March 12, 2012
Monday of Lent 3
Monday of Lent 3
The Third Petition.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
What does this mean?
Answer - The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer; but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.
How is this done?
Answer - When God breaks and hinders every evil counsel and will which would not let us hallow the name of God nor let His kingdom come, such as the will of the devil, the world, and our flesh; but strengthens and keeps us steadfast in His Word and in faith unto our end. This is His gracious and good will.
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Whatever happens to us is in God’s hands; it’s God’s will. It’s easy to accept when God’s will matches something we want. Then we offer a prayer of thanks and go on with our lives. It’s not so easy when God’s plan for us is not the path we would have chosen. A loss of a job, a promotion that isn’t given, a failed crop, too much rain, too little rain, an illness (yours or a family member or friend), a broken relationship, or even a death. It can be difficult to look at these events as God’s will for us. When the unwanted or the unexpected happens to us or someone we care about, how can we look at this as a “blessing from God?” How do we thank and praise God for His “good and gracious will?”
Luke writes in Acts 14:22, “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Being a Christian isn’t always an easy path. But when life’s disappointments happen, it is human nature to say, “Why me? Why my family? Why my friend?” Perhaps we are never to know the “why” even if we want to shout out to God, “I don’t understand. WHY? Tell me WHY!” We just need to trust in our loving Father’s presence and that whatever happens is God’s plan for us. We are to look at it as a way for our faith to grow. We need to find the blessing.
In this petition we are reminded that God will give us the strength to resist “the temptation of “the devil, the world, and our flesh.” Perhaps this petition is best summed up in verse 6 of the hymn, What God Ordains Is Always Good” (TLH #521).
What God ordains is always good.
This truth remains unshaken.
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
I shall not be forsaken.
I fear no harm, For with His arm
He shall embrace and shield me;
So to my God I yield me.
What God ordains is always good, The Lutheran Hymnal © 1941 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis