Punishment and Suffering PART 5: The Will of God

 

I. INTRODUCTION

We are now on the fifth part, and we have already gone through Punishment (Part 1),Sin (Part 2), Suffering (Part 3), what should be our Actions towards Suffering (Part 4) and now let’s talk about the Will of God. It’s a must for us to tackle the will of God. Only God’s Sovereignty can calm down a worry person. Most of us go through anxiousness on what is to come and what will happen to us that we sometimes forget that God is sovereign. He wills what He wants to happen. He lets us surpass all of this through His mighty power, supremacy and sovereignty. God is in control even in the midst of confusion and chaos, and through this part, I am going to share what the Bible has to say about the Will of God. ūüôā

II. GOD’S WILL: WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO?

A. WHAT DOES GOD’S WILL INCLUDE?

  1. His Law in General РAnd know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law (Romans 2:18). So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry (1 Peter 4:2-3).
  2. His Word in General РFor I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
  3. Doing What is Good –¬†For this is the will of God,¬†that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people (1 Peter 2:15).
  4. Avoiding Sexual Immorality –¬†For this is the will of God,¬†your sanctification:that you abstain from sexual immorality¬†(1 Thessalonians 4:3).
  5. Giving Thanks in all Circumstances – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

B. HOW DID JESUS RELATE TO GOD’S WILL?

  1. He Came to do God’s Will –¬†Jesus said to them,¬†‚ÄúMy food is¬†to do the will of Him who sent Me and¬†to accomplish His work (John 4:34).”¬†For¬†I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but¬†the will of Him¬†who sent Me (John 6:38). ¬†Consequently,¬†when Christ¬†came into the world, he said,¬†‚ÄúSacrifices and offerings you have not desired,¬†but a body have you prepared for me;¬†in burnt offerings and sin offerings¬†you have taken no pleasure.¬†Then I said, ‚ÄėBehold, I have come to do your will, O God,¬†as it is written of me in the scroll of the book (Hebrews 10:5-7).‚Äô‚ÄĚ
  2. He was obedient to God’s Will – But¬†emptied Himself, by taking the form of a¬†servant,¬†being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by¬†becoming obedient to the point of death,¬†even death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8).
  3. He submitted to God’s will for Him –¬†And going a little farther he fell on his face¬†and prayed, saying,¬†‚ÄúMy Father, if it be possible, letthis cup pass from me;¬†nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.‚ÄĚ . . .Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed,¬†‚ÄúMy Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it,¬†your will be done (Matthew 26:39-42).‚ÄĚ

C. HOW MUST WE RELATE TO GOD’S WILL?

  1. We Must Know His Will –¬†And so,¬†from the day we heard,¬†we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that¬†you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all¬†spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9).
  2. We Must Understand His Will –¬†Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what¬†the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:17).
  3. We Must Choose to do His Will –¬†If anyone’s will is to do God’s¬†will,¬†he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether Iam speaking on my own authority (John 7:17).
  4. We Must Do His Will –¬†I delight to do your will, O my God;¬†your law is¬†within my heart (Psalm 40:8).‚Ä̬†Teach me to do your will,¬†for You are my God!¬†Let Your good Spirit¬†lead me¬†on¬†level ground (Psalm 143:10)!¬†For¬†whoever¬†does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:50).‚ÄĚ
  5. We Must Approve His will by Obedience –¬†Do not be conformed to this world,¬†but be transformed by¬†the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may¬†discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).
  6. We Must Stand Firm in His Will –¬†Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always¬†struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand¬†mature and fully assured in all the will of God (Colossians 4:12).

