Listen to the cries around us. Of mourning, trauma history, poverty, and endless types of suffering. We’ve all experienced troubles at some point in our lives and most of us can voice some level of discontent about our current situation as well. When we add our problems to the ones we hear in our neighbors’ hearts, we’ll be convinced of one certain fact–life is just not fair.
Though many clients have shared horrific stories of pain, I still find myself struck into a tailspin of questions at times. How could so many attacks batter the same soul? Why did this person have to experience this much torment? I don’t understand why some seem to have been spared and others bear unthinkable terrors. It just seems so … unfair.
I often complain about frustrating circumstances of my own. When I can’t seem to make progress. When I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. When I’m trying to obey God and the enemy targets my family.
And there’s the key. An enemy of our souls lurks at the root of life’s unfairness. He charges at us with devastation, lies, and shame. The evil one despises God with all his being, but cannot cause any harm to the Lord directly. So Satan attacks the Lord indirectly through those beloved by their Father–us. Because God adores and cherishes all human beings, the enemy detests and seeks to torment us. God’s will is to draw us into close, loving relationship with him through Christ. So Satan also generates a powerful and insidious strategy to divide us from our Father. The enemy tempts the world to imagine God as the culprit behind life’s unfairness.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:7-10).
By definition, God is the source of life, creation, justice, and pure love. No evil or malicious intent exists in the nature of the Creator. He remains just and gracious. Unfairness was invited by the human will choice to separate from God and is now prevalent in the world as the evil one causes harm during his short term of power on the earth. God came down and suffered on our behalf to repair the rift we chose to create. Through his own torturous death in our place, Jesus overcame the power of evil to keep us captive forever. He gave us a new doorway to invite us back into the original relationship of love and closeness with him. So Christ in his perfect justice makes all things new by taking away anything the evil one could hold against us and restores us to a fair and pain-free life after this one in the presence of evil ends. By identifying ourselves with the Savior as our life’s source and center, the Lord renews all of our being with fresh life and gives us his indwelling Spirit. We have his power to sustain us through the issues of this world until we enter the perfect and fair experience of eternity.
Things remain subject to the influence of an unfair enemy on this earth. Satan knows his time is limited, so he grows desperate to divide us from God’s love, discourage us from serving the Lord, and torment us as much as he can. We might not understand why he targets some people with more intense torture than others. We also might not understand why God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we expect.
Fortunately, the wellness of our souls and the strength of our faith doesn’t depend upon understanding. We have certain undeniable truths of our belief in and love for the Lord which he can strengthen as roots for us when we suffer in this unfair life. God is good. God loves us. God will never leave our side.
In the times when I’m tempted to wonder at the unfairness of life, I pray the Lord will remind me that He suffers on our behalf and the unfairness comes from the world’s temporary state of brokenness. The Spirit can remind me that there is more to this life than I can see or understand, but I must be “alert” to the evil behind our world’s torment. And keep in mind that “the family of believers throughout the world” suffers the attacks of the enemy.
When I shift my mindset from worry and trying to understand the unfairness toward “standing firm in the faith” that Christ loves us and is for us, I can experience his strengthening power and peace. This must become a regular mindset reset for me, since the world constantly tempts us to default to worry and despair. I must center my heart, mind, and soul on the truth of 1 Peter 5, praying and meditating daily with the help of the Spirit.
How do you reset your mind when life’s unfairness gets to you? I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please share with us in the comments.