When we cannot do what we would

By Thomas Boston

God accepts His people’s will for the deed. Want of power to do more shall not mar the acceptance of what is done from a willing mind according to that power. In such a case, God will accept of His people’s will for the deed.

1. In what particular cases will God accepts His people’s will for the deed?

a) Where there is a sincere will to serve Him in a piece of work requiring some external abilities which are wanting (Acts 3:6).

b) When doing the best we can through grace, our work after all is attended with many blemishes.

c) Going as far as we have access in a work, but meeting with a providential stop (Hebrews 11:17).
There is a great difference betwixt the stops men make and those which God makes; the former argues an unwilling mind, but the latter not so.

d) Services that one really desires, and fain would perform for God, but have not opportunity (2 Chronicles 6:8; Phil 4:10).

(5) Services performed with a real desire of success for God’s honour and men’s good.
The Lord accepts the good will to the success denied, as if it had succeeded according to their wish (Isaiah 49:4; 2 Corinthians 2:15).

2. Why does God accept such will for the deed?

a) The sincere will to a work is present, which God mainly regards.

b) We have a merciful High Priest to present that will for acceptance, notwithstanding all the weaknesses, blemishes, providential hindrances, want of opportunity, and failure of success, that it may be attended with (Hebrews 4:15,16).

c) We have a merciful Father to deal with (Psalm 103:13,14).

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