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Is It God's Will?
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

I Peter 4:15-19

"If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, 'If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?' So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."

"God's will, done God's way, in God's time, will never lack God's blessing!" But what is God's will? Very often what we say is God's will is nothing more than our attempt to justify our wants by saying: "It's God's will." In Romans 8:5 we read: "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Where do we set our minds?

It saddens me to hear some Christians---ministers and laymen alike---who presume to say something is God's will even when it is contrary to Scripture. For instance they will claim that healing is always God's will. A very brief search of God's Word will reveal that this is not always the case.

Paul was not healed from his thorn in the flesh. Timothy had a stomach condition that required medication. Stephan was stoned to death. Each of the disciples except John, were killed for their faith. John was dipped into a vat of hot oil but survived.

In the Old Testament, Joseph endured years of lonely imprisonment. Job experienced financial loss, physical pain, the loss of all ten of his children and was subjected to false accusations. Daniel spent almost all of his life separated from his beloved Jerusalem.

Across the centuries of time, God's people have been subjected to torture and death. In Hebrews 11:36-38, we read of what many believers have had to suffer: "Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground."

James was the earthly half-brother of Jesus. He did not come to faith in Christ until after the Resurrection. Tradition says that he was stoned to death for his faith. That being the case, it is important to see what he said about the trials and sufferings of God's people. In James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Doing the will of God will not always result in good jobs, good pay, good looks or good health. Sometimes the Lord will lead us through "the valley of the shadow of death" in order to show forth His glory in the midst of pain and suffering. Even in our darkest hour the Lord has promised to bless us in heavenly places.

I am saddened by recent reports of some prominent ministers. They present the faces of starving children in order to have people give money to help feed them. It all sounds wonderful and that the funds will be for a worthy cause. Perhaps it is, but all too often we receive reports of the ultra extravagance of these ministers. Wouldn't God's will be furthered if more of the money that was sent went to the cause of the children instead of buying million dollar estates or private jets?

Jesus made the issue very plain in Matthew 25:40: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me." Remember, "God's will, done God's way, in God's time, will never lack God's blessing!"

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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