“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Last night during our weekly Bible study, a discussion started around God’s will and the conditions of the world. I know, this isn’t a new topic among Christians, but as the views and beliefs circled the room, I felt God nudging me in truth: God only has one will for us. God’s will is that all should be saved through belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. Everything else along our journey depends on how close we are to God and listening to Him. Psalm 37:4 gives us the roadmap, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Many people are serving God in countries that are dangerous to Christians, and we pray for their safety. Is it God’s will that they be in danger? Are we thwarting God’s will by praying for their safety? No, I don’t believe that we are. God’s will was completed the minute these precious missionaries looked on Jesus and believed in Him; they have eternal life and that is God’s will. As they walked with God and became closer to Him, He placed a desire in their heart to serve Him through mission work and that is what put them where they are today. And we are all called to pray.
It is not God’s will, or even His desire, that we suffer, but He warned us that we will as long as we live on earth. If we look at the book of 1 Peter (I’m not going to write it all down, but please, do read it today), we see many times where Peter writes similar to the following in 1 Peter 3:17 “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” God’s will is that none would be lost, that all would be saved to eternal life. But then He lets us know that from that moment of salvation, if we are living a Christian life, we will be persecuted. In the verse above, I looked at the Greek translation and it defines “will” as being more toward God’s inclination. In other words, God is sovereign, and He can step in any time to deliver us from what the world throws at us. Why doesn’t He protect us and deliver us always? Why did our child die? Why do I have pain? Why is the money too short for the month? On and on and on come the “whys.”
There are many questions that we will never have answered here on earth. We can feed depression, fear, and hatred by allowing those questions to grow in our spirit, or we can trust in almighty God whose desire is for us to trust Him. Sure, we miss our loved ones here on earth, but we will not have that loneliness when we get to Heaven, which is our eternal home. We may be miserably in pain or in a wheelchair or otherwise debilitated, but we will be free of pain and encumbrances when we get to Heaven. We may struggle with paying our bills, or even be homeless, here on earth, but we have golden streets to walk on when we get to Heaven.
God’s will is that we come to know Jesus as our Savior. Period. His desire is that, once we are saved, we walk close enough to Him by reading His word, fellowshipping with His people, and learning from His teachers, so that we are always doing what He desires for our lives. In that, we will put our faith in the things above and not in the misery of this earth.