Tag Archives: unfairness

January 28; Not Fair! Not Important!

Genesis 40-41

Joseph had a right to complain. He was suffering, and really didn’t deserve it. His own brothers had sold him into slavery because he was annoying and their dad liked him best. Was that fair? Hardly.

Was it fair that Potiphar’s wife lied about him, and he ended up in prison? Not fair!

And when he’d done a good deed for the Pharaoh’s cupbearer, the only thing he asked was – “remember me. Help me get out of here.” Did the cupbearer lift a finger to help the unjustly imprisoned Joseph? Not for two years. Not fair!

God nudge me to look at Joseph’s attitude through this unfair, undeserved difficult situation he found himself in. I don’t see him pouting, or turning his back on God. I don’t see him complaining, or scheming how to get even with everybody who hurt him.

I see a young man who didn’t waiver in his integrity, or his devotion to God. He worked. He did what was required of him. And he did it well.

I read the account of a man who trusted God. Period.

I don’t know a person out there who thinks life is fair. Thing happen, and sometimes we end up paying consequences for sins committed by people other than ourselves. Or we end up on the short end of the stick, struggling to keep our heads above water while everyone else seems to be sailing along just nicely. Not fair!

I think God would have us learn from Joseph. The circumstances in which we find ourselves are not the issue. Our attitudes and actions are, however.

The Apostle Paul knew hardship and unfair treatment. In Philippians 4:12-13 he said he had learned the secret to contentment despite circumstances. He knew what it was like to have a bank account, and what it was like to be broke. He knew what it was like to sit down and enjoy a hardy meal, and what it was like to starve.

Then he said that he could do anything, could face any circumstance THROUGH CHRIST who gave him strength.

I don’t know your circumstances but I know God is strong enough to see you through. The thing is, you have to look to Him instead of at your circumstances.

Life isn’t fair. That’s a fact. But whether or not life is fair is not important. What is important is your faith and trust in God who promises to be with you, protect you, and defeat the enemy on your behalf.

Do you trust Him? Then surrender your difficult circumstance to Him. Get busy doing the things He’s asking you to do. Worship and praise Him. Love Him. Quit feeling sorry for yourself, and telling yourself how unfair life is right now.

God can get you through this. That’s a promise. After all, it’s not your circumstance that is important. But God is.

Feb 5 – An Eye For An Eye

Exodus 19-21

In the chapters we read today, and will read in the days to come, God is spelling out his demands for holy living. There is absolutely a right and a wrong and it’s right here in front of us in black and white. Those who think “right” is an arbitrary set of rules decided by individuals to suit their own needs is wrong, wrong, wrong.

I’ve often heard, “an eye for an eye” and it’s first said here in Exodus. It is included in the verses that talk about how to handle it when a pregnant woman gets injured when two men are fighting. But the principal applies to life. Jesus even talked about it.

But when Jesus talked about it in Matthew 5, he turned things around a bit. He says if someone slaps you, don’t slap back. Turn the other cheek. He’s using these passages in Exodus to make a point. Sin isn’t just sin when acted out. Sin is a heart condition.

For years, when I was a Middle School Guidance Counselor and did “guidance” activities with sixth graders, I showed the movie “The Buttercream Gang.” There’s a line in there that came to mind this morning as I thought about what God would say to me in His word. Here’s the line:

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, Pete.

Seriously, getting even never makes things even. Tailgating the driver who cut you off doesn’t even the score, except to make you both look ridiculous. Hurting someone who hurts you only makes both of you guilty.

I’ve found that I am happier, life is better, if I let God be judge and jury. He’s much better than I. And in the end, he’s gonna judge me, too.

Holy God, I pray that as we read your rules for living we will bow to You in complete obedience. I thank you that I live this side of the cross, where I know following rules cannot buy my salvation. And I want to remember that Jesus took these rules one step further, that my heart’s condition is so important. But You gave these rules to us to make our lives richer, our relationship with you purer. I want to be obedient, repentant when I sin, and love you with my whole self. Make me holy through Jesus’ blood. Thank you for wanting to.

 

Jan 27 – A Great Deliverance

Genesis 43-45

We don’t always get to see the answers to our “why” questions. But Joseph and his brothers did. I imagine there were times Joseph might have wondered why God allowed him to be enslaved, imprisoned, then exalted. It must have been confusing for the young man.

But Joseph knew the evil that had come upon him at the hands of his brothers came from Satan. Satan wanted the outcome of Joseph’s captivity to end badly. Instead, God used it to preserve the whole nation of Israel. Joseph called it a great deliverance.

