Whole books have been written on the sovereignty of God and what it means, and the meaning of God’s will, man’s will, and the origin of bad things have been debated by far greater minds than mine.
My take on it: Not everything that happens is the will of God, although He does know about it beforehand. I base this on James 1, which says that temptations, trials, and tests don’t come from God. There are other verses like 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says that God won’t allow you to be tested beyond what you’re able to endure.
For example: if I decide to go to bed for the rest of my life, some would say that this was actually the will of God for me to do, or it wouldn’t have happened. However, if you read the book of Proverbs, we’re told over and over how bad it is to be lazy. Is God responsible for my laziness even though He condemns it?
Another example: 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 say that God wants all to be saved. Do people die without Jesus as their Savior? Every day. Some say that was actually God’s will working out, that God sovereignly chose who should be saved and who wouldn’t be. Others take these verses to say that God would actually save everyone, whether that actually believed in the Lordship of Jesus or not. I politely disagree with both of these views. God has a plan for mankind, and a purpose for each person, but it is up to us, working with the Holy Spirit, to find that plan and enter into it (Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6).
There are those that say sickness and disease are God’s will, and point out Old Testament experiences to validate their beliefs. But if you look at the various judgments in Exodus, they fell on the Egypt for the redemption of Israel – “… but there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived.” (Exodus 10:23, NLT).
My take on it:
- There was no sickness that we know of before the fall of man – in fact, it was the fall of man that allowed the curse to come in.
- Jesus healed EVERYONE that came to him. We don’t have any examples where Jesus denied someone a healing. Jesus demonstrated the Father’s will: “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.” (John 14:9-11 NLT) and” and “I came to do my Father’s will” (John 5:30, paraphrased)
- There is no sickness or disease in Heaven, and Jesus told us to pray that God’s will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
I can’t explain why sickness happens. But I can say “God can win with a pair of twos”, to quote Bill Johnson of Bethel Church. God can turn around any situation we face. We have to keep our eyes on God and not let the problem rule our attention. To accept bad situations as God’s will is passivity.