God’s Mysterious Will

“For it is better, if God should will it so,
that you suffer for doing what is right
rather than for doing what is wrong. 
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all time…”
1 Peter 3:17-18 (NASB)

A biblical tradition one denomination of Christians uses prominently is to say, after sharing plans for upcoming events, “All our plans will happen if the Lord wills.” That postscript is based on our verses for today and is a useful way to view all of our plans. Too often we can think we will certainly do this or that without reference to our sovereign God and His plans.

When we prepare for the future, we seek to take into account every possible detail but only God truly knows what shall happen. We are left to make educated guesses.

Our verses tell us about a dark possibility for us in the will of God. Peter writes that suffering for living holy lives can be in God’s will! But how can a loving, sovereign God choose to lead any of His children through the way of suffering? This seems impossible. Yet there it is right in the Bible. If we read the dreadful story of Job’s suffering, we are again confronted with the same truth of God allowing His godly child to endure terrible sorrow.

What Peter is stating is what is called the “inscrutable (impossible to understand) will of God”. There are aspects of God’s rule in providence that we cannot comprehend. An example from God’s creation has to do with Einstein’s Field Equations. These 10 equations make perfect sense to only a select group of brilliant scientists. Yet reality is based upon them as seen in Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

So, if only a small group of brilliant people can understand these equations why do we think that our feeble minds can grasp the mind of God? Why do we seek to comprehend what is totally beyond our limited ability to grasp?

Jesus made a profound statement once when speaking of the inscrutable will of God,

“You have done this Father for it was good in your sight”
(Matthew 11:26)

The Master taught us to bow before the sovereign will of His Father in heaven simply on the basis it seems good in His sight. Such faith is never more honouring to the Lord as when we have no understanding of what or why this sorrow has come knocking on our door, but we submit to the Father anyway.

Are you in need of help with your faith today? Are you still struggling to understand why your life has led you down a lonely path others are not required to travel? You are likely seeking to know what is unknowable.

Pascal, a brilliant intellectual of the 17th century, once wrote, “Reason never shows itself more reasonable that when it ceases to reason at things that are beyond reason.” May our loving heavenly Father grant you an abundance of grace today to say with Job so long ago,

“Even if He slays me, I shall trust in Him.”
(Job 13:15)

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