Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:10
We pious types like to throw around the notion that we pray according to God’s will, but do we really? Do we voluntarily sign up to be afflicted, to see loved ones taken from us, or to face hunger or hardship because of some greater purpose we cannot immediately see?
The closer you get to God, the more unsettling the notion of asking for His will can become because you know that can put you in an uncomfortable place. Because God focuses on the eternal much more than the temporal, He’s not always concerned with our comforts.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. – 2 Corinthians 11:25
Look at the Apostle Paul. Few, if any, have surrendered more freely to God’s will than Paul, yet that will often put his life in peril and, according to tradition, resulted in his eventual martyrdom. Even aside from his frequent imprisonments, Paul’s lifestyle could hardly be considered enviable.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. – Philippians 4:12
He had learned the lesson of contentment – not because he enjoyed the imprisonments, the beatings, the stonings, the shipwrecks and the near-drowning but because he delighted in the pleasure of God. His reward was not in this world. He longed for the crown that he could lay at the feet of Jesus.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me -– the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. – Acts 20:24
Paul would have been an annoying person to be around. Think about it. You would go to him telling him someone you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and his response would be something along the lines of, “Well, your life is worth nothing anyway! Complete the task Jesus has given you and testify of His grace!” Or you would tell him about the job you just lost, and he would retort, “Be content, praise Him in every circumstance, and be at peace, or don’t you really believe that my God can meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus?”
Jesus commands us to pray according to God’s will, but I cannot promise that He who did not spare His own Son will spare you suffering when you are in the middle of His will. What I can tell you – a statement I make by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me – is that these present sufferings cannot compare with the glory that will be revealed in us through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 8:18).
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 3:3-9
Yes, Lord, Your will be done in my life. May Your grace be sufficient and Your strength made perfect in my weakness. All glory, honor and power be unto Your name.