Life is not fair. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Everyone gets frustrated at times and cries out, “I don’t deserve this!” The pain can seem unbearable. The anger can be overwhelming. Our sense of justice urges us to set things right. These are critical points in our life because how we deal with being angry over the injustices of life will spell the difference between heaven and hell.
Some try to get even with life by turning against the God who gave them life. They blame God for putting them in terrible conditions like a chronic disease, extreme poverty, or relentless abuse. It is common to feel anger in these situations—yes, against God. Job did, and he was a great man of God. Even the strongest men and women of God have a breaking point, a time in their life when their confidence is dashed to pieces and they feel helpless and unable to cope with the tormenting feelings of grief, fear, and anger. People who do not know God and the Bible are much less able to withstand these raging storms of life. Some of them use their hardships as an excuse to become bitter enemies of God. They try to get back at the Creator by being “haters of God” (Rom. 1:30).
Others seek vengeance against the misfortunes of life by mistreating others. They resent people who have a good life because they have never had one. To them it is unfair that others are happy when they are miserable. Consequently, they want others to feel the same pain they do and see to it that they suffer. They may rob, destroy property, or kill people who have done nothing to hurt them. Strangely and yet commonly, they complain that life has been unfair to them and that gives them the right to be unjust with others! But criminals are not the only ones who are guilty. Backbiters, slanderers, and troublemakers try to get even with life by attacking whoever they can.
Still others try to make things right by being selfish. This may begin unintentionally with statements like these: “I never had anything when I grew up, so I deserve to work and buy what I want” or “I’ve had a hard life and I deserve some enjoyment.” We all need rest. God told the Israelites to rest one day a week and Jesus told the disciples to take a break from the greatest work on earth (Exod. 20:8-11; Mark 6:31). We must be careful, however, not to allow our frustrations to lead us into self-indulgence. Some do. They drink and party. They do nothing but work and spend money on themselves. “After all,” they reason, “Life has been hard and I feel like life owes me.” Even Christians can fall into this trap of self-pity. This is why some of them fail to assemble, neglect giving, and have little enthusiasm for God and spiritual things. They are busy balancing the inequities of life.
There is a better and higher way of looking at the troubles of life. The Bible teaches us to be patient and wait upon the Lord. When the prophet Habakkuk cried out for justice in Israel and with her enemies, the Lord said, “Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Hab. 2:3). Paul wrote, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay’, says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam. 3:25-26).
Life does not owe you. God does not owe you. If we had only justice in life and got what we deserve, we would be in hell. God gave us good things out of His mercy, but His infinite wisdom decides the when, what and why of the trials and blessings of this world.
– Kerry Duke