The online journal of Luke Dockery

The Tension between God Can and God Will

I’m currently reading, The Derision of Heaven, which is a guide to the Book of Daniel written by Michael Whitworth. It’s been a great read so far and I plan on writing a review of it when I’m finished, but I came upon this quotation which was so good that I wanted to go ahead and share it:

“I want you to appreciate the tension that exists between “God can” and “God will.” We live our lives within that tension. We know God can do something about our suffering, but will he? In this tense area of in-between is where Satan thrives. In this soil, he plants seeds of doubt in our hearts and nurtures them until they have borne the ugly fruit of indignation, rebellion, and death. But there is something we can place in that gap to frustrate Satan’s schemes—not faith in God’s deliverance, for he does not always do so, but confidence that God will do what’s ultimately best for us. God always does whatever will bring him glory, and God glorifying himself is what is ultimately best for us.”

(The Derision of Heaven, p. 111)


  1. Justin and Heather Bland

    This is an Amazing quote. Thank you for sharing.

    It very much strikes a chord with me… something I have been wrestling with for a long time (and I know I am not alone in that).


    so much tension in our relationship with GOD.

    (Klint Pleasant gave my family a wonderful gift – showing us this concept of tension: GOD says – “You’re just going to have to trust me.” A ubiquitous idea in scripture.)

  2. Luke Dockery


    It is especially something I wrestle with currently. i.e. I know that God can heal my daughter (and I pray for it every day); I know that He will work all things together for good and that He will be glorified.

    I just have to trust Him (which is hard at times).

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