We have often heard that statement spoken by well meaning religious people when a tragedy has occurred in someone’s life. It may have been when a family member was killed in an accident or died with a heart attack. Perhaps it was when someone’s beautiful daughter was killed while playing in the yard when a drunk driver veered off the street and ran over the precious child , thus causing deep sorrow and grief to the parents. Several years ago, a gospel preacher and an elder of the church were returning home from a Bible study with a family when a drunken driver crossed the medium and crashed into their car killing both godly men. It may be that someone in trying to comfort their families made the statement, “It was God’s will.” But what does it mean that it was “God’s will” when a tragedy occurs and lives are lost or someone is crippled for life? Are we saying that it was “God’s determine will” when a drunk man lost control of his car and ran over a child who was playing in the front yard at home?
Usually it is Bible believing individuals who exclaim that it was “God’s will” when some tragedy occurs and a loved one dies. While their intention is to express sympathy and compassion to the ones hurting, the person expressing this sentiment may not understand what he is saying. We should be very careful in attributing every act of violence and the tragedies in life to being “God’s will”. In essence we are blaming God for these occurrences and this alone causes many people to wonder what kind of God that we love and serve. There are scores of individuals who have become atheists or agnostics due to believing that it was “God’s will” when good people have to deal with suffering and sorrow in this world.
There is a vast difference between God’s permissive will and God’s determinate will. We know beyond any doubt that it was God’s determinate will that His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, should die for the sins of the world according to Acts 2:23, 24. However, God does permit events to happen because of the sins of men (like the drunken driver who killed the child). Suffering, sorrow and death came about because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve (Romans 5). Saints and sinners alike experience sadness, sorrow and suffering in this world. But to state that every occurrence of such is “God’s determine will” is not scripturally sound. I encourage you to be very careful in using the expression “It was God’s will” when an innocent child suffers deformities and/or death, or a Christian dies in an automobile accident or from a fatal disease.
The fact is, we are limited in our knowledge about multitude matters pertaining to suffering and sorrow in this life. But we can trust in the Lord God who knows all and has infinite wisdom, knowledge and almighty power (Psalms 139; Proverbs 3:5, 6) Our Heavenly Father works all things for our eternal welfare (Romans 8:28).