The subject of God’s will is woven throughout the tapestry of God’s truth as revealed in Scripture. All of us have read (and most of us have preached from) Paul’s words to the Roman Christians:
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:28–29)
This represents one of those places we can mark in the margin of our Bibles: “The decreed will of God.” His decreed will is at work in your life. He’s not only using you in ministry, He’s using the ministry in you (never forget that). He’s chipping away in your life, causing you to take on various characteristics of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Even the death of our Savior was part of the determined will of God:
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” (Acts 2:22–23, emphasis added)
Though unbelieving men nailed Jesus to His cross, it occurred, “by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God.” It was exactly at the time and in the place and by the means God had determined.
What looked to the eleven confused disciples as mysterious—as well as unfair and unjust (humanly speaking, it was all of this and more)—God looked at and said, “That is what I’ve planned. That’s the mission that My Son came to accomplish.”
That’s why Jesus’s final words from the cross before He died were, “It is finished.” And then He slumped in death. God’s redemption plan had been completed—Jesus’s payment for our sin.
“But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” (Acts 2:24)
By the way, that’s exactly what will happen beyond our death. He will raise us up by His grace, putting an end forever to the agony of death, since we cannot be held by its power (1 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 4:14).
God has decreed it so.
That’s a wonderful thought to claim at the next graveside service you officiate, isn’t it?