JUST WHAT IS FAIR? January 2018 My Dear Christian Friend: Yes, another year, and there will as always changes, only may they be far less painful this year. There are always challenges and difficulties endemic to this life; yet have there been too many deaths from hurricanes, terrorists, and other catastrophes. There are just no guarantees, only the promise and hope we have as children of God! And Paul would write so well of the seeming unfairness, and past injustices that early Christians experienced, and indeed us all, stating, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.” Yes, he said the suffering we have now are not worth comparing to what is to be. And then a few verses later he will declare “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation,” to which he will add a number of unpleasantness, and to which we could add even more, like wildfires, killings from the upper floor of a luxury hotel, or a dear ones death. Paul then adds, “For I am convinced (his Greek here is saying he is absolutely assured) that neither death nor life, nor angels,” and list more things all of which imply that nothing, literally nothing on this earth or heaven, “will be able to separate us form the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rm. 8:18-39). His words seem reassuring for our future; but are they an adequate answer for too many senseless deaths be they by natural disasters, or caused by some fanatic demented fool? Is the suffering we experience not worth comparing? A casual glance at human history reveals a horrific story of massive injustice and mounting unfairness. Can this be by the allowance of a good God? The Jews of the first century, as have many since, believed that bad things happen primarily to bad people, that the tragedies of disease or accidents were visited upon those that in some way had it coming. This was the disciple’s viewpoint as they asked Jesus about, “a man blind from his birth”….adding, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind” (Jn. 92-3). It is, of course, a foolish question; a new born baby could do nothing that would deserve blindness, nor could a parent’s sin be passed to a baby. Jesus rejects all such vacuous reasoning, and declares that the man is blind, “that the works of God might be made manifest in him” (Jn. 9:1-3). However, we are unable to say to every birth-defect or unfortunate incident or illness, “this is so the power of God can be made manifested.” It would be wonderful to see God work that way! Yet only one man was healed from the waiting multitude at the pool of Bethesda. Jesus could have healed all, but did not (Jn. 5:3-6). Mysterious and profound things are going on in the ministry of Jesus, and in obviously in our lives today for which we simply do not adequate answers. When Jesus was told of the murder of some Galileans in the Temple he abruptly stated, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way that they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you, that unless you repent, you will perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did” (Lk. 13:2-5). This creation is subjected to futility and decay, groaning in travail awaiting our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies (Rm. 8:20-23). Nothing is as it should be, YET! And indeed the sufferings we experience now are as nothing when we see what is to be. Today we do have His Spirit interceding for us, searching our hearts. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and ministers to us according to the will of God. In this all, regardless of what we may face, it is God at work for good, for those that love Him (Rm. 8:26-28). However, let us be sure of one thing, “repent!” Less we perish, as did the Galileans, or those eighteen in Jerusalem. Whatever comes we have the Lord, we have His abiding Spirit, and that great hope; and that nothing, NOTHING will separate us from the love of God, EVER! That we might ever proclaim that love, Thomas R Wyatt I personal want to express my humble gratitude and appreciation for the many cards of sympathy, and how many of you have given in Sharon’s name to this ministry. I know my beloved would also be humbled and so thankful for your kindness and generosity. Often she expressed her love of you, reading your requests, and personal stories she felt like you were friends, and more than that, partners in a wonderful effort for the Kingdom of God. We will, in her name, be recording some of her favorite hymns and praise songs for the broadcast. Again I thank you on her behalf, and encourage you to continue to support this ministry in prayers, and any way you feel you can. Know also that I pray for you daily, and often far more. And we are all here praying for you, and will take your request faithfully to the Lord. Do call or write, our phone number is (800) 693-3873. When our offices are closed we record all messages, and all are retrieval, and prayed over. If you have any need do not hesitate to let us know.