That’s Not Fair!

That’s not fair!

Isn’t that the cry of every kid when he doesn’t get his way? And the rejoinder from most parents is usually ‘life isn’t fair, get used to it’. But are we any different? What’s our response when we get treated poorly?

  • When someone at work gets the promotion we thought we deserved?
  • When someone cheats us in a business deal?
  • When a so-called friend stabs us in the back. Isn’t our cry, that’s not fair?
  • What about after living healthy, we get cancer anyway? And the guy you know that smokes like a chimney lives to be a hundred.
  • What about when death comes too early to someone we love because of a drunk driver that walked away from the accident?
  • What about losing our house to a bank even though the neighbors that squander all their money keep their home?

It’s times like these that test our faith. Does God really love and care about us? Is He impotent in the face of pain and evil to stop it? Is He just sitting up there somewhere watching the show?

The Bible is clear that God cares and loves us. It’s also clear that He has the power to stop the pain and evil. So why doesn’t He? It’s not fair! Even a cursory reading through the books of Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes shows that the human authors struggled with these questions too. And invariably, their answer was ‘I don’t know why this is happening, but I’m going to trust God that He is good and loving and has some good purpose for allowing this’.

You, my reader, may be expecting some grand answer to this age-old problem, but I’m going to disappoint you. I don’t know why God allows evil and pain and oppression and injustice. Maybe it’s so we will learn to lean on and trust Him. Maybe it’s so we learn to stand up and fight these things in His name and in His power.

I’m going to leave you with the words of an old gospel hymn that has served me well through the years. This song speaks to my heart when I want to scream out it’s not fair God.


Farther Along (W. B. Stevens)

Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long;
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.

Refrain:
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer,
Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow,
When there are many living in comfort,
Giving no heed to all I can do.

Refrain:
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

Tempted and tried, how often we question
Why we must suffer year after year,
Being accused by those of our loved ones,
E’en though we’ve walked in God’s holy fear.

Refrain:
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

Often when death has taken our loved ones,
Leaving our home so lone and so drear,
Then do we wonder why others prosper,
Living so wicked year after year.

Refrain:
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

“Faithful till death,” saith our loving Master;
Short is our time to labor and wait;
Then will our toiling seem to be nothing,
When we shall pass the heavenly gate.

Refrain:
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

Soon we will see our dear, loving Savior,
Hear the last trumpet sound through the sky;
Then we will meet those gone on before us,
Then we shall know and understand why.

Refrain:
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

*There are contradictory claims for the authorship of this song. The words and music are frequently attributed to W. B. Stevens, although others have attributed the words to W. A. Fletcher.

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