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A Clearer Understanding of the Will (Guest Post)

A Clearer Understanding of the Will (Guest Post)

Today we welcome visiting professor and Evangelist David Park, who gives us an excellent article on the doctrine of the will

Do People Have Freewill?
December 27, 2021
Brother David Park
Servant of Jesus Christ
Jonah 1:1-3; 1:17; 4:1-11
Jonah 1:1-3
“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord… “

Jonah 1:17
“And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”

Jonah 4:1-11
“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry… Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day… God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint…”

Most of us know the famous story of Jonah the prophet who was swallowed up by a giant fish. It is a story about a selfish and compassionless prophet who tries to run away from the Lord and what God had called him to do. But this story provides us with great insight into how freewill and predestination can co-exist, and not contradict, but be complementary.

Man may have freewill, but God’s sovereign will and him having predestined all things supplants our freewill. We may have the right to write our own stories, but God desires to teach us along the way how to become better writers. He may give us suggestions and certain guidelines and will accept what we write as long as what we are writing fits his rubric. However, if we deviate from the rubric and or fail to include the things needed, or make errors, he will correct our stores and add-in His own edits. He will continue to do this until we have written the perfect story that aligns with His assignment.
But we need not to fret or be dismayed, for the Lord’s will being perfect and always for our own good and His Glory, is much better in every possible way. Therefore, we ought to be grateful in all circumstances, especially when things don’t go the way we want them to go and instead go the way that God has prepared things to go, which are always for our benefit and our own good; He is the master of rhetoric, the master of all literary devices, the master poet, and the master playwright. This is a most wonderful thing and not something we should be bickering about, accusing God of being a puppet master.

No, He is much better than that, He is the good shepherd who guides his children on the right path, disciplining us with his rod when needed, and dragging us out of danger with his staff to save us from the fire we would have walked into. So although man has freewill, God has predestined that His will would supercede our will for our own good. Therefore, there is no contradiction in man having his own freewill, and God having predestined all things according to His perfect and much more glorious will.
Imagine what a nightmare our lives would be like if everything happened according to what we would have willed. If Jonah had gotten what he had wanted, he would of drowned. Not only that, if it had been up to Jonah, the entire population of 120,000 Ninevites would have been destroyed. But God knows what is best for us, and He is a loving, kind, and patient God who cares for His creation, especially us human-beings who were created in His image.

What we can see from this story is that every single thing, every act, and every event is a result of God’s providence. He cares deeply for us and provides us with comforts even when we do not deserve them. What’s interesting is that this past year, one of the things I began doing was thanking God for even the breeze I would feel on hot and sunny days. I would often times be sitting down, but would witness a shade appear out of nowhere, followed by a cooling breeze. When this would happen, I would always thank the Lord thinking that He was providing the shade and the breeze for me intentionally, and this story confirms my suspicions; nothing happens by accident, there are no coincidences, God has foreordained all things for His good pleasure and our well-being.

But we must remember that the things that are good for us may not always feel like it at the time, especially such things like pain. However, pain is essential for us to feel as it keeps us safe, and is a mechanism that warns us of danger, or serves as an indicator for growth. And although God may provide us with even a thing like a gourd to provide us with shade from our discomfort, these comforts can as easily disappear and get destroyed by the smallest of evils, just like the withered leaves of Jonah’s gourd were a result of a tiny unseen worm which wrought great havoc. But even events like these too are God’s providence and serve as lessons for us, to teach us not to place our faith in created things, but rather in the Creator of all things, who controls all things.

God restraining us from getting the things we want are acts of mercy; they are acts of grace. No mother in the world would allow their child to only consume sugar because they like it. No father would ever allow their five year old child to drive the car because they keep crying. And that is what we are, we are children of God, and will always remain being His children no matter how old we may get. God will always watch over us and try to teach us the things that we must learn so that we would live the right way. But he will also always protect us, and make certain, whether we like it or not, that our stories are completed with perfect canonized endings

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