II. GOD’S WILL: WHAT GOD PLANS IN HISTORY?

A. ASPECTS OF GOD’S WILL

  1. GOD DOES WHATEVER HE PLEASES –¬†Our God is in the heavens; He does all that he pleases (Psalm 115:3).¬†Whatever the¬†Lord¬†pleases, He does,¬†in heaven and on earth,¬†in the seas and all deeps (Psalm 135:6). All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,¬†and He does according to His will among the host of heaven¬†and among the inhabitants of the earth;¬†and none can stay His hand¬†or¬†say to Him, ‚ÄúWhat have you done (Daniel 4:35)?‚Ä̬†So then He has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.¬†You will say to me then, ‚ÄúWhy does He still find fault? For¬†who can resist His will?‚ÄĚ But who are you, O man,¬†to answer back to God?¬†Will what is molded say to its molder, ‚ÄúWhy have you made me like this?‚ÄĚ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump¬†one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use (Romans 18-21)?
  2. EVERYTHING OCCURS ACCORDING TO HIS WILL –¬†In him we have obtained¬†an inheritance,¬†having been predestined¬†according to the purpose of him who works all things according to¬†the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11).

B. WHAT CAN WE KNOW ABOUT GOD’S PLAN?

1. HIS PLANS ARE KEPT SECRET

  • Hidden in the Old Testament – Making known¬†¬†to us the mystery of His will,¬†according to His purpose, which He¬†set forth in Christ¬†(Ephesians 1:9).¬†When you read this, you can perceive my insight into¬†the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit (Ephesians 3:4-5).
  • Hidden from learned people –¬†At that time Jesus declared,¬†‚ÄúI thank you, Father,¬†Lord of heaven and earth, that¬†you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and¬†revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your¬†gracious will (Matthew 11:25-26).
  • Even Now we may not understand it –¬†¬†So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.¬†You will say to me then, ‚ÄúWhy does he still find fault? For¬†who can resist his will?‚ÄĚ But who are you, O man,¬†to answer back to God?¬†Will what is molded say to its molder, ‚ÄúWhy have you made me like this?‚ÄĚ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump¬†one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience¬†vessels of wrath¬†prepared for destruction, in order to make known¬†the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he¬†has prepared beforehand for glory‚ÄĒ even us whom he¬†has called,¬†not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles (Romans 9:18-24)?

2. SOME PARTS OF HIS PLAN ARE REVEALED

  • That Salvation is in Christ –¬† Who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present¬†evil age, according to the will of¬†our God and Father¬†(Galatians 1:4)
  • That God Saves both Jews and Gentiles –¬†This mystery is¬†that the Gentiles are¬†fellow heirs,¬†members of the same body, and¬†partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:6).
  • That Everyone Should be Saved – Who desires¬†all people to be saved and¬†to come to¬†the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).¬†The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise¬†as some count slowness, but¬†is patient toward you,not wishing that any should perish, but¬†that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
  • That All God’s Children Come to Him –¬†What do you think?¬†If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So¬†it is not the will of my¬†Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish (Matthew 18:12-14).¬†And¬†this is the will of Him who sent Me,¬†that I should lose nothing of¬†all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day. 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 (John 6:39-40).‚ÄĚ
  • That Paul was called as Apostle – ¬†Paul,¬†called¬†by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus…(1 Corinthians 1:1)

C. GOD’S WILL AND HUMAN SUFFERING

  1. His Will May Include Suffering –¬†1 Peter 3:17 –¬†For¬†it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.¬†1 Peter 4:19¬†Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will¬†entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.¬†Job 1:6-22:

    Satan Allowed to Test Job

    Now there was a day when¬†the sons of God came to present themselves before the¬†Lord, and Satan¬†also came among them.¬†7¬†The¬†Lord¬†said to Satan, ‚ÄúFrom where have you come?‚ÄĚ Satan answered the¬†Lord¬†and said, ‚ÄúFrom¬†going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.‚Ä̬†8¬†And the¬†Lord¬†said to Satan, ‚ÄúHave you¬†considered my¬†servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth,¬†a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?‚Ä̬†9¬†Then Satan answered the¬†Lord¬†and said, ‚ÄúDoes Job fear God for no reason?¬†10¬†Have you not put¬†a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have¬†blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.¬†11¬†But¬†stretch out your hand and¬†touch all that he has, and he will¬†curse you¬†to your face.‚Ä̬†12¬†And the¬†Lord¬†said to Satan, ‚ÄúBehold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.‚ÄĚ So Satan went out from the presence of theLord.