Do you have the same confidence in God that Joseph had when circumstances are confusing, and seem unfair in your own life? Remember what Joseph said to his brothers, then apply it to your situation.

Because God is in control. God can bring about good out of the evil Satan throws our way. Because God loves you way more than Satan hates you.

Dear God, I pray for those reading these chapters in Genesis today who are facing circumstances that are confusing and difficult. I pray that they will trust You to bring about good. I pray that Your will will be accomplished in each life, and that those who don’t know You will find You through the examples shown in Your trusting children. Give strength where strength is needed. Give patience or boldness if either is needed. I pray for a great deliverance. May we trust You with every detail. And thank you for being in charge of the outcome.

Jan 10 – What is fair?

Job 24-28

Doesn’t it seem that in this life, good people should be rewarded with health, happiness, and prosperity, while bad people should suffer the consequences for their evil? Does it seem to you like God ignores wrongdoing in some people? It’s not fair.

Job seems to be feeling this way. 24:12 says:

From the city men groan, and the souls of the wounded cry out; yet God does not pay attention to folly.

This chapter is full of examples of people getting away with murder. (and adultery, and dishonesty, …) God’s answer to the question comes later in the book and I hope you read it for yourself.

Let me remind you of something in the mean time. You are not God. But if you spend time getting to know God through the study of His written Word, you will see a God who loves every man, woman, and child. And He is zealously working in every life to draw each individual to Himself.

You can’t know how that is happening. You can only be sure it is happening. We only see a fraction of what is going on in anyone’s life. Even ours.

Being rich or successful or healthy doesn’t guarantee happiness or contentment, any more than struggles indicate sin. There are tortured souls at every level of society. I think of Robin Williams.

But there are blessed souls at every level of society, too. I think of a blogger friend of mine who suffers from ALS, and who continues to express his love for God from inside his paralyzed body. I think of my sister who continues to serve God while mourning the loss of her 22 year old son. I think of people in the Middle East who are being murdered with praise on their lips because they love the Lord.

I think what God would want us to know from Job’s example is to let it go. Quit looking around and comparing your life with anyone else’s. God wants you to look toward Him.

Do you want to talk about “fair”? Here’s one for you. You are a sinner. You’ve offended, disobeyed, disgusted God more than once. If God was “fair” according to our standards, you’d be broke, with painful sores, and alone with no hope.

Instead of questioning God about your idea of what is fair, you should be thanking Jesus for going to the cross. He was sinless. He never earned God’s wrath or deserved any consequence for anything. Yet He took on your sin. He died on a cross so you wouldn’t have to pay for what you’ve done.

Is that fair? No. But it is grace. And it’s your’s for the asking. Everything that has happened in your life up to this moment happened to bring you to the Savior. Don’t let this chance pass you by without falling on your knees in repentance, or in gratitude if you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Savior.

Then keep your eyes on Jesus. He is more than fair.

They Hated Me Without a Cause

I am Facebook friends with a former student, a young man who loves the Lord. Very often he will post something about his struggles or his victories as he maneuvers his way through this life. This morning he posted something about wanting to live his life with so much faith that the world would have nothing against him.

At first, I wondered about that statement. Then, as God would have it, I opened my study Bible and it directed me to John 15 where Jesus is talking to his disciples right before his crucifixion. He tells his disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own… They hated Me without a cause.”

I was reminded that, in order to condemn Jesus, they had to make things up. They had to lie about him so that they could get rid of him. Then I understood what my young FB friend was saying. He wants to live his life in such a way that if someone wanted to accuse him, they would have to lie.

Isn’t that the life we are all called to live? “Be holy as I am holy.” John continues to report that Jesus, after warning his disciples about how the world would view them, promised them the Holy Spirit to help them bear witness of Jesus. God knows his children will face difficulties because we love and serve him, and he promises to be exactly what we need to face them.

Dear one, don’t lose heart. Expect the world to be uncomfortable around you, because Jesus in you is going to make them uncomfortable in their sin. We can expect the world to hate us because they hated Jesus, too. Let the Holy Spirit do his work in their lives as you are obedient to Him, remembering that it’s God’s passionate desire for those people to come to him.

I’m praying for you. May the choices you make today reflect your relationship with the Savior. And may an unsaved friend or loved one be very uncomfortable in your presence because of their sin, and because Jesus is in you. Most of the time you won’t have to say a thing. John 15:26 promises that “He (the Holy Spirit) will testify about me (Jesus).”

Have you ever heard it said that you may be the only Jesus some will ever see? Or that you may be the only Bible some will ever read? I pray that those who see my life are getting the right message, seeing the right example of a woman saved by grace through the precious blood of Jesus. May it be true in us all.