The old Christian Doctrine says in accordance with the Bible: ”God, who has created us, has instructed us to obey his will in our lives. God has made his holy will known to us in his law. God’s law requires us to be truthful, righteous, and pure in thoughts, words, and deeds.” God’s good will is the law of life, meant to protect the life created by him and all things that are holy and precious in it. God wants all people to possess eternal life.
In the Lord’s prayer we pray that God’s good will would be done in the world of people as it is done in heaven. According to Luther’s Small Catechism, God’s will is done on earth in that ”God destroys and prevents all evil plans and powers, such as the will of the Enemy and our selfish mind. - - He also strengthens us and helps us to remain strong in his word and in faith until the end of our lives. This is his good and merciful will.”
Government is from God
God uses temporal government to maintain his good will and societal order. The Bible tells us that governors do not carry the sword in vain. Government is a servant of God and implements the punishment of wrongdoers. (Rom. 13:4.)
We should remember in our prayers those who have been granted the power of government in our society, ”so that we could live a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty” (1. Tim. 2:1–2). This is one of the ways in which we can promote God’s good will in our lives.
Many bad and evil things happen in the world, and God does not prevent all evil projects and machinations. Yet we should not blame God for this but rather our own evil nature. God has seen it fit to abandon ungodly people to their evil deeds: ” And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Rom. 1:28).
Jesus fulfilled God’s word
We do not always understand that it is God’s good will also to give us adversities and trials. When at such times we feel that God does not hear our prayers, we may begin to rebel against him. We keep asking why God allows all this to happen to us, his own children. It is sometimes difficult to accept that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, nor his ways our ways (Isa. 55:9).
As human beings we can never fulfill God’s will. Like Paul, we must admit: ”For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. – – O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:18–19, 24–25.)
Ultimately, Paul’s exclamation contains the same hopeful encouragement that we hear in the message of the choir of angels on Christmas night: ”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” (Luke 2:14.) Jesus died on the cross and thereby fulfilled God’s law completely on our behalf: ”For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:38–40.) God wants that everybody should believe in him and should have everlasting life.
Jesus said as his last words: ”It is finished!” (John 19:30). This comforts our hearts.
Text: Jorma Kiviranta
Published: Siionin Lähetyslehti 6/2008
Translation: S.-L. L.
Julkaistu englanninkielisessä kieliliitteessä 11/2013
Israelin kansan vaeltaessa kohti tavoitteena olevaa luvattua maata Jumala antoi sille ruokaa yhden päivän annoksen kerrallaan (2. Moos. 16:4). Uskovaista sanotaan edelleen päivän lapseksi. Toivetta taivaan kotiin pääsemisestä saattaa himmentää epäilys siitä, etten ehkä jaksakaan kilvoitella uskossa koko elämääni ja jään välille. Raamattu neuvoo uskovaista kuitenkin ottamaan välitavoitteeksi tämän päivän – enempää ei kerrallaan tarvitsekaan jaksaa.
Siionin Joulu on lehti joulun kristillistä sanomaa kaipaavalle. Lehti on värikäs, aikaansa heijastava. Hartauksien lisäksi siinä on haastatteluja eri puolilta maailmaa.
Lohdullisia ja riemullisia lauluja taivaasta Jämsän Kristillinen Kansanopiston kuoron laulamana.