A sweet, retired schoolteacher was murdered outside of her home. She received multiple injuries during the attack. People described her as kind, loving, caring, respectful, and very sweet. She was a good person who worked her farm, gave back to her community, and played piano at her church. Former students said that they loved her.
This news story touched me deeply because I had met the sweet woman years before this recent terrible event took place. However, similar stories of injustice fill the news broadcasts on a daily basis. Sometimes you know someone personally, and sometimes you’re just appalled that it could happen to anyone.
What do you do when life doesn’t make sense? Do you give in to the notion that there must not be a God or if there is, he is uncaring and calloused? Some people do but this only leads to more bitterness in the world. God never meant for his created human beings to go it alone in this world.
The author of Ecclesiastes thought long and hard about the many injustices in life. He didn’t see wrong being made right. He saw burdens, pain, and suffering. He saw judges and other people who were supposed to keep peace acting corruptly. He saw oppressors who sought to magnify their power over their victims. He saw dangers lurking around every corner and uncertainties abounding. From his point of view, everything seemed meaningless.
This dim picture doesn’t seem very far from what happens today.
Sometimes it’s enough to make you want to cower under a warm, security blanket. However, that isn’t the answer either. What is then?
Keep in mind these five things when evil seem to be winning:
1. It is okay to ask God why. Don’t hide your worries and doubts. Keep your thoughts honest about your confusion. It’s okay to hate injustice. God hates injustice too.
2. Keep praying. Keep reading your Bible. Don’t run away from God into your own opinions and mindsets. Fight bitterness at every turn. Keep searching for his answers. You may not always see those answers but if you keep on searching, you will gain some peace and understanding.
3. Be glad about trials—not that they exist—but that with the help of God’s strength, you can endure them. Trials stand out starkly on the backdrop of genuine faith. The confusing trials of life can refine you whether they make sense or not.
4. Remember that God loves you no matter what you go through, see, hear about, or feel. God so loved the whole world that he gave his only begotten son. That may have seemed like an injustice at the time, but it was actually the plan of a sovereign God who wanted to make atonement for all sin once and for all.
5. Remember that you’re not alone. When Jesus rose again and then left his disciples in the world, he said that he would send another helper. He did. It’s called the Holy Spirit and he is always with you to help you understand better and get through those trials.
As a bonus, I’ll throw in a sixth reason to keep your faith even in the midst of trials and tragedies. God will eventually bring every injustice and wrong action into His light. This will allow the mourners and the victims to be made new again (Revelation 21:5). God never overlooks his people when they are mistreated. He uses it, in some way, for their good.
Even when you don’t see the end (yet), you can still focus on as many good things in life as you can. Sometimes it’s hard to find them. The good are sometimes like whispers in the middle of a large, loud chaotic room. Nevertheless, keep any eye out for them. Treasure them within your heart and soul. Communicate them to others. Keep the good alive along with the bad. It may sound simple but sometimes it’s the little things that can get you through the tough things.
King Solomon also concluded something similar. He ended his “life is meaningless” rant with the following words:
Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
In addition, Jesus said that in this world you will have trouble. But he went on to say that you can also have peace because he has overcome the trouble of the world (John 16:33).
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write things that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk.com. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at www.jenniferheeren.com.
Publication date: July 7, 2015