregnancy, we realized that something was wrong and I miscarried that baby. I was so disappointed and sad. The more I thought about it, the more I considered how unfair it was. After all, I was a young, married mom in a good relationship. We had a comfortable house and enough money to support a growing family. We loved each other and were happy. There was so much we could offer this child, yet we were denied that chance.

On the other hand, I saw very young, unwed mothers with no jobs, no money, and still trying to finish their education, yet they had perfectly healthy babies! That wasn’t fair! I also noted women who were terrible moms, couldn’t take care of their kids properly, maybe addicts, mentally unstable, or even just selfish and didn’t care. They didn’t love all those babies they were having. Why did I have to lose mine and they got to keep theirs?

We have all probably considered the unfairness in this world. After all, why do innocent babies and children have to suffer and die? Why does one person work so hard at their job only to watch others get promoted? Why do people have to suffer because of the choices of others? The list could go on and on!

I don’t have an answer to all of these questions except that we live in a sin-cursed world. Because of sin, we suffer, creation suffers and we all eventually die.

If It Were Up to Me

If it were up to me, life wouldn’t be this unfair. Bad people would always get punished and good people would live easy lives. I would give babies to all the kind, loving couples and not to the abusive, neglectful, selfish people. Accidents would never happen to innocent people. Everyone who worked hard would get rewarded. Everything would be fair in my world!

But I am not God, and God didn’t ask for my opinion. When God created this world, he declared that it was good. Man was innocent and didn’t know sin. However, Satan, being the great deceiver, persuaded Adam and Eve to believe a lie and to disobey God. Romans 5:12 points us back to this event. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

Jesus’ Death was not fair!

The fact that we all are plagued by sin because of one man’s decision seems so unfair. But what is also unfair is the remedy for that sin. Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Wow! That gives us hope in a hopeless situation! But it still isn’t fair. And that’s a good thing! If it were fair, then Jesus would have never died and we would be paying for our sins for eternity. But I Peter 3:18 reminds us, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

“The just for the unjust.” Jesus was sinless, innocent, and undeserving of death! Yet he willingly took our sins upon himself and paid the penalty that we deserve! That truly isn’t fair, yet He did it! For us!

When we feel like life is unfair and we don’t understand what is happening or why, what are some things we can do to help us get through?

1. When life isn’t fair, remember that God is still in control!

God is in control. He created all things and he sustains them. Colossians 1:16-20 tells us, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or power: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

It is important for us to remember that God didn’t just throw some random things out into the universe and then sit back to watch them take form! He carefully and powerfully created each object, from the tiny grain of sand to the first human being. God put each thing in its place with a plan for its existence. He continues to this day and on into eternity to rule over all His creation and to remain in control of its events.

In Isaiah 43:13 God reminds us, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?”

Job’s Story

If anyone in the Bible had a reason to shout “unfair!” it was Job. Job was a righteous man who lost almost everything he had. Yet in the midst of his great suffering he had a conversation with God in which he submitted to God’s sovereign control. He said in Job 42:2, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Job admitted that God was in control, and that no one could stop him. Even though he and others around him didn’t understand, he knew that God had a purpose and that God knew what was best.

2. Know that God has a plan for your life.

The life of Joseph is a great example of God’s plan in a person’s life. This story always bothers me, because Joseph was so unfairly treated. His brothers sold him into slavery simply because they were jealous of him. Then his boss’s wife tries to seduce him. When he runs, she falsely accuses him anyway, getting him thrown into prison. He didn’t deserve any of this treatment. Yet, Joseph recognized God’s working through his suffering. Genesis 50:19-20 tells us, “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

God used these events in Joseph’s life to eventually gain him favor with the rulers of Egypt and allow him to save the lives of his family.

While Joseph was able to see God’s purpose in his life, sometimes we don’t see it in our own lives. Many times God doesn’t reveal it to us, or perhaps, we just fail to recognize it. Yet God always has a purpose. We have to believe it!

Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that we must trust God even when we don’t understand. It say, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We serve a God who is so much bigger than we are! Are you willing to trust him?

3. Don’t forget that God loves you.

David wrote about God’s love all throughout the Psalms.

  • Psalm 57:10 “For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, reaching to the heavens; and thy truth unto the clouds.”
  • Psalm 63:3 “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”
  • Psalm 103:13 “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.”
  • Psalm 42:8 “Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”
  • Psalm 86:15 “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”

God shows his love toward us through his daily care and provision for us. However, we see the greatest expression of his love for us through his sending his son to die on the cross for us.

  • I John 4:9-10, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Our greatest comfort can come from knowing that we can never be separated from the love of God!

  • Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

4. Rest Assured that God Will Take Care of You.

The Bible is bursting with the stories of people whom the Lord provided for. He provided food, clothing, protection, healing, direction, and the list could go on. There isn’t enough room in one blog post to rehearse all of these accounts.

Here are a few of my favorite passages that speak of God’s care for us and offer encouragement during trying times.

  • Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
  • Psalm 84:11 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: The Lord will give grace and glory: No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
  • Isaiah 41:10, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
  • Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings as eagles; They shall run, and not be weary; And they shall walk, and not faint.”

5. Talk to God about it.

  • Psalm 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
  • 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
  • Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
  • Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

6. Ask God to use your suffering for good.

  • Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
  • Romans 5:3-5 “. . .but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

While our suffering and trials are not good, God can use them for our good and His glory. Ask God to work in your heart and to use you through your trials. Don’t let a trial go to waste! Be willing to let God work and let him use you to help others!

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

Wife, mom, grandma, and country girl. I am living by faith and encouraging others to do the same. I integrate faith, family and country living.


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