Is Everything That Happens the Will of God?
A Sunday school teacher said to her children, "We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a higher power. Can anybody tell me what it is?" One child blurted out, "Aces!"
God is the highest power in the universe. He is sovereign. To some people, sovereign means that God causes everything that happens. God's will is the only truly free will...ultimately making him responsible for sin and suffering.
The Biblical perspective is that sovereignty means CONTROL. God is not the only free will being in the universe, and that some things happen that God does not WANT to happen.
The disciples tried to dissuade Paul from going to Jerusalem in Acts 21. When he would not be dissuaded they said in resignation Acts 21:14 "The will of the Lord be done!" But WAS the will of the Lord done?
Today, let's look at three different aspects of God's will and then the implications for suffering.
I. GOD PERFORMS -- God's desire and God's decision
Some events occur because God wants them to occur AND because He himself takes whatever steps are necessary to see that they do occur. He CAUSES them to happen. It doesn't depend upon anything, or anyone, else.
Isaiah 14:27 "For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?"
The first example is the creation itself. Revelation 4:11 "You created all things and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
The next significant event after the creation was the Fall of man, the sin of Adam and Eve, which God did not cause to happen. Once it did happen, or rather, once God foreknew that it would happen, he purposed to accomplish the work of redemption through the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ. Redemption then becomes the central element of what God desires, decides and causes to happen.
Acts 4:28 says that when Jesus ...
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