The Will of God-A A +A
Friday, February 7, 2014
WHAT is the “Will of God”?
Is it really the “will of God” when someone dies from a tragic accident, when a friend is murdered, or when a loved one is diagnosed of a terminal illness? Is it the “will of God” when a friend treacherously turns against you; or when a typhoon destroys your house; or when an earthquake destroys your town?
We often say, “It is the will of God”, especially when circumstances are not favorable, and we need to “justify” or “explain” some otherwise unfathomable situation in the light of our faith and belief in God’s love and mercy.
We console, and are consoled by the words. And I have used said words countless of times, and have been told the same on various occasions, when I need to have some explanation when faced with a challenging situation, an unjust or unfair scenario, with me on the receiving end.
Last month, I saw a booklet entitled, “The will of God”, by Leslie Weatherhead, in the library of “Puso ng Carmelo”, a place of retreat and recollection in Agoo, on top of a hill overlooking the China Sea.
With the permission of Mother Clare, I borrowed it and read through it. It was kind of profound and difficult to understand. I gave up before reading the last chapter. Actually, I am sure a more intellectually equipped person would have understood it better.
However, eager to write about the topic and hopefully simplify whatever little I understood from it, allow me to try…
The author talked about 3 ways of “classifying” situations as the “will of God”:
1. The intentional will of God.
2. The circumstantial will of God.
3. The ultimate will of God.
The INTENTIONAL will of God is used for God’s IDEAL plan for men. I believe, the phrase is best used for favorable, just, rightful, and happy situations.
It is when Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”, is being fulfilled in your life!
What if things are not turning out well? What if situations are causing us to be unhappy and sad? What if we are troubled, in doubt, or in despair?
Is that the Intentional Will of God?
If a loved one dies after a stroke, do we call it “the will of God”? Does it mean that the medical procedures done to save his life was fighting against the will of God?
We would normally justify the death by saying, “it must be God’s will”, that “it was better than having him paralyzed and in a “vegetable” state, if he should live. Is that “self-consolation” for easier acceptance? I would rather think of it as “God’s will under the circumstances”. God’s circumstantial will!
What if someone randomly kills your friend for no reason at all, or is a victim of a senseless terrorist act?
Under said circumstances, God has allowed man’s free will, actions, or omissions to prevail, whether right or wrong! It is God’s circumstantial will!
What is God'S Ultimate Will?
I believe it is when good triumphs over evil. It is when God’s intentional will that may have been thwarted by natural laws or by man’s free acts and omissions, find fulfillment after a temporary setback or “detour”.
It is the fulfillment of God’s promise in Romans 8:28 which says, “All things turn to good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”.
My Dearest Children and Friends,
With the above interpretation of “God’s will”, may I use the phrase appropriately, and with deeper faith and belief in God’s almighty love and mercy under various circumstances. May I be in a better position to be of help in guiding you through life, not by words alone, but by how you see me apply and live out “God’s will.”
Let us be grateful and thankful for God’s intentional will, be patient and hopeful when God’s circumstantial will is displayed, and be joyful and triumphant and in union with God when His ultimate will comes to fruition.
May we all be able to say, “Not my will, but God’s will be done!’
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 08, 2014.