God Won’t Eliminate Your Suffering. Discover How To Overcome.

How Do We Know God’s Will?

What we read in the Bible is not just a historical record, but also of how God works in people’s lives. We begin here with the age-old account of Jacob. As a young man, he is a deceiver who took his brother’s blessing and then to avoid the consequences, ran for his life Genesis 27:43. Jacob soon faces deception from his Uncle Laban and learns to deal with it by faithfully fulfilling his own word Genesis 29:30. As Jacob experiences God’s blessing, he finds joy and prospers as his family develops and grows. Now mature, Jacob sets himself to reconcile with his brother and on the way, encounters God who changes his name to Israel (see Genesis 35:10). For a time, all is right in Israel’s world.

God has spoken His goodwill as promises to us. These are recorded in the Bible, so we can know He is for us. Genesis 9:12–14 “And God said, this is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.  And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:”. God also said in Genesis 8:22 “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease”. And God also said in Joel 2:28–29 “And it shall come to pass afterward, That I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids In those days will I pour out my spirit, also in Acts 2:17. God spoke through Jesus Christ in John 6:40 “And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which sees the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day”.

What About This Grief and Pain?

Israel’s heart was broken, when he was told by his other sons, Joseph his favorite son, was dead Genesis 37:25.   While recording Jacob’s great grief, the Bible doesn’t say much about him and his family, over the next years, until there was a great famine in all the world Genesis 41:57. Word came to Jacob that Joseph was alive and a ruler in Egypt. Jacob responds in Genesis 45:28 “Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die”. One can hear Jacob’s hopelessness; he seems to have forgotten God’s promise to make of him a great nation Genesis 35:10-11.

God did not prevent Jacob’s selfish acts against his brother Esau. God did not prevent the abuses of Jacob’s father-in-law against him. God did not prevent the jealousy and treachery of Joseph’s brothers against him.  God may not prevent the wrongful, willful acts against us, even though they might cause grief and suffering.  As God did not forget Israel, He has not forgotten you.

What God Promises, He Will Do

God does speak individually, as He did with Jacob when he went to Egypt to see his lost son Joseph. While God had given Jacob the name Israel, God doesn’t call him by that name Genesis 46:2–4. Instead, ”God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, here am I.  And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:  I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again”. God called out “Jacob, Jacob”, as a parent might, when about to scold their child.  God is reminding Jacob of the covenant He has made with him when he changed his name to Israel. Jacob’s experience of loss and famine had not altered God’s covenant with him.  To assure Jacob, God said “I will” three times as He spoke His will saying:

  • I will make of thee …
  • I will go down with you …
  • I will surely bring you up again.

It’s no different with us, He promised never to leave or forsake us, Genesis 28:15. Even more than that, God’s will is for us to become the fullness of His son in our own lives and no matter how far down we go, He is with us, and His will is to help us and bring us out and up into the fullness of life He has for us.

With You Lord, I Will

So how are we to respond when we face as Jacob did; injustice, lack, or loss?  Jesus said in Matthew 5:44–45 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”. Jesus also prayed in John 14:16-17 “that the comforter, the Spirit of Truth, would abide with us forever”. He is asking us to receive our comfort from His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows the truth about the injustices we face and He remembers the covenant He has with us for good Romans 8:28. From this position of comfort in the Holy Spirit, Jesus asks us to represent His love to a sinful world even as they may be inflicting pain on us. Jesus wants us to fulfill his will in Mathew 5:44-45, by saying “Yes, Lord; I will love them, I will bless them, I will pray for them” as I express your heart for them that all would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, that you also love them.