The Book of Godly Encouragement, II
The heathen philosopher Seneca says, “The best comfort in all manner of trouble and distress is to accept all things as if we would have chosen and asked for them.”
For us Christians then, who ask that God’s will be done, why should we be unhappy with how we have it? We should trust God and know him well enough to be assured that in his love for us he will never allow anything to happen that does not result in eventual good.
If we ask for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we ask, in effect, for it to be done in us as God does it in himself. If that becomes reality we become one with God. Everything he wants is what we want, and however he wants it is how we want it too.
Now, look with me at the person that lives in conformity to God’s will. No matter what happens to him, he is content. Troublesome times become pleasure to him, and grief an expression of love—because he lives in the comfort and grace of God. Knowing that he is in God’s will gives him the balance and stability to stand upright through everything.
Whatever God gives he accepts with joy. Whatever he does not give, he accepts just as joyfully. For what reason could a person, content in God, be unhappy any longer?
Surely it is better not to receive many gifts from God, because if we receive things our joy may lie in those things themselves. But if we receive nothing our joy lies in God and his perfect will alone.
Heinrich Seuse, ca. 1295-1366, Schwaben, Germany