What is your new year resolution going to be? Since we just started a new liturgical year in the Church, finished Advent and celebrated Jesus’ birth – why not continue deepening our relationship with God and His Divine Will?
What if we decided to love God more and completely surrender to His will so He can make us better Christians? Maybe we should let God do what God wants within our lives instead of us deciding what we should do?
So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5: 6-7 ).
Only God knows what is best for us. We must trust in His love and that everything He allows is for the greater good. If He allows temptations and sufferings in our lives it is because He is sanctifying us and reminding us to run to Him always,
Abba, Daddy…help me with this. I give all my suffering to you…sanctify me through this. I trust you. I know you are preparing me for greater things through this trial; Let your will be done always.
I am not just talking about surrendering to the big things, but the small things as well. Perhaps you are stuck in traffic and running late for an appointment. God may have you in that traffic because there is a massive accident that you would be in if you weren’t at a standstill. We sometimes forget about the massive amount of stuff God is working on all around us in the big and the small.
God is love. Love is patient and kind. We must love God with patience and kindness. God is also the creator. We are His creatures, let’s not forget our place.“To Him be dominion forever. Amen” (1 Peter 5: 11 ).
A new year resolution is one thing but when one is tied to our salvation, that is something quite different. Uniformity to God’s Will is eloquently stated by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori in his writings on the subject:
Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: “Charity is the bond of perfection” and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God’s. “The principal effect of love is so to unite the wills of those who love each other as to make them will the same things”(Conformity to the Will of God).
It makes sense that the more one unites his will with the divine will, the greater will be his love of God. To do God’s will was what the saints constantly fixed their prayer and lives upon. We need to do this because where we spend eternity will depend on whether our will was united with God’s will while we were still alive.
Embrace the Will of God
We must embrace the will of God in all things both prosperous and unfavorable. Let’s face it, it’s easy to unite ourselves with divine will in the good things, but it takes saint-like love to unite to God’s will when things go wrong and are painful to our character. How we react in these circumstances is the measure of our love of God.
Blessed John of Avila said, One ‘Blessed be God’ in times of adversity is worth more than a thousand acts of gratitude in times of prosperity.” You have heard that saints prayed to suffer much to show God their joy in His will and to align their suffering to Jesus on the Cross, who did the will of The Father even unto death. However, God is even more pleased when we pray only for His will to be done, suffering or not.
This goes beyond God’s doing such as sickness, desolation, poverty, death but also from the hands of men. Those who persecute you, have contempt for you or cause your loss of reputation, for example (Conformity to the Will of God).
We could all learn from Job’s love, worship and acceptance of God in his life. God gave Satan permission to test Job. Satan implied that Job was so devout because God was protecting him. So, God allowed Satan to do whatever he had at his hands, but did not allow him to harm Job. Satan proceeded to attack by taking away all his animals and his sons and daughters were killed by a great wind causing a house to fall upon them. (Job 1:1-19)
Then Job arose and tore his cloak and cut off his hair. He fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” In all this Job did not sin, nor did he charge God with wrong (Job 1:20-22 ).
Abandon Yourself this New Year
When Alphonsus was asked whom he considered the happiest person in the world. He said,
He who abandons himself to the will of God and accepts all things, prosperous and adverse, as coming from his hands. . . To those that love God, all things work together unto good (Conformity to the Will of God).
Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God. Afflictions of any kind do not impact their serenity, because by accepting misfortune, they know they give pleasure to their beloved Lord.
This new year let’s all resolve to love God and willfully surrender our will to be fully united to His. Let’s let go and let God. Do you believe that God does all things or permits all that happens for his glory and for our greater good? When you believe this in your heart, you will always be at peace, no matter what happens.
This is the peace promised by the angel of the Nativity, “And on earth, peace to people of good will.” We also sing of this in The Gloria to the fact that the Messiah’s coming brings the world a higher order of divine peace that only the incarnate Son of God can bestow. Those who live in accordance with God’s will and receive His grace shall experience the fullness of this peace.
May you walk in the light and will of God and may divine peace be with you always.