What If the Will of God is Different From my Own?

Everything is okay when things are going well, but all it takes is for things to start happening in in a way that displeases us and already we begin to question God’s will, to doubt that He is even in control.

Newsdesk (09/11/2022 11:19 PM, Gaudium Press) Throughout our lives, we meet many devout people who appear to be truly consecrated to God and who demonstrate that they are always willing to do His will. However, between the appearance and the reality, there is a gap that our limited perception does not perceive.

There seems to be a tendency to be docile to the will of God as long as it is a reflection of our will, that is, as long as our will prevails and allows us to pretend that it is God’s will. Examples of this are common when everything is going well.

And we nourish the illusion that everything is going well because we are living in conformity with God’s will, but, in fact, we only feel good because things are proceeding in accordance with our own will.

All it takes is for something to go off track, and our serenity, our humility and our capacity to live in conformity with the will of God is gone.

When events turn against us

Another unfortunate thing we often do is to apply God’s will to other people’s lives. It is common for us to say “God doesn’t like this. God doesn’t like that. God acts this way or that way when faced with such and such a situation”. We act as if we were intimate friends of God, to whom he confides about His way of acting and His will.

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Then we make predictions about things that we imagine will happen. However, these predictions are based exclusively on what we think is God’s will, and not on what really is His will.

Everything is okay when things are going well, but all it takes is for things to start happening in in a way that displeases us and already we begin to question God’s will, to doubt that He is even in control.  In such circumstances, for life to become a shambles and for us to lose faith is a clear possibility, for at such times we run the risk of acting like spoilt children.

How often, when we pray asking God for something, we are actually trying to determine what we expect Him to do for us, and then, when the result is different from what we were sure would happen, we protest, we throw tantrums, we obstruct this path, we fight, we attack.

We do not always realize it, but at such moments we show others how hypocritical we are, because we announce to the four winds that we trust in the will of God and that such and such a result will happen, but if the wind changes and the result is the opposite of what we believed and announced, we simply do not accept it.

Where has faith gone? Where has conformity to God’s will gone if we do not accept the outcome of events? Have we forgotten that He is in control of everything, always? Or is His will only real when it serves our interests, our whims, what we think is just and good, but is not what He determines?

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori teaches us that “the great point is to embrace the divine will in whatever happens, whether it is agreeable or disagreeable to our inclinations.” And St. Teresa of Avila tells us, about what we ask of God, that “all that should be sought in the exercise of prayer is the conformity of our will to the divine will, taking for granted that in this consists the greatest perfection.”

Accepting the sovereign will of God

In recent months we have lived through a difficult period, of much political polarization, going through a completely atypical electoral process [the author lives in Brazil]. Until the final moments, we were facing a very even balance, which showed that a fine line divided the country into two factions, with two opposing ideologies.

In times of crisis, when there is great social commotion, it is common for people to say that one cannot accept everything passively. However, if we truly have faith, we know that God’s will is done in everything, even when it does not seem logical, because God does not bend to our wishes, but acts with justice and wisdom, always for the good of each and every one.

At the end of the election, many people who have repeatedly gone down on their knees asking – and hoping – for a certain result, find it difficult to accept the result, because it diverges from what they asked for in their prayers. But if we are Christians, and if we really believe that God is in control of all things, we need to admit that what had to happen happened. And even if half the population was dissatisfied with the result of the polls, the president-elect will not only govern for the half that elected him, but for all Brazilians, and it only remains for those who felt defeated to accept that often God’s will makes it rain when the sun is desired.

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It’s one thing for people without faith not to accept the course of events; but for Christians, Catholics, however, who base their lives on the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who are guided by the most holy hands of Mary, we must remember that both the elected and defeated president deserve our respect and need our prayers, and that peace and order are the highest goal.

Not accepting the sovereign will of God and believing that, in a matter as important as the choice of the government of a nation the size of ours, things have escaped the control of our Creator, is the shortest way to revolt, suffering and loss of faith, and only reveals how much we still flirt with hypocrisy and how far we are from true conversion.

Let us not forget that the most unjust political act in History led to the cruel death on the cross of the Innocent One par excellence, the One whom we serve and love, and that not even this was at odds with the supreme and sovereign will of God.

By Afonso Pessoa

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