These periods of time can be very disheartening and cause us to want to give up. It is bad enough to watch the unfairness of life happen to other people. From rich people getting way with murder to the horrible deaths of young children it easy to become overwhelmed with evil in the world. Yet we can stand back and intellectually give an account for why these type of things happen and distance ourselves from them.
It is another story when the unfairness of life comes into our lives. Though we may not verbally say it we believe that because we are Christians God should shield us from the evil which exists in the world, but He doesn’t (at least not in the way we want Him to). After faithfully following Jesus we shouldn’t God reward our service by giving us the life that we want? When He doesn’t we are tempted to throw in the towel and just do our own thing.
Christians through the centuries have struggled with this feeling. People have turned away from God because He did not come thru the way they expected Him to. It made it seem that all that they did and all their prayers meant nothing. If God isn’t going to come thru for us why should we give Him our lives to Him?
For you who have children you know that you cannot give into their every whim. Why? Because they don’t about the consequences of their action, they have limited knowledge of how their actions affect their future. While you are doing what is best for them they often think you are being unfair.
The same is true with our relationship with God. We have a very limited knowledge of the future and what God is doing in the world. This limited knowledge makes it seem that God is unfair when He doesn’t come through in the way we want Him to. Sometimes we have to trust God will the right thing even though it makes no sense to us.
The early Christians struggled with wanting to give up too. The trusted God and followed Jesus, but for many of them life didn’t get better, it actually got worse. They were expected to make bigger sacrifices while being opposed by friends, family, religious authorities, and governmental authorities. They thought God was unfair.
The mysterious writer of Hebrews wrote:
For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown you love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and patience (6:10-12; NLT).
We will never fully understand everything that God does or why He allows certain things to happen to us, but as we continue to follow Jesus and love one another we begin to develop a better understanding of what God is doing. Not because we gain some special knowledge, but because we experience God working though us to restore His Creation.