X. Thy will be done.

MATT. vi. 13. “Thy will be
done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

THE chief meaning of this petition is not that we should
suffer, but that we should act. With very earnest and firm
resolve we should set ourselves upon doing that which our
own consciences tell us God would have us to do. But
let us consider, first, its bearing upon suffering.
I. Though this is a part of the meaning of the petition,
it is but a small part. God has so constituted the world as
for trouble to form part of our common lot, falling upon
some but lightly and at distant intervals, and visiting
others blow upon blow until their hearts are bowed down
and overclouded with sorrow. Our reason tells us that
to submit to God’s law is wise. But when our own turn
comes to suffer, our will rises against God, and it is faith
only that can make us say, “Thy will be done,”—faith in
God’s love, in Christ’s salvation, and in the promised glory
of Christ’s kingdom.
II. The more important meaning of the petition is “Thy
will be done” actively by us, by our earnestly setting our-
selves to live a life of faith. “This is the more important
for two reasons—first, because it is the true meaning of the
petition, not “Thy will be endured,” but “Thy will be
done;” and, further, it is to be done as in heaven. But
there is no suffering in heaven. Besides, the doing of God’s
will includes the bearing of it as the cause includes the
effect.
All we can do is by the grace of God. To obtain this
grace we must pray.
III. God’s will must not only be done, but done as
His will. How this is to be is to be seen by our Lord’s
example. That is the hardest thing of all—to do God’s
will, because our natures have been transformed, all selfish-
ness and a earthly longing removed, and the image of
God once again restored in our defiled and sin-corrupted
breasts.
R. Payne Smith, D.D.