So this little meme went through my facebook feed and it’s not bad, it just didn’t sit well with me. I happen to have spent a great deal of time wrestling with “God’s will” and I think I now have Jacob’s funny hip to prove it.
Why do we always assume it is God’s will for us to suffer?? Why do we insist on giving God the credit only for the uncomfortable parts of our story?
It occurs to me that this is really just a matter of perspective, ours, which is usually self absorbed about the personal injustice part, distorted because we are obsessed over the unfairness, the false accusations, as if to really say, I was a faithful Christian and look what God did to me.
Alas, I guess it was just “God’s will.”
We could just as easily rewrite each of these stories to more accurately represent “God’s will.” John was exiled, but he was also protected, kept alive, one of the few (or only) disciples to have died of old age. The Lord’s will was to give him great Revelation, visions, and a long life.
Paul was jailed, but jail is not the Apostle Paul’s legacy, it is not his whole story. We are not reading Paul’s words a few thousand years later because it was “God’s will” he go to jail. It was God’s will that He write his letters, that he advance the kingdom like no other, that he be saved. Let us not forget that road to Damascus moment.
And rather then simply saying “it was God’s will that Jesus was executed,” it was actually God’s will that Jesus died, was resurrected on the third day, rose, broke the curse and reconciled all of mankind! Love conquered all and He is now seated in victory. That was “God’s will.”
3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” That is “God’s will” for us.
God’s will for us is reconciliation with Him, relationship, intimacy, no more tears, life and life abundant, and life eternal. God is not handing out crappy jobs, unhappy lives, and sad bank accounts. That’s the result of our man made worldly system and assorted personal issues.
I’m not a fan of the so called prosperity gospel, but I have to say, it’s a vast improvement over the anti prosperity gospel! God is good, His will for us is good, His abundance is good, the riches of His grace are glorious.
I love the tale of Jacob wrestling with the angel all night long. I want my blessing and I’m not letting go until I get it. Or the persistent widow who is so repetitive and annoying the judge finally rules in her favor just to shut her up.
The Bible also reminds us, you have not because you ask not…..