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Trusting in God’s Will and Being Content in It

            Why has this happened to me? How is this for my good? It is so easy for us to complain when things don’t go our way and when things upset us. We have all had a time when we thought that we knew best and that God should have given us what we asked for. In my life, I have many times thought that God would give me something because it would surely help me spiritually and bring me closer to him, but God closed the door, and I was left wondering—is this right, Lord?

God’s will is perfect, and he is in sovereign control of all things. This is very important to understand, and questioning the will of God is wrong. It is questioning God’s sovereignty, and it suggests that God is not perfect. Of course, we know that God is perfect, and he cannot do any wrong, as this is what the Bible, God’s holy and perfect word, tells us. We see the sovereignty of God in Job 42:2, “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” We see the perfection of God in Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Understanding and reminding ourselves of this is key for us to trust in God’s will, and it will ultimately lead us to be content in it.

Trusting in God’s will goes hand in hand with contentment. We simply must be content with God’s plan for us and our lives. Without being content in his will, we are effectively saying that we know best, and better than our God.

Prayer is a vital part of our Christian lives, and we are to pray for God’s will to be done and for us to be content in it. God is the one who has given us all things in life, and he hears every single one of our prayers. With this in mind, we should pray that God would give us the ability to trust in his will and to be content with it.

But how can we know what God’s will is for us? If someone says that he prayed to God and God directed him to choose a new college in a place where there is no suitable church for miles around, then how does this show him to be seeking to do God’s will, when he has put his spiritual life at risk for the sake of a college? To do God’s will for our lives we must be wise to make this decision. How do we obtain wisdom? We must read our Bible every day. God’s word directs us through life to make wise choices, as it is “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). After reading our Bible, we should pray that God would apply his word to our hearts and that it would cause us to grow in wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

When we look through the scriptures, we find many examples of people trusting God’s will and being content in it. Paul in prison knew that he was likely to be killed by his persecutors, yet still he prayed and sang praises to the Lord. What an example this is for us, who so often struggle to be content with the things that go on in our lives, even the minor things! The perfect example is the Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered on the cross and shed his precious blood for our sins. He was “brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isa. 53:7). Imagine being accused and charged for a crime that you did not commit. No doubt you would protest and make sure your accusers knew that you were innocent. Yet our faultless Savior understood that God’s will was that he was to die on the cross for us, and he didn’t even open his mouth. That is perfect contentment in God’s will, and we can learn so much from this.

As many young people will be undertaking exams soon, you must remember that God is in control, and he will be with you: “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Deut. 31:6). A friend of mine was unsuccessful in her university application, which was of course very disappointing at the time, but her alternative to university led her down another route in which she met her husband. God’s plan for us all is perfect, and, although at the time we may not see how it helps us, it is for our good, and God will bless us. Thank him for all that he gives us, and “(i)n all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:6).

 

Originally published February 2021, Vol 80 No 2