Habakkuk 3:17-19 (ICB)
“Fig trees may not grow figs.
There may be no grapes on the vines.
There may be no olives growing on the trees.
There may be no food growing in the fields.
There may be no sheep in the pens.
There may be no cattle in the barns.
But I will still be glad in the Lord.
I will rejoice in God my Savior.
The Lord God gives me my strength.
He makes me like a deer, which does not stumble.
He leads me safely on the steep mountains.”
Take joy in life. No matter how disappointed you are of the turns that life takes, always be grateful that you are alive.
Life isn’t fair. It won’t always go the way we plan, and sometimes it feels more accurate to say that it never goes the way we plan. But even when things take a turn that we don’t expect, possibly even for the worse, we can still glorify God. He’s with us in the good times and the bad times. In fact, it’s when we’re struggling that we notice His presence and call out to Him. So don’t lose hope; God hears the prayers of those who love Him and strive for His commandments.
If you want a truly fair life, then visit Romans 12:9-21 in your Bible. It doesn’t fail to tell you what a “fair life” looks like to God and His people.
1. Your love must be real.
“This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.
“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” 1 John 3:16-20 (MSG)
2. Hate what is evil, and hold onto what is good.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” Galations 5:16-24 (NLT)
3. Love each other like your brothers and sisters.
“You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful. Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts. Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:12-17 (GNT)
4. Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves.
“‘We are allowed to do all things.’ Yes. But not all things are good for us to do. ‘We are allowed to do all things.’ Yes. But not all things help others grow stronger. No one should try to do what will help only himself. He should try to do what is good for others.’” 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (ICB)
5. Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart.
“Now as to the times and dates, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the [return of the] Lord is coming just as a thief [comes unexpectedly and suddenly] in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety [all is well and secure!]” then [in a moment unforeseen] destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains on a woman with child, and they will absolutely not escape [for there will be no way to escape the judgment of the Lord]. But you, believers, [all you who believe in Christ as Savior and acknowledge Him as God’s Son] are not in spiritual darkness [nor held by its power], that the day [of judgment] would overtake you [by surprise] like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We do not belong to the night nor to darkness. So then let us not sleep [in spiritual indifference] as the rest [of the world does], but let us keep wide awake [alert and cautious] and let us be sober [self-controlled, calm, and wise]. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we [believers] belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope and confident assurance of salvation. For God has not destined us to [incur His] wrath [that is, He did not select us to condemn us], but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died [willingly] for us, so that whether we are awake (alive) or asleep (dead) [at Christ’s appearing], we will live together with Him [sharing eternal life]. Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (AMP)
6. Be joyful because you have hope.
“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:2-5 (NLT)
7. Be patient when trouble comes.
“Brothers and sisters, be patient; the Lord will come. So be patient until that time. Look at the farmers. They have to be patient. They have to wait for their valuable crop to grow and produce a harvest. They wait patiently for the first rain and the last rain.” James 5:7 (ERV)
8. Pray at all times.
“If any of you are suffering, they should pray. If any of you are happy, they should sing. If any of you are sick, they should call for the elders of the church, and the elders should pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health. And if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve. Elijah was a person just like us. When he earnestly prayed that it wouldn’t rain, no rain fell for three and a half years. He prayed again, God sent rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” James 5:13-18 (CEB)
“We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (MSG)
9. Share with God’s people who need help.
“What should you do then, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each person has a vital role because each has gifts. One person might have a song, another a lesson to teach, still another a revelation from God. One person might speak in an unknown language, another will offer the interpretation, but all of this should be done to strengthen the life and faith of the community.” 1 Corinthians 14:26 (VOICE)
10. Bring strangers in need into your homes.
“Don’t forget to extend your hospitality to all—even to strangers—for as you know, some have unknowingly shown kindness to heavenly messengers in this way.” Hebrew 13:2 (VOICE)
11. Wish good for those who harm you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemies.’ But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 (NCV)
12. Be happy with those who are happy, and be sad with those who are sad.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy. And he is the God of all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so that we can comfort others when they have trouble. We can comfort them with the same comfort that God gives us. We share in the many sufferings of Christ. In the same way, much comfort comes to us through Christ. If we have troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we have comfort, then you also have comfort. This helps you to accept patiently the same sufferings that we have. Our hope for you is strong. We know that you share in our sufferings. So we know that you also share in the comfort we receive.” 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7 (ICB)
13. Live in peace with each other.
“Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and everything that is evil. What of the wisdom from above? First, it is pure, and then peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good actions, fair, and genuine. Those who make peace sow the seeds of justice by their peaceful acts.” James 3:16-18 (CEB)
14. Do not be proud, but make friends with those who seem unimportant.
“Then Jesus noticed that some of the guests were choosing the best places to sit. So he told this story: “When someone invites you to a wedding, don’t sit in the most important seat. They may have invited someone more important than you. And if you are sitting in the most important seat, they will come to you and say, ‘Give this man your seat!’ Then you will have to move down to the last place and be embarrassed.
