God's Will

I need some help with understanding what exactly that means. I understand that His ways are not like our ways, but I’m never quite sure if something is actually God’s will or just horrible circumstances. For instance: every time some person is murdered you have that family member on the news saying that it must have been God’s will. Is it really? God wanted the drive by to happen and some kid die? I don’t think so.

Also, there have been plenty of people praying for my marriage. Family, friends, members here in CAF world. My marriage has failed. Papers have been sent to me and I’m headed down the road to be a divorcée. Is this God’s will? Did God just decide not to hear tons of people’s prayers on this matter? Idk, maybe? I don’t think God would will a valid marriage to fail, right? So could this be God’s way of telling me that this isn’t the person I’m supposed to be with? Or is this not God’s will?

I can’t figure out God’s will. I understand that His ways are not like ours, but someone has had to have figured something about His will out, right? Or is everyone in the same boat as me? sigh This is mind boggling. Please, someone help me out.

This idea that everything that happens is “God’s Will” is cut from protestant cloth. God is sovereign, so they say, so everything that happens is his will.

If that were actually true, it would mean that nobody on earth has any free will whatsoever. How can our will be free if we are compelled to do God’s will? And how could anybody be condemned, no matter what he did, if everything he did was God’s own will?

There are “bad things” that happen apart from any human will, such as natural disasters and many diseases. One could argue that such things are “God’s will,” but could not argue that these things are inherently bad. After all, everyone will die. From a human perspective, we view the death of a healthy baby as somehow worse than the death of an elderly sick person. But they are the same to God.

Well, look at it this way. For anything to occur at all God must have allowed it. That does not mean that whatever happened is what God wanted, but He let’s people make wrong choices just like we earthly parents often have to do with adult children. I am not sure what blessing can come out of a drive-by shooting or a divorce, but I know that if we trust, love, praise, and thank God for whatever He allows, He will make a blessing of it. Scripture is replete with verses that support this.

I agree, I believe God does not will evil, but that he does allow it and through it His will is fulfilled (classic example is Jesus’ Passion).

I believe there are countless examples of our free will and God’s Divine Providence in the scriptures, such as Joseph being sold by his brothers into slavery, becoming second to the Pharoah and saving God’s chosen people from famine. Or Moses being left out to die, only to be taken in by the Pharoah’s daughter and saving God’s chosen people from slavery etc.

I believe the difficulty with ‘Divine Providence’ is that we cannot understand it and we never will until we are on the other side (thus we need faith ‘Jesus I Trust In You’).

I believe It’s not God’s will that people do horrible things, but I believe it is His will that we have the free will to do or not to do them. to obey or disobey Him.

Please continue to next post -

I believe what God wants is all throughout the scriptures (Ten Commandments, Sermon on the Mount), as the old sayin’ goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. C.S. Lewis once said there are two kinds of people in this world, those who bend their knees to God and say *“Thy will be done.” *and those who refuse to bend their knees and God says “Okay, thy will be done.” and unfortunately we often reap the consequences of our neighbours sins, as Christ did on the cross for our sins.

Jesus to St. Faustina

**Do not fear anything; nothing will happen to you against My will. **(Diary, 541)

**Fear nothing; all difficulties will serve for the fulfillment of My will. **(Diary, 624)

My child, make the resolution never to rely on people. Entrust yourself completely to My will saying, “Not as I want, but according to Your will, O God, let it be done unto me.” These words, spoken from the depths of one’s heart, can raise a soul to the summit of sanctity in a short time. In such a soul I delight. Such a soul gives Me glory. Such a soul fills heaven with the fragrance of her virtue. But understand that the strength by which you bear sufferings comes from frequent Communions. So approach this fountain of mercy often, to draw with the vessel of trust whatever you need. (Diary, 1487)

These are just some of my thoughts on the subject, I hope this has helped

God Bless

Thank you for reading
Josh

I am sorry to hear about your situation. Sometimes it seems we don’t understand God’s Will or the plan he has for us.
Sometimes it seems like God doesn’t hear our prayers. Sometimes it seems a lot of bad things happen to good people AND a lot of good things happen to bad people.
I pray during this trial you are going through that your faith will remain strong and your prayer life will increase to help you with the decisions ahead of you and I pray you will have peace.

:sad_yes: x2

Amen to that.

Kendra, I have been saddened to learn of your troubles. I saw your first post about it almost a month ago, and have looked in on several of your threads since then, but I haven’t posted anything until now. I just don’t know what to say, but I too am praying for you.

