My students were complaining about a decision I made. They said it was “unfair.” And because I am such a compassionate and loving teacher, my response was, “Life is unfair and then you die.”
They were not exactly happy with my response.
But the truth of the matter is, “Life is unfair.”
Sometimes, spouses cheat, financial devastation occur, children get sick, natural disasters destroy, bosses fire, lives are lost. Sometimes you get thrown into the fire simply for serving your God.
What do you do? You can rail against the injustice of it all. (Yes, when we see a group of people systematically being treated unfairly, we do what we can to eradicate unjust laws and procedures.) We can complain to our unsympathetic teachers. We can lay down and become a victim.
Or we can do what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendengo did. We can trust in the Lord our God to right our wrongs. We can stand firm knowing our God is more than able to deliver us from the fire.
As I read the story of the three Hebrews boys and the fiery furnace, here are five lessons I learned:
1. They went into the furnace bound. But they were loosed WHILE in the fire. That which the enemy meant to destroy you could be the very thing God uses to FREE you. Their ropes were burned but not them.
Maybe it’s in the fire we learn to depend upon God – totally. Maybe in the fire, other’s expectations are burned away and we become free to be who God has called us to be. Maybe in the hot, uncomfortable fire we realize what is truly important and our deepest desires and finally find the freedom to pursue them.
2. Jesus is with us in the fire. You are not alone.
3. The fire may make you uncomfortable, but it will not destroy you.
4. You can go through a fire but not smell like smoke. God’s redemption is so complete, he can erase every aspect of the wrong that occurred. He can redeem the memories as He heals your heart. He can remove the shame that tries to attach itself to the unfair act.
5. You will come out of the fire better than when you went into the fire. God restores. Your promotion happens on the other side of fire.
Is life unfair. You betcha. But God is a God of justice. He will contend for us. He fights our battles. He rights our wrongs while bringing redemption and restoration.
Weeping endures for a season. Joy is coming. There is no God that rescues like our God!
“There is no other god who can rescue like this!” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.”
Daniel 3:29-30 NLT