"The will of God is always best and shall be done forever; And they who trust in Him are blest, He will forsake them never. He helps indeed in time of need; He chastens with forbearing. They who depend on God, their friend, shall not be left despairing.
"Lord, this I ask, O hear my plea, deny me not this favor: When Satan sorely troubles me, then do not let me waver. O guard me well, my fear dispel, fulfill Your faithful saying: All who believe by grace receive an answer to their praying."
"The will of God is always best." We know that, but we may not always believe it as firmly as we might. Yet our Lord taught us to pray, "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10b). Not only are we to pray that the Father's will be done, we should also talk about His will in our daily speech, since we have no idea what the future may hold for us: "You ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that'" (James 4:15).
We seek God's will as we bring prayers before His heavenly throne. Yet at the same time we plead that our will would be done, that a tragedy might be prevented, a healing accomplished, or that timely help would arrive. Jesus Himself prayed that way as He drew near to the cross, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39b). Earthly fathers listen with love (and patience) to the reasonable—and sometimes unreasonable—requests of their children. Our Heavenly Father, listening with greater love (and greater patience), wants us to come to Him with all of our needs and petitions.
The pleas "Your will be done" or "according to Your will" are not prayers of weakness or hopeless resignation, as if we are worried that God will not really hear and answer. His perfect will was accomplished when Jesus took up His cross for the sake of our salvation. Just as His will was done in the life of our Savior, His will surrounds us like a great, shielding wall, encircling with His love our hopeful petitions and our most despairing pleas.
Through faith in our crucified and risen Savior, we have forgiveness for our sins and the promise of life and resurrection. God has been with us through the past. He is present with us now and He alone knows the future that awaits us. He sent His only Son to save us. How could the will of our all-knowing, ever-present, always-loving God be anything other than what is best for us? With the prayer, "Your will be done," we "shall not be left despairing"!
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, may Your will be done in my life. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "The Will of God Is Always Best," which is number 758 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. When has someone's will for your life been helpful to you?
2. What does it say that though Jesus struggled with the things He was facing, He still turned it over to the Father by saying, "according to Your will"?
3. Can we find peace in turning our lives over to God and resting in His guidance and protection?
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