“So when someone invites you, go sit in the seat that is not important. Then they will come to you and say, ‘Friend, move up here to this better place!’ What an honor this will be for you in front of all the other guests. Everyone who makes themselves important will be made humble. But everyone who makes themselves humble will be made important.”
“Then Jesus said to the Pharisee who had invited him, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite only your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. At another time they will pay you back by inviting you to eat with them. Instead, when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, and the blind. Then you will have great blessings, because these people cannot pay you back. They have nothing. But God will reward you at the time when all godly people rise from death.” Luke 14:7-14 (ERV)
15. Do not think about how smart you are.
“Where are the wise? Where are the legal experts? Where are today’s debaters? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? In God’s wisdom, he determined that the world wouldn’t come to know him through its wisdom. Instead, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of preaching. Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, which is a scandal to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. But to those who are called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. This is because the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:20-25 (CEB)
16. If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him.
“And now this word to all of you: You should be like one big happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t snap back at those who say unkind things about you. Instead, pray for God’s help for them, for we are to be kind to others, and God will bless us for it.
“If you want a happy, good life, keep control of your tongue, and guard your lips from telling lies.” 1 Peter 3:8-10 (TLB)
17. Try to do what everyone thinks is right.
“If your brother is being hurt or offended because of food [that you insist on eating], you are no longer walking in love [toward him]. Do not let what you eat destroy and spiritually harm one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is a good thing for you [because of your freedom to choose] be spoken of as evil [by someone else]; for the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For the one who serves Christ in this way [recognizing that food choice is secondary] is acceptable to God and is approved by men. So then, let us pursue [with enthusiasm] the things which make for peace and the building up of one another [things which lead to spiritual growth]. Do not, for the sake of food, tear down the work of God. All things indeed are [ceremonially] clean, but they are wrong for the person who eats and offends [another’s conscience in the process]. It is good [to do the right thing and] not eat meat or drink wine, or do anything that offends your brother and weakens him spiritually. The faith which you have [that gives you freedom of choice], have as your own conviction before God [just keep it between yourself and God, seeking His will]. Happy is he who has no reason to condemn himself for what he approves. But he who is uncertain [about eating a particular thing] is condemned if he eats, because he is not acting from faith. Whatever is not from faith is sin [whatever is done with doubt is sinful].” Romans 14:15-23 (AMP)
18. Do your best to live in peace with everyone.
“The servant of the Lord must not participate in quarrels, but must be kind to everyone [even-tempered, preserving peace, and he must be], skilled in teaching, patient and tolerant when wronged. He must correct those who are in opposition with courtesy and gentleness in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and be led to the knowledge of the truth [accurately understanding and welcoming it], and that they may come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (AMP)
19. Do not try to punish others when they wrong you.
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on one cheek, let him hit the other one too; if someone takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to everyone who asks you for something, and when someone takes what is yours, do not ask for it back. Do for others just what you want them to do for you.” Luke 6:27-31 (GNT)
20. Do not let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good.
“Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards. Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised. As the Scriptures say, “God is coming soon! It won’t be very long. The people God accepts will live because of their faith. But he isn’t pleased with anyone who turns back.”
“We are not like those people who turn back and get destroyed. We will keep on having faith until we are saved.” Hebrews 10:35-39 (CEV)
“Through these he [Jesus] gave us the very great and precious promises. With these gifts you can share in God’s nature, and the world will not ruin you with its evil desires.
“Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God; and to your service for God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love. If all these things are in you and are growing, they will help you to be useful and productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But anyone who does not have these things cannot see clearly. He is blind and has forgotten that he was made clean from his past sins.
“My brothers and sisters, try hard to be certain that you really are called and chosen by God. If you do all these things, you will never fall. And you will be given a very great welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:4-11 (NCV)