Why is that people always say, “If it’s God’s will then things will go smoothly?” I have searched the Bible and can’t say I find that to be necessarily always the case – in fact in most cases it is the exact opposite! Jesus said, “I do always those things that please the Father…” and look at His life! He was born in a manger, He had no place to lay His head; He was falsely accused, mocked, and ultimately crucified! He lived a sinless life, and fulfilled God’s will – but it was not clear sailing!
It was God’s will for the children of Israel to leave Egypt and look how that happened! When God saw that His children were in bondage He sent Moses to release them – but it was not easy! In fact when Moses first asked Pharaoh to let the people go, Pharaoh’s response was, “And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.” He made things more difficult for them!
That was just the start! Now, after they did leave and God did fight their battles for them along the way, when the time came for them to finally get their promised land – listen to what God said, “Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.” Deuteronomy 2:24
God does promise He will fight our battles, but the battles must still be fought! Often when we are striving to do God’s will we begin to question if we’re on the right track or pleasing God when things become difficult; we search our lives (a good thing) to make sure there is no sin – and we become discouraged when we're trying to do everything right, and things aren't going well. I know - I've lived there many times! The Lord has recently shown me the verses I quoted above that, unlike what I had previously convinced myself, God does not promise that things will be easy or smooth just because it is His will. And as for believing that suffering while trying to do God’s will is an indication that we’re not doing something right we see that in opposition to transgressors He does promise guidance, deliverance, and even good understanding –again not necessarily the easy road! I see that “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Many years ago a priest told me that Jesus was a failure because He died. Can you believe that? His death, burial, and resurrection is our victory! So, while what we’re doing for the Lord may at times feel like failure or so difficult, and cause us to question what is happening, we should rather consider what Paul said, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.”
So take heart – you’re in good company. “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
Have a wonderful day!