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This is Not Fair!

I have told you these things that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you will have tribulation and trials and frustration; but be of good cheertake courage, be confident, certain, undauntedfor I have overcome the world . I have deprived it of power to harm, have conquered it for you.
– John 16:33 AMP

Two friends are heading for the river to fish for a while — they’ve been to this rather isolated area before and anticipate "catching a few" to take home for supper. When they get back to their truck there are two young men waiting for them. They have guns and they systematically and jovially kill the two fishermen. But wait! The two friends were lovers of the Lord; fine men in our community; good fathers and loving husbands. That sounds like a raw deal any way you look at it. It’s just not fair! They weren’t on a beer-bust; they weren’t plotting some evil scheme; they were good men who had just ‘gone fishin’. No. That isn’t fair.

She had asked for just one thing: A home with a loving husband and loving children. And the first years seemed to be building on that dream. Then her husband had an affair — and another — and another. He became unkind to her and inordinately critical of the boys. She knew the Lord and so she prayed and asked others to pray. It didn’t work. He divorced her; married one of his lovers; and left home — without a backward glance at two children with tears running down their cheeks. He doesn’t call or send money. He’s gone as surely as if he were dead. It’s just not fair! She wanted so little.

What is fair?

Well, in our context it means just and honest and according to the rules. Is our world just and honest? Hardly. Does our culture operate according to the rules? No. They make up their own rules. It’s like Israel: "Every man did what was right in his own sight" (Judges 17:6). It’s back to the garden where Eve and Adam ate from the forbidden tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "If we eat from this tree, Adam, we won’t have to be running back and forth to God all the time asking Him what’s right and what’s wrong. We can decide for ourselves." And mankind has been deciding for himself ever since.

It would take reams of paper to even try to exhaust all of the theological tenets of this question that plagues so many people — especially when their world is upside down. But perhaps these thoughts will give you something to add to your understanding. This is one tiny facet of the answer.

God created a perfect world…and sin ruined it

The animals ate green things and man’s hunger was satisfied with berries and fruit. There was no bloodshed. There was no fear. All was well in the Garden of Eden. But then, sin entered into the Garden, trampling the violets and leaving huge muddy holes in the soft, fallow ground. And when that happened, "fair" became a hollow word. Was it fair for Cain to kill Abel? Was it fair for David to seduce Bathsheba, kill her husband, and bear children by her? Was it fair for Samson to be blinded? Was it fair for Stephen to be stoned? Was it fair for the Christ, the Son of God, to be crucified? No. Those are the consequences brought about by evil men living in a fallen world whose ruler (John 14:30) is the Father of lies (John 8:44), the creator of evil, cruelty, and pain.

Our Comforter

No. The world isn’t fair, but God knew what was going to happen that afternoon when Pudgy and Weldon went fishing. You understand, things like that happen in a world where sin reigns. God knew that the world would be an unhappy place, a dangerous place, where bad things would happen to all of us.

That’s why He has given Himself to us as our Comforter. "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened down and I will give you rest"(Matthew 11:28). That’s why He said, "Cast your burden on Me" (I Peter 5:7)! That’s His reason for telling us, "Come, sit over here with me and let’s talk this over" (Isaiah 1:18). That’s why He said, over and over again, "I am with you. Don’t be afraid. Don’t anxiously look about you. I will never leave you. I’m holding your hand" (Isaiah 41:10,13).

We desperately need to know those things about Him when we are living in a world where unfair things happen all the time. He didn’t plan it that way. People make it that way.

So we live in a fallen world, a world that knows right from wrong but a world where there are those who take what is right and trample it, just like the violets in the Garden, then turn and walk away leaving huge scars and broken hearts behind them. God knew. That’s why He implored those first two residents to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He knew the pain that would come. He knew the chaos that would result. But, those two insisted. They did it "their way" and we’re still doing it "our way."

Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us?

When we have trouble or calamity . . . is it because He doesn’t love us anymore? No . . . despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. – Romans 8: 35-37

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.