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Points to Ponder: Is Life Unfair?
Points to Ponder
Is Life Unfair?
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer
It's interesting that many people will say, "Life is unfair." Is it God's fault that life is generally unfair?
If you lodge this complaint, does it thus imply that "Fair" is the norm? Is it ever fair anywhere? If there is an "un"-something, then aren't we saying that something is the standard? In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...and when He finished doing that, He said, "This is fair." And then He said to Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply, and fill the earth. "And life will be fair to all the people of the earth."
No, after God created everything, He said it was "good." And all across history, you can have good things and yet face unfair circumstances. We blame the sin condition for a lot of that; however, we still hear this charge: "That's not fair" or "Life is unfair," as if the standard has been violated. A line called "Fair" has been crossed.
In the New Testament, we have a wonderful scripture which we often quote as an answer to - even an explanation for - the unfair things.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
"Unfair" will be defeated in the end because God will make it work for the good.
That sounds great to say and it does state an eternal truth. But when you are in the midst of the valley of the unfair (due to a health issue, betrayal, job loss, etc.), there's little comfort in the moment. Especially if you're in that valley for much of your life.
Consider Acts 3:1-10. A man who had been born lame, sat at the temple gate every day begging. When Peter and John encountered him, they healed him in Jesus' name. Peter insisted that it was not their power, but that of Jesus Christ, that made the man walk (3:11-12). Now ponder that fact. The healing of this man, who was well known, having been at the gate daily, stirred a lot of controversy. It's a primary point of discussion all the way into chapter four. The man was over forty years old (4:22).
Was it fair that he was healed? He leapt for joy and was praising God for the instant ability to walk; something he'd never done in his life! But, if he'd been there every day, all of his adult life, as a humiliated beggar, why didn't Jesus heal him Himself years earlier?
As a practicing Jewish man, Jesus came to the temple at least three times per year; the legal requirement of every Jewish male. Therefore, Jesus must have seen the man there several times.
Does it strike you as being unfair that Jesus Christ would walk past this poor guy year after year and not heal him? Then after His resurrection and ascension, He does it through Peter and John. As you ponder this account, you could surmise that Jesus allowed this man to suffer as a lame man through the prime years of his life. Everyday of his young adult life, in heat and in cold, he sat there and begged for his living. And Jesus was aware of it.
No doubt the man knew what went on in the temple courts. He may have overheard Jesus teaching there. He may have listened to the groups of scribes and Pharisees talking about Jesus. Then after the incredible events of Jesus' triumphal entry on Palm Sunday; the calamitous temple cleansing which sent sacrificial animals scurrying out of the court; the shouts of "crucify Him!"; and then the buzz about Him being risen from the dead; he had heard the gospel. Then, when Peter and John came along, the time was ripe to manifest it in his own life.
"Then Peter said, 'Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk..' And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them - walking, leaping, and praising God." (Acts 3:6-8)
Perhaps we are missing the more profound meaning of life if we too quickly designate a situation as "unfair."
Compared to most people around him, life seemed unfair to this forty-year-old lame man. Yet, for a higher purpose he sat begging for decades, for all to see. He was known only as the beggar at the gate. Then all the people saw him walking and praising God, and thus he became the opening illustration to Peter and John's sermon before the jealous religious leaders.
"And many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand." (Acts 4:4)
In the end, the result was more than fair.
Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.