So basically, God can/will allow good to come from evil. And we won’t truly know what was or wasn’t God’s will? We just need to trust that everything will work for the good? :o

NO! That implies that God will not allow bad to come from evil.

God allows EVERYTHING. Both bad and good, regardless of whether bad leads to good.

And we won’t truly know what was or wasn’t God’s will? We just need to trust that everything will work for the good?

NO! Almost NOTHING that happens is God’s will. It is OUR will. We have complete, absolute, unconditional free will.

We might KNOW God’s will, but we are not compelled to accept it in any way whatsoever. We don’t exercise our free will only at God’s pleasure - we exercise it at his displeasure as well.

If God wanted you to know more than the bible and the catholic church revealed to you as his will, he would have.The church never protected anyone from germs.
Have faith or have diseases that are curable. Take a side already.

I believe if we obey and trust in God for whatever He allows, He will make a blessing of it.

I believe everything that happens is either directly willed by God (ordained) or permitted by Him with His permissive Will.

I believe it depends on what you mean by ‘good’ but yes I believe so. I believe we are not going to understand and that we need to trust in Christ.

Anyway, I am still learning myself, these are just my thoughts on the subject. I hope this has helped.

God Bless

Thank you for reading
Josh

To even attempt to cure a disease, one must have the faith that it can be done.

Kendra:

Very interesting thread topic. I’ve always…I don’t know…bristled–when I’ve heard people claim to cock-suredly to know God’s Will. IMO, it’s one of the greatest challenges to us–we are called to live according to God’s Will…yet it is largely unknowable, in so many instances. We are left to our own devices, prayer, spiritual/mystical guidance, and to seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, Saints and angels… Yet so often, despite our most fervent prayers and surrender… we can not escape that sinking feeling, that we may have failed to hear; or misunderstood; or misinterpreted; or otherwise simply failed to receive effectively, what God communicated to us (if we’re humble enough to own our own shortcomings, anyway). Maybe that’s just me. I don’t know; I just know trying to discern God’s Will, is extremely challenging. So I’m interested to see how this thread develops…

FWIW, I found the book discussed below surprisingly helpful. It was written by a protestant pastor in the 40’s; from England, I believe (interestingly, he would later go on to renounce his pastorate, and become…agnostic; but that doesn’t taint this little gem he put together; the book stands alone, just fine, imho). It largely the author’s extrapolation and speculation; and it’s certainly not approved by the Catholic Church–however, I personally, did not find it to be offensive to Catholic teaching either (just me). As I said, I found it helpful, in making sense of such a prickly issue. Perhaps you will too. Below is a brief description of it; it’s also incredibly short, and readable.

The Will of God

Author: Leslie Weatherhead
Publisher: Nashville: Pillar Books for Abingdon Press, 1979 (first published by Whitmore and Stone, 1944)
View: Miscellaneous

This book is a printed sermon series given by Weatherhead during WW 2. He wrestles with the evil in the world and does not want to call such horrible things “God’s will”. The book is filled with pastoral wisdom, but also filled with theological confusion. His goal of clearing up the confusion and heartache is only partially achieved.

He begins with stories of tragic events: the death of a man’s wife, the death of a son fighting in Berlin, the death of a baby (pp 9-11). In each case someone seeking comfort called it “God’s will”, but Weatherhead objects vigorously. Calling a human murder “God’s will” is equal to accusing God of murder according to Weatherhead (11).

To clarify his view, he explains three ways that the term “God’s will” can be used. (1) The intentional will of God which is His “ideal purpose” (12). Weatherhead is close to the concept of God’s “moral will” with this term and uses Matt. 18:14 to illustrate. On the other hand, he uses intentional will similar to the traditional view’s individual will. (2) The circumstantial will of God. This is sort of a plan B when things are messed up by evil. Since the intentional will cannot be achieved the circumstantial will takes its place. Later he calls this a “will within the will of God” (24). (3) The ultimate will of God. Nothing defeats God in His ultimate will. Even in sin and difficulties, God will achieve salvation for man and His glory. This concept is close to God’s sovereign will though not exactly. It seems to only include the good that God brings from a messy sinful world (12-13).

