Is God Being Unfair?

  • Nov. 13, 2017
  • #9271

God is sovereign over the good and the bad in our lives; we need not fret if the wicked seem to prosper.

Vicki and JoniHi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada talking about my good friend Vicky.

When I first met Vicky at a rehab clinic, I was so moved by the anguish; I could see it all over her face. She had been shot in an attempted rape. As the man assaulted her, she fought back. That’s when he pulled a gun and he shot her in the neck. Vicky became a quadriplegic. When I met her, she’d only been in the wheelchair a few years. The criminal only spent three years in jail. Vicky, on the other hand, is dealing with a lifetime sentence of quadriplegia. The woman could've written Psalm 73 where it says, "For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked." Maybe you could write the same—and those around you may not even be arrogant or wicked.

You could be a single woman who has served God faithfully for decades and has always longed to be married, as you watch your spiritually shallow 22-year-old friend wed a wonderfully godly man. You could be a young mother who must watch her two-year-old die slowly of cancer while your girlfriends fret about their child's broken arm or grades at school. You could be a hard-working salesman who holds fast to good ethics, while a conniving coworker cheats his way to the top. Or you could be carrying the heartbreaking scars from a terribly abusive childhood or an abusive marriage.

Life isn't fair. And the unfairness of it all can be so demoralizing. Husbands cheat on wives; drunk drivers slam into schoolchildren, and rapists walk out of jail, moving to other states to start all over again. Where is God in all this? How come evil seems to, so often, have the upper hand? And what can we do about it?

It’s natural to think that God seems unjust (it’s dangerous, but it’s entirely natural to think that way). When injustices happen, we feel it's only right to justify our anger. We think to ourselves: "God must hate injustice, so I guess he must have been helpless to prevent my terrible mistreatment. So, I need to make up for God's inactions. And if the other person is not exposed, brought to justice or punished, then I must take matters into my own hands or use criticism, or slander, or hold grudges to make certain that they are, in some way, paid back." 

But must we always respond that way? No, not if we’re Christians. We are to respond thinking, "Yes, God hates injustice and, yes, the awful person who mistreated me deserves to be brought to justice. Whether or not that happens, I will not be bitter nor retaliate. I will return good for evil and bless rather than curse. I will leave it to God to repay." True that’s a totally unnatural response to injustice, but if you are a Christian, God has called you to endure unjust suffering without revenge or the desire to hurt back. For God is sovereign; God is in control, and yes, even wicked people cannot thwart His purpose. For the Bible says, “The Lord works out everything for His own ends—even the wicked for a day of disaster."

Maybe you are struggling with this. If so, I want you to read Vicky’s entire testimony in a little booklet I wrote called “When God Seems Unjust.” Just go to joniandfriends.org and ask for “When God Seems Unjust.” By the way, last year Vicky marked 40 years in her wheelchair, and you will never meet a sweeter, gentler sister in Christ than her. Has she forgiven her assailant? Well, you can read all about that in that booklet. So, visit joniandfriends.org to get your free copy. Hey friend, at Joni and Friends we would like to pray for you, so share with us your thoughts and your prayer needs at joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

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