Is Life Fair?

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Is Life Fair?

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How is it that one can sometimes suffer for obeying God? God's rationale for allowing His faithful to suffer is summed up in Jesus' life and death. Though Jesus never sinned, He voluntarily gave up His own life that humanity would be saved (Romans 5:6-8 Romans 5:6-8 [6] For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. [8] But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
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). There must be a good reason for this.

The apostle Paul fills in more of the story: "And being found in appearance as a man, He [Jesus] humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8 Philippians 2:8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
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).

In the letter to the Hebrews, we read that "without shedding of blood there is no remission [of sins]" (Hebrews 9:22 Hebrews 9:22And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
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), that "Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many" (verse 28), and "at the end of the ages, [Jesus] has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (verse 26).

God's path to eternal life is quite different from man's way. Man looks on this life as survival of the fittest. God views life as survival of the humblest. It is God's will that all mankind be saved (1 Timothy 2:4 1 Timothy 2:4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
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). For a human being to think humbly, he must recognize his inherent weaknesses and what he is in the sight of God. God raises up those who humble themselves: "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10 James 4:10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
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).

The book of Proverbs teaches us that humility precedes honor (Proverbs 15:33 Proverbs 15:33The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.
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). Jesus is mankind's perfect example of a humble way of life. Humility is not the world's way, but it is God's way (John 14:27 John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
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; 1 John 2:15-17 1 John 2:15-17 [15] Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. [17] And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God stays for ever.
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; 1 Corinthians 4:12 1 Corinthians 4:12And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
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). In the world, when a person honors and obeys God and His laws, he will be thought odd and ridiculed for it (John 15:20 John 15:20Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
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). But in the world to come that same person will be honored by God and Christ (Revelation 2:26 Revelation 2:26And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
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; 3:12, 21).

Life is not fair if you look at life from the world's perspective. But, if you view your physical life from God's perspective, contrasting a few decades of physical existence with an eternity of vibrant, fulfilling living, then this life is strikingly recast in a brighter light. Our lives take on greater dimensions and scope: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:10 Matthew 5:10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
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). In this new context, life is fair, redefined as the beginning of everlasting life.

Joseph understood that in this physical existence life is not fair. But he possessed spiritual vision that helped him to actively obey God and remain faithful under the most trying conditions. When we are guided by God's comforting Spirit and remain focused on the hope of eternal life, we learn, as Joseph did, that ultimately "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28 Romans 8:28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
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). GN