First, God’s is infinitely just. And from the Garden of Eden to the present day, all men have sinned and violated God’s holy order (Romans 3:23).  No matter how small, this sin has a penalty—death, separation from God forever (Romans 6:23).

Yet, while the cross reveals God’s justice, it also reveals His great love. God sent His son, Jesus to take the punishment for man’s sin because man couldn’t possibly redeem himself. (2 Corinthians 5:21). This was the greatest act of love (1 John 4:9).

This was the greatest agony for the heart of a holy God wasn’t watching his Son beaten to a pulp and crucified; it was in the knowledge that His perfect Son would assume all the sin of mankind.

These actions don’t strike me as terribly fair. The crucifixion was the greatest injustice in the history of the world. And yet, it was allowed by God for the payment of our sin.

What Do We Deserve?

So in light of the cross, what really do we deserve? Anyone who has been redeemed by God can no longer view themselves as having been treated unfairly by God. The gift of His son at salvation was both a gift we never deserved and yet a terrible injustice on our account. The reality is that we are not owed anything by God. Instead we owe Him a debt of love we can never repay. The hymn, “Come Thou Fount” says it best in its third verse:

“O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!”

Grace gives us the proper perspective on life’s seeming injustices. As hard as it is to fathom, the most tragedy-struck Christian has tasted overwhelming amounts of God’s grace. More than even that soul deserved.

So if we were to be completely honest, we wouldn’t want God to be fair. If He was, then He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to pay for our sins and we would be bound for a hopeless eternity. And He wouldn’t walk beside us daily, giving us strength. He wouldn’t extend His hand of forgiveness when we fail.

Instead, we should be glad we serve a God who is right.

Because we’re not getting what we deserve. Nobody who walks this earth is. Instead, we’re getting something far greater. His grace.

So, Is God Fair?

So, when I look again at Linda, my mother-in-law, I can’t say that God has been “fair” in our sense of the word. But, in her life, He has been right. And she doesn’t blame God for her husband’s unfaithfulness and the other trials she’s had to endure. Instead, she praises God for walking with her through those dark valleys and giving the grace to solider on.

Sadly, many Christians in America, walk around feeling as though they’ve been cheated. They ask questions like, “Why can’t I be healthy like others?” or “Why does God allow him or her to be married?” or “Why couldn’t have I been born into a wealthy family?”

Unfortunately, the church itself has become an unwitting accomplice in this unbiblical thought process. We’ve tried to market Christianity as the better alternative, where life will be more successful. This may be true, but we must realize that Christianity is not about benefiting and taking and getting more of what we want out of a cosmic, vending-machine God. It’s about worshipping a God who has given us far more grace than we deserve. It’s about following the example of Jesus in sacrificing for the good of others.

We should view everything we’ve got in life as a gift from God, not complain when things don’t go our way.

Because thankfully, we don’t have a God who is fair, but a Heavenly Father who is always right.

Daniel Darling is the author of Teen People of the Bible. Visit him at