April / May 2020 - Vol. 109

man
                  praying sunsrise and storm
Life Is So Unfair Ė Thanks be to God! .

by Tom Caballes

ďBless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's
"
- Psalms 103:2-5 ESV
Many of us complain that life is not fair. We, at times, get the short end of the stick. And we complain. But in reality, because of our sins, we all deserve judgment in the eyes of God. We reap what we sow in sin Ė and so we suffer. No one is ďgoodĒ Ė good enough to come to Godís presence, as sin and God cannot mix, like oil and water. If God was just and fair without being merciful, we should all rightfully deserve judgment and hell. But out of Godís love for us, He sent Jesus to pay for our sins to redeem us from the consequences of our sins - death. Jesus paid with His blood the price for our salvation. We all deserve hell, but our destiny is heaven instead. We were no people before; now we are Godís chosen race, a holy nation, and a royal priesthood. [1 Peter 2:9-10] Thanks be to God, life is not fair Ė that life is full of His sublime love and overflowing grace!

So How Do We Live Our Lives in Gratitude to Godís Extravagant Love & Grace?    
  1. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1A ESV) We are now Godís sons and daughters. This our primary identity. Know who we are and what we have come from Godís lavish grace. We owe our very existence to God, and so God deserves all our lives big and small, to Him. Life is not primarily about fairness and justice Ė itís about Godís grace.
  2. Know that in life, there will be good times, and there would be bad times even if you are a Christian. Nothing will be perfect in life on this side of eternity. There are times we need to address genuine grievances. Balance your mindset based on the truth and not focus on your emotions or circumstances.
  3. Challenges and trials test what we are made of inside. It tests our values and priorities in life. Pass the test! Learn to endure hardship. Life is not about being comfortable and convenience.
  4. Appreciate how blessed you are. You are an overcomer and a victor once you said yes to Jesus. Do not give in to fear or despair. God is with you wherever you go. Count your small and big blessings daily.
  5. Be a victor and a conqueror in life. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32 ESV) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 ESV) With God, you can overcome any challenge in life.
  6. We should avoid the habit of complaining about life being unfair. Yes, there would be times we feel life has short-changed us, but overall, we are still on the winning side because God is on our side. Rejoice instead of complaining. Genuinely be happy for people success rather than envy them.
  7. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV) Complaining belongs to the old way of living. We are now Godís new creation, and we should live in the new way of living. Leave behind your complaining baggage and walk free! Life is so much happier without carrying the heavy load of complaining. 
Other Scripture passages:
  1. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. (Psalms 136:1 ESV)
  2. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
  3. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29 ESV)
  4. Other Scripture Passages: Philippians 2:14-16; James 5:9; 1 Corinthians 10:10; and 1 Thessalonians 5:18
For personal reflection or group sharing
  • How often do you complain instead of giving thanks to God?
  • How have you progressed in rooting out constant complaining to God and others in your life?
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.

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top illustration (c) by Kevin Carden
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