Summary: Staying Anchored to God through the Storms of Life
Title: If God is Just, why isn’t life Fair?
If you have your bible, I want to invite you to turn to Luke 7:11
We’ve heard it all our lives – we’ve probably even been guilty of saying it
Now Children, play fair
Hopefully the concept of fairness was instilled in us by our parents and our teachers at an early age
What we didn’t know then is that what these significant adults in our lives was asking us to do was something many of them still hadn’t mastered
One of the passages we go through en route to becoming adults – that produces a certain loss of innocence – is the realization that life isn’t always fair
By the time we reach our late teens - we’ve usually arrived at this conclusion
For reasons we don’t always understand – good things happen to bad people and sometimes bad things happen to good people
And although we know this is true
Whenever we sense that we are being treated unfairly - it stings
I think this is often because of how we define fair
We run into problems when we try to impose our definition of fairness on God
When God’s actions – or lack of action - doesn’t fit our definition
Inner conflict can arise within us
Because – on the one hand –
We know God is fair
But on the other hand – sometimes He doesn’t seem fair
11 For God does not show favoritism.
Don’t we tend to interpret his verse to mean: God is fair
Paul doesn’t say God is fair – He says God doesn’t show favoritism
Well then, is God fair?
But His fairness is certainly not confined to our definition of fairness
When we think of fairness – don’t we tend to think of things like:
Equal rights - Equal opportunity - Equal benefits -
It’s part of our national constitution
While it’s true that we are all equal in value
We are not equal in gifting and abilities
The parable of the talents tells us that God creates some of us to be one talent people, some to be two talent people, and some to be five talent people
Is it fair that God created me as a one talent person and you as a five talent person?
Yes - it’s fair - but not necessarily according to our definition
Understanding the inherent shortcomings of how we define fairness is important
Because as we go through life - there will be times when God is going to test our definition
Causing us to reconsider and possibly redefine what really constitutes fairness
He’ll do some things we don’t understand
And He won’t do some things we expect Him to do
When God begins to stretch us to redefine our definition of fairness – He enlarges our Faith -
With the ultimate goal of increasing our capacity to trust and follow Him
I want us to take the next few minutes and consider the question of fairness from God’s perspective
And see how John the Baptist wrestled with it
11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him.
12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out-- the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.
13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don’t cry."
14 Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!"
15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people."
Perhaps you are familiar with today’s text
If so – let’s be careful not to miss it’s emotional impact
Because here we catch Jesus right in the middle of doing one of his God Acts – as he resurrects this woman’s dead son
Imagine that this young man is one of your loved ones
Imagine it was their funeral you were headed to when Jesus interrupted the procedures
Several years ago - I received a call at 2:00 am - and was asked to come up to the hospital
Nothing in all my background or training could have prepared me for what I was to encounter when arriving there
As I entered the hospital - I was directed into the emergency room
Where I met a family - a mom and dad - and the fiance’ of a young lady who had just been killed in an automobile accident