Weatherhead never tries to define God’s will by biblical categories. The categories of intentional, circumstantial and ultimate are his own and fall short of the biblical usage. I believe that even evil things are properly called “God’s will” in the sovereign sense including Weatherhead’s opening examples. But he denies this. “Call these things evil, call some of them inevitable evil because of wide-spread sin, but don’t call them the will of God (17).” This he says, “is a greater blasphemy than denial of the Holy Trinity (16).” Unfortunately, Weatherhead is confusing God’s moral will with His sovereign will. For “all things” (Eph. 1:11) are under the superintendence of God’s sovereign will (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). Weatherhead does not want us to think that God is evil or a murderer of children, but denying God’s sovereign will is not the way to do it…

FWIW, this is pretty much the only book on religion, written by a protestant, that I recommend (lots of books like the Norman Vincent Peale type, perhaps–but as motivational faire, not for theological soundness)–not even CS Lewis, who lost me in the introduction of Mere Christianity, when he reduced the Catholic Church to basically just another room among many in a hallway…(just volunteered for perspective).

Another caveat–I read it over 10 years ago, and lent out my only copy (one way deal there…as usual. :))

God bless.

Prayers sent.

PS: if anyone feels compelled to ‘set me straight’ about the above referenced book (i.e.–if it contains anything offensive to Catholic doctrine (which I have obviously missed)), please do not hesitate to point it out.

I remember reading CS Lewis Problem of Pain and I thought it was very faulty. Why **would not **God change a knife into a flower when someone tried to kill another. Lewis thinks that is ridiculous; he had a great imagination but not when it came to this. Animals are innocent, and there is no excuse in saying their pain gives us some good. That is letting innocent beings be used as a means to an end, not just as food, but through suffering. The sole reason that can be given for pain of children and animals is that someone they will get a greater joy in the future because they had suffered. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they **shall **be comforted”.

I don’t know where you see that unless you are talking about 50 years ago. No one even mentions God in this country in the press anymore, and if they do it is edited out.

Not true. I’m only 26, bud. It isn’t edited out in the Birmingham, Alabama viewing area. I heard it just the other day.

:rolleyes: Thanks for, um, contributing…

KendraDZ1902,

While I cannot truly understand what you have been going through, I have gone through similar struggles in trying to discern as to why God allows certain things, particularly bad and unpleasant things to happen. I will try to answer your question the best I can, from my perspective.

Though we have free will, nothing occurs that God does not allow. In simple words, everything must have his approval, no matter how bad it is. I have done many bad things in the past, and I continue to struggle in trying to live right, looking to the Lord for guidance and example. And yes, I continue to live with the consequences of my actions. In my efforts in trying to live a holy life, I fail continuously, but I am strengthened and renewed by Him who promised to stand by me always. Many times, I feel depressed, and my mind and heart is filled with sadness, contempt, shame, and pain. But in the many years I have struggled, one thing stood out to me, as I prayed and continue to do so:

It is God’s will that I suffer, that I weep, that I have such thoughts. He allows me to fall, even to sin against him; for I know that by allowing me to do so, I will come to approach him in repentance and contrition. In this, He teaches me that without Him, I am nothing, that I rely completely on Him for my mere existence. He let me go through all that negativity and hurt, and in many ways continues to do so, so that I may be still and know who He is. Yes, I will likely never understand Him and the things He allows, mere man that I am. But, as others on this thread have said, we must rest on his mercy and love, that He knows what is best. Many times, we Christians do not know why He would allow such horrible things to happen and still occur in the present, but I and many others pray during such times, asking Him to at least bestow upon me and others some knowledge of His will, and to act upon it. Like many of the saints who did this, they were raised and remembered forever.

Know that many of us here are praying for you as we speak. We struggle with it, but we must learn to submit ourselves to the banner of His will, no matter how difficult it is and no matter that it often does not make sense in the eyes of the world. We must have faith that everything is part of His will, though we never will truly know it until that day comes, past this life. My confessor once told me this when I asked him a similar question, as I was trying to find closure as I recalled my past; he told me that the will of the Father is always good. We can look at the Holy Scriptures and how God used the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks to accomplish His will. Many of us have learned that God can make something out of any situation. I think of Mother Angelica for instance; she may no longer be in the limelight, is paralyzed and severely limited in movement, but she knows that even in the state she is in, God is working and making something out of it.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on KendraDZ1902. Hear her prayer, and may your peace, love, healing, and help, be upon her and those around her, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

As you are going through these times, pray that you may have faith to accept what He allows. In all things, rely on Him. In the smallest things, see the Lord’s work and his glory, as you yourself glorify Him in what you do.

I don’t know where you see that unless you are talking about 50 years ago. No one even mentions God in this country in the press anymore, and if they do it is edited out.
It isn’t edited out in the Birmingham, Alabama viewing area. I heard it just the other day.

[/quote]

I did a search of the television news and newspapers for the Birmingham area found no such claim. Again, I have not seen anything like that in a very long time. Please cite your source and provide a link so we can check it out for ourselves.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.