Summary: On 9/11/01 I overheard several people who assigned the attack on America as being the will of God. Are such events really the Lord’s will?
IS IT REALLY THE LORD’S WILL?
A. Matthew 18:7-14 (READ and COMMENT)
1. This text talks about HUMAN DECISIONS, TROUBLE in the world, and concludes it by discussing what is or what is not the WILL of God.
We use the phrase, "This is the WILL of God" quite
regularly. We consign the WILL of God to
all of the GOOD things that occur in our lives and to all of the BAD things that happen to us.
There are those who believe that WHATEVER happens in life, is the result of God’s WILL. Yet, if that be true, then God is responsible for some of the most VILEST of ATROCITIES. Misunderstanding the WILL of God can produce FRUSTRATION, DOUBT, CONFUSION,
and even BITTERNESS toward our heavenly FATHER.
2. It is true that WHATEVER happens in life is the WILL of God?
A husband went through the heartache of seeing his dearly loved wife die an EXCRUCIATING death. His response was a common statement under the circumstances. He said, "Well, I must accept it. It’s the WILL of God." The IRONY of that statement surfaces when we look at the FACTS. The man was a DOCTOR. For weeks he fought frantically for her life. He called in the best SPECIALISTS in the world. He did everything at his vast disposal to save his wife. He used every device, every treatment, every DRUG known to modern medicine to fight the DISEASE. So, had he been FIGHTING against the WILL of God? What if she had RECOVERED? Would he not have said that her RECOVERY was the WILL of God? Can both her DEATH and RECOVERY be the WILL
of God, or is it possible that we MISUNDERSTAND God’s WILL.
In the Spring of 1991, a loving mother wept over the FLAG DRAPED coffin of her son killed in the Gulf War. She said, "I’m doing my best to SURRENDER to my son’s DEATH as the WILL of God." She was having trouble ACCEPTING that it was God’s WILL that her son die in that WAR, and was feeling GUILTY because of her DOUBT. Was it really God’s WILL that her son LOSE his LIFE fighting an ENEMY he had never seen prior to going to IRAQ? Maybe it wasn’t God’s WILL at all, but the WILL of Sadaam Husein.
I believe the CONFUSION that we have regarding God’s WILL is our usage of the phrase: "This is the WILL of God." Could it be that many of the things that we believe is God’s WILL is not His WILL at all? I think we need to RE-EXAMINE the way we use that PHRASE.
B. James 1:17- "Every GOOD and PERFECT gift comes from the Father . . ."
I don’t know about you, but if God is RESPONSIBLE for the TRAGEDIES in my life, the DIFFICULTIES I have faced, the LOVED ONES I have lost, the HURTS that I have experienced, then I wouldn’t call that a very GOOD GIFT.
I have never had one of those GIFTS on my Christmas LIST. At no time have I said, "For Christmas this year, I would like to LOSE a child in a CAR WRECK. Or to have my HOUSE BURN DOWN. Or to CONTRACT a TERMINAL DISEASE. Or to LOSE a LOVED ONE in a TERRORIST ATTACK." Isn’t that what God gives us if we say that TRAGEDIES are His WILL?
God loves us BEYOND MEASURE. Therefore, the BAD THINGS that happen to us are not GOD’S WILL; the GOOD THINGS that life brings us are the SWEET WILL OF GOD.
The misunderstanding of WHAT IS and WHAT IS NOT the WILL of God has caused many people to turn from God. Who wants to serve a God who is RESPONSIBLE for all of our HEARTACHE? That is exactly what Satan, the one who is indeed responsible for all of our HEARTACHE, wants people to believe. I can’t begin to understand nor explain all of the WORKINGS of God, but my study has revealed at least 3 stages of the WILL OF GOD that I want you to consider this morning.
I. THE INTENTIONAL WILL OF GOD
A. This is the way God RELATES to His PLAN for mankind.
1. What God has PLANNED for man is not necessarily what has been or will be ACCOMPLISHED.
Jesus said that we are "to be PERFECT as God is PERFECT"- Matthew 5:47. This is what God INTENDED man to be when he placed Adam and Eve in the Garden. Yet, they SINNED.
Paul- "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"- Romans 3:23.