Sometimes life happens to us – the storms of life! – leaving us reeling and questioning: Where is God in this? Why did God let this happen? Is this God’s will? If it is God’s will, must I just submit to it? And if it’s not God’s will, must I fight against it? What is God’s will anyway?!
These are things we all grapple with from time to time. In fact, it is something I am grappling with right now. There are no easy answers. And so this message is really a message to myself. You’ll be listening in on my own questioning. Hopefully, you’ll gain a new insight into God’s attitude towards you; God’s love for you.
This message draws on several verses, not just one passage:
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
“So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment — to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (AV)
This is an insightful collection of verses to address a thorny issue!! I find myself in much the same boat from time to time. Romans 8:28 has somehow always managed to calm my fears and worries. It simply says that WHATEVER happens, God will ensure that it all somehow fits into His plan. The whatever is NOT necessarily His will, but His will will make it work to the best of us because we love Him. We may not understand (I frequently don’t, but maybe I’m just dof) but all will be made clear in the end. Hang in there with your wrestling – I’m sure you will find the right path!
Dear Sanchia, thank you for your thoughtful response. I really like how you distinguish between the ‘whatever’ and God’s ability to weave it into God’s overall good and loving plan for our lives. I am hanging in and hoping and trusting that somehow, sometime, God will work it out.
Hello Adrian – not always easy to internalize, particularly when one is in the midst of difficult things. But I suppose that’s when one just needs to really hold on to Gods’s promises, given so beautifully in your verses. God bless – we trust things will work out!
Thanks Cathy for your reflections. I think this requires a repeated turning towards God. It’s the frequent decision to choose to trust that God is still present in the midst of difficulty. As you say, it really is not easy! Blessings, Adrian