Matthew 6:9-15 NIV says:
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
One morning not long ago, “Thy will be done,” painfully escaped my lips, as I sang along to a song on the radio. It brought me to tears as I started to think about the words I was singing to my Father in Heaven.
My mind started racing with questions I couldn’t answer, like….
Do I really mean His will be done?
Do I know what His will means?
Do I still mean His will be done when its hard and I don’t understand His plan?
What about if it means losing everything?
What if His good and pleasing will means complete abandon of my own thoughts about my life and what it should look like?
What if His will means a life of real faith in Jesus trusting Him for everything?
What if I sang His praise no matter what?
What if the abundant life of peace, joy, and patience could really be evident in my life everyday even when my circumstances haven’t changed.
I hope by sharing my struggles with these hard questions you will be encouraged and strengthened in your faith.
When we say His will be done do we mean it? Well I think first we need to ask ourselves do we know what it means then and only then we can answer if we mean it when we say it.
So, what does His will mean? in John 7:16-18 it says: Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself , but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
I have tried many attempts to change the outward appearance of myself or of a current circumstance to no avail. Only to find out later it was all part of God’s perfect will. What does this mean?
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says this: Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
By receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior we are saying we accept His will for our lives. We give Him the control to do what is best for us even when we think we know better. This is a process and we can choose to kick and scream and dig our heals into the ground every step of the way.
What does that mean?
It means when we are broken, hurt, and lost we look up instead of trying to change things we have no control over. We do what we can and that is it, we leave the rest up to God. We stop worrying, fretting and we start trusting God’s perfect and pleasing will for our lives.
How do we trust God when we don’t have a job, we have no income, our rent is due, Christmas is coming and we have no way of providing a Christmas for our children? What do we do?
Pray without ceasing, and give thanks before your circumstances change.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) says:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Offer up your concerns to God tell him your distressed, and full of sorrow, but speak the truths of who God is and what He has done in your life.
Psalm 116 (NIV) says:
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”
The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
I trusted in the Lord when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
in my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”
What shall I return to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.
Truly I am your servant, Lord;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord—
in your midst, Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.[a]
That family I described earlier that had no job, no income, their rent was due, Christmas was coming and they had no way of providing for their children, that family is our family just last month. We had been unemployed for 14 months and applied for literally hundreds of jobs full time, part time, seasonal we tried everything. We had several interviews that went great with promised employment only to be turned down later. Nothing made any sense our faith was strong in the beginning knowing it was just a matter of time and we would get a job. But when months kept going by and finances diminished it was hard to keep trusting. I started to grow angry and cynical. Watching my husband do everything he could do in his power and still nothing it was so discouraging. Having others doubt we were really trying hard enough was defeating. Still others said, “They couldn’t help us because God was teaching us a lesson.” Some gave but with expectations and false motives only to leave me feeling angry and hurt that we accepted any gift in the first place. This isn’t the only time we have been in a place of need but one thing remains constant every time. My husband was without employment because he put his family first, he refused to lie, cheat or steal to get a sale. He refused to place his job above his relationship with Jesus, his wife and children. As I would share our situation with people several things would happen. The women would say things like, “I wish my husband would put us first” or “I wish my husband had integrity to stand up for what he believed in.” Yet our circumstances didn’t change. We kept praying and praying and crying. We read our word reached out to others to share our burdens and nothing seemed to be changing.
Then suddenly…literally Santa Claus showed up at our doorstep with bags full of gifts. He came in and chatted it up with our kids and told them if they didn’t listen to mom and day their presents would disappear (Thanks Santa love that!)
Many friends blessed us financially and we were able to pay our rent and our utilities. My husband got a job and started in January. We had huge things happen suddenly but yet some of our circumstances remain somewhat the same. It takes awhile to catch up after having no income for so long but were thankful for his new job and for friends that have loved us like family. All this to say, Thy will be done Lord, its always better than we can imagine or hope for. Thank you Jesus for all that your doing behind the scenes before we become aware.