When Life is Unfair.

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If you have lived for any length of time, you have realized by now that life can be unfair. Sometimes we get attacked, violated, and humiliated, even by those we trusted and befriended. 

Psalm 35 is a prayer of David crying out for vindication and relief from his attackers. 

Maybe you can identify with David today; perhaps you are experiencing injustice right now. How do you respond? How do you pray? 

Psalm 35 shows us three things King David asks for that are helpful in our prayers as we endure unjust suffering. 

1: Fight my battle for me.

David, the giant slayer, warrior and general, is asking God to fight for him. 

Psalm 35:1 says, “Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!”

David is experiencing injustice, and he was tired of trying to fight his own battles. He asks God to take over. David realizes that he is going to die unless the Lord fights for him. 

It seems that David is losing the battle; he is exhausted and in fear of death, so he cries out to God to fight for him. Then he declares, “Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!” (Psalm 35:3b).

There are times when the battle seems to be never ending. The deliverance we are praying for doesn’t seem to come, but what we don’t know is that it may be right around the corner. 

David is asking for some assurance that God will indeed rescue him. Do you know what it is like to be going through intense trials, and you just need God to say, “I am with you, I am fighting for you”? Just that reassurance will enable you to keep going. 

Have you been a victim of injustice and the person who wronged you seems to have gotten away with it? You are angry and risk becoming bitter. But bitterness won’t only affect you; it will affect those around you. 

There is a saying that goes, “If you don’t heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on those who didn’t cut you.”

What King David is rightly  calling for—and what we call for—was justice! Just simple justice (see Psalm 35:4-6). David wants to see his enemies ashamed and dishonored and all their plans coming to nothing (see Psalm 35:8). 

In those times when we just want the wrong made right, we must remember that Jesus knows what that is like. Jesus said in John 15:25, “But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.”

Jesus knows our pain, and he is the one who will fight our battles. Romans 12:19 says, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

We can trust the Lord for justice—justice is His! 

2: This is unfair!

It is one thing to be hurt by evil people, sinners who we don’t know, but what about the times when those hurting us are people that we love and respect? Maybe someone you considered a close friend or family member has hurt you (see Psalm 35:11-16). David is being falsely accused by people that he had shown love and care for. 

Being falsely accused should not be unexpected as we walk this life as followers of Jesus. It happened to Jesus and many other followers of Jesus throughout history. Satan will always use the lies of those we trust to hurt us the most. 

As Christians, we expect persecution and lies from people who are not saved. But when it comes from friendly fire, those wounds hurt far more. It is one of Satan’s favorite weapons to discourage us. 

David is simply crying out to God to deal with the unfairness. He is frustrated that the injustice seems to be going unchecked. 

Can you identify with his frustration and his pain today?

3: Make it right so that I may praise you. 

David wants to bring glory and honor to the name of the Lord. David asks God for a powerful testimony, something he can share with others for God’s glory. In Psalm 35:19-27 we see that David takes his hands off the situation and asks God to intervene for him in justice.

Jesus knew that pain throughout his time on the earth; as a result, he can identify with your situation. 

However, we are assured of victory. Evil people can take everything you have, but they will always be unsatisfied, and our Heavenly Father will always see to it that His child gets justice. 

In verses 27 and 28 of the Psalm, we see that David declares the praises of God in spite of his situation. God has heard his prayer and brought him peace, and he is rejoicing in the Lord. 

There is tremendous power in the testimony of God’s children. We need to share those testimonies with those around us and with the church family.  It encourages us and builds up our faith. 

Has God rescued you? Have you told others about it?

Jesus in the Psalm?

Each of these three prayers that David prayed, are very similar to what Jesus must have prayed: 

  • Father, fight my battles for me.
  • Deal with the unfairness that I don’t deserve from the people I love. 
  • Vindicate me that I may bring glory and praise to Your name.

God the Father did that for His son Jesus, and we can be assured that He will do the same for us. 

Jesus did it already in the Gospel. 

  • He fought the Battle that we couldn’t fight over sin and death, and he was victorious. 
  • Jesus took on all the shame and unfairness that Satan could deal out, and he did it for us. 
  • Jesus made the way for us to be made right with God so that we in turn could live for Him and bring glory to His name. 

What is that situation that you need to give to God today for him to fight?