Everything that happens to me is designed to be a blessing from God. I can say that because God promises to work all things together for my good. I can also say that because of the prayer of Jesus that I would be sanctified (set apart for Him), united with His people, and be ‘in Him’ with that same unity that He has with the Father . . .
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth . . . for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:17–21)
Jesus prayed it, therefore it will happen. He uses methods that make no sense to me at the time, but in all events and circumstances, His goal is that set-apart unity that unravels my independence and draws me into a greater reliance upon Him. This is a blessing; even knowing it is a blessing.
The Bible says that I have the mind of Christ. If He cannot get me to use it by the power of His Word, then I might experience circumstances where my mind is void of ideas and I’ve lost all control. This pushes me into thinking with His mind, into saying “not my will but Your will be done.”
Normally that phrase is used in prayer, yet I realize that by praying I also learn the way God thinks. Some of that is trial and error. I might pray for someone to be healed and they are not. I pray that God would use their illness to draw them closer to Him; they run the other direction. I pray that God would humble them in their illness and aha, it happens. In that situation, I’ve learned the will of God by His answers.
The Word of God has much to say about the mind of God, but it does not tell me why a child dies, or why an airplane crashes, or what is going on when terrorists seem to have the upper hand. Praying helps, but am I going to learn the mind of God on everything? Not likely! I need to be made humble too, and not knowing yet still trusting is a humbling thing.
The people of God have this one great unifying factor: we don’t know what God is up to but we are agreed that He is God and because of Jesus Christ, we can trust Him. We can allow the upsets and uncertainties of life draw us closer to Him, and increase our resemblance to Jesus. As Chambers says, Jesus prayed that we have absolute oneness with Him and with one another. Some of us are not even close, yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him just because Jesus prayed toward that awesome goal.