    Satan Takes Job’s Property and Children

    13¬†Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,¬†14¬†and there came a messenger to Job and said, ‚ÄúThe oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,¬†15¬†and¬†the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants¬†with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.‚Ä̬†16¬†While he was yet speaking, there came another and said,¬†‚ÄúThe fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.‚Ä̬†17¬†While he was yet speaking, there came another and said,¬†‚ÄúThe Chaldeans formed¬†three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.‚Ä̬†18¬†While he was yet speaking, there came another and said,¬†‚ÄúYour sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,¬†19¬†and behold, a great wind came across¬†the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.‚ÄĚ

    20¬†Then Job arose and¬†tore his¬†robe and¬†shaved his head¬†and fell on the ground and worshiped.¬†21¬†And he said,¬†‚ÄúNaked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I¬†return. The¬†Lord¬†gave, and the¬†Lordhas taken away;¬†blessed be the name of the¬†Lord.‚ÄĚ

    22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

  2. God Works For His People’s Good –¬†As for you, you meant evil against me, but¬†God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people¬†should be kept alive, as they are today (Genesis 50:20).¬†For I know the plans I have for you, declares the¬†Lord, plans for welfare¬†and not for evil,¬†to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).¬†And we know that for those who love God all things work together¬†for good,¬†for¬†those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

D. OUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD’S PLAN FOR US

  1. Pray That God’s Will Be Done –¬†Your kingdom come, Your will be done,¬†on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
  2. Pray That Things Will Happen By God’s Will –¬†But on taking leave of them he said, ‚ÄúI will return to you¬†if God wills,‚ÄĚ and he set sail from Ephesus (Acts 18:21). That I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that¬†my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and¬†be refreshed in your company (Romans 15:31-32).¬†For I do not want to see you now¬†just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you,¬†if the Lord permits (1 Corinthians 16:7).¬†Come now, you who say,¬†‚ÄúToday or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒ yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For¬†you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say,¬†‚ÄúIf the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that (James 4:13-15).‚ÄĚ
  3. Submit to God’s Plan for Us –¬†And since he would not be persuaded,¬†we ceased and said,¬†‚ÄúLet the will of the Lord be done ¬†(Acts 21:14).‚ÄĚ

III. CONCLUSION

We sometimes live a life stressed out worrying what will happen next. We plan things we never even prayed for and got dismayed with it not being fulfilled. We blame God for frustrated dreams and sometimes think He never cares. We sometimes feel that the burdens we have are endless. But how should we respond to these? We must first know that God is in control of everything. He did not messed up just because you see your life as a big mess. The reason behind our sufferings might be sometimes vague. We sometimes look back and say to God, “Lord, I have been faithful, but why is it I’m suffering this way?” Doubts come and worse you lose faith, but only fake faith loses its luster in the midst of afflictions. We are commanded to persevere. Our Christian life is like a full package deal where suffering is one of the things we should face. We must be pressed out, squeezed and molded into Christ-likeness, and one of the best ways to make it happen in our lives is through the lessons brought by sufferings. There is nothing that we really should worry about when all we think of is fulfilling the will of God in our lives. We need to submit to Him and believe that every second that happened to us were foreordained by Him. We should depend on Him even it feels hopeless because all things will work together for good for those who love the LORD. Know that He knows what you are going through and since He is Sovereign, He knows what is best for you. ūüôā

God bless you readers! ūüôā

PS: Stay Tuned because Next Week I am going to share to all of you some opinions from my friends and what comes out from their mind when we talk about Suffering and Punishment. 

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