Within the context of Quran, we understand that God's will is bound by certain systems and laws that He shares with us in a straightforward manner, without any ambiguity. We are never left in the dark when it comes to His set systems. We know that when He guides whomever He wills, His will is to guide based on His knowledge of who deserves His guidance (19:76, 28:56). He knows the worthy ones who sincerely choose to search for His Truth and He guides them to that Truth. He teaches us that irrespective of how righteous we are, we are not going to be redeemed if we die in a state of disbelief whether it is idol worship, hypocrisy or atheism (4:116, 4:97, 3:90-91, 4:138-145). And to the contrary, He clearly states that belief, by itself, is nil if we do not validate it with righteous deeds to grow our souls (6:158, 5:69). He forgives whoever He wills, but He let us know that His will is to forgive those who repent a firm repentance, reform and die as righteous believers (66:8, 3:86-89, 5:33-34, 25:63-71). He clearly educates us about those whom He will never forgive. Since God proclaims He is the Source of all Justice/Al-Haq, and He advocates justice and teaches us how to implement justice, then, His will, systems and decree must be set clearly to demonstrate the most superior example of justice with consistency and divine integrity - NO contradictions and NO exceptions. Nothing is kept as a secret from us. We only have to do our homework, study Quran and increase our knowledge. The elements and the means of salvation are explicit and Quran is made easy to learn by its Author, the Most Gracious.
[3:74] He specifies His mercy for whomever He wills; God possesses unlimited grace.
God is the source of all mercy and His mercy encompasses all things and beings. It is manifested by overwhelmingly countless blessings and by perfectly balanced services, systems and provisions that He establishes for us to be equally equipped and prepared to go through our choices and tests. This is why it is repeated in Quran that He is Merciful, Most Kind towards all people, believers or not (22:65, 17:66, 2:143). However, when God states that His mercy is bestowed upon whomever He wills, He explains the law of His mercy and He details His will of specifying His full and merciful redemption for certain ones. These Quran reminders are about those who are worthy of God's mercy:
[6:16] "Whoever is spared (the retribution), on that day, has attained His mercy. And this is the greatest triumph."
[33:43] He is the One who helps you, together with His angels, to lead you out of darkness into the light. He is Most Merciful towards the believers.
[7:56] Do not corrupt the earth after it has been set straight, and worship Him out of reverence, and out of hope. Surely, God's mercy is attainable by the righteous.
[4:175] Those who believe in God, and hold fast to Him, He will admit them into mercy from Him, and grace, and will guide them to Him in a straight path.
[6:155] This too is a blessed scripture that we have revealed; you shall follow it and lead a righteous life, that you may attain mercy.
[7:156] .... He said, "My retribution befalls whomever I will. But My mercy encompasses all things. However, I will specify it for those who (1) lead a righteous life, (2) give the obligatory charity (Zakat), (3) believe in our revelations, and
[7:157] "(4) follow the messenger, the gentile prophet (Muhammad), whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel. He exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them. Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones."
[7:204] When the Quran is recited, you shall listen to it and take heed, that you may attain mercy.
[9:71] The believing men and women are allies of one another. They advocate righteousness and forbid evil, they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they obey God and His messenger. These will be showered by God's mercy. God is Almighty, Most Wise.
[2:155] We will surely test you through some fear, hunger, and loss of money, lives, and crops. Give good news to the steadfast.
[2:156] When an affliction befalls them, they say, "We belong to God, and to Him we are returning."
[2:157] These have deserved blessings from their Lord and mercy. These are the guided ones.
[2:218] Those who believe, and those who emigrate and strive in the cause of God, have deserved God's mercy. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[16:110] As for those who emigrate because of persecution, then continue to strive and steadfastly persevere, your Lord, because of all this, is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[3:156] O you who believe, do not be like those who disbelieved and said of their kinsmen who traveled or mobilized for war, "Had they stayed with us, they would not have died or gotten killed." God renders this a source of grief in their hearts. God controls life and death. God is Seer of everything you do.
[3:157] Whether you get killed or die in the cause of God, the forgiveness from God, and mercy are far better than anything they hoard.
Those who commit all sorts of sins, then repent a firm repentance and reform are promised to be admitted into God's mercy and should rejoice in His full forgiveness:
[25:70] Exempted are those who repent, believe, and lead a righteous life. God transforms their sins into credits. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[25:71] Those who repent and lead a righteous life, God redeems them; a complete redemption.
[66:8] O you who believe, you shall repent to God a firm repentance. Your Lord will then remit your sins and admit you into gardens with flowing streams. On that day, God will not disappoint the prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will radiate in front of them and to their right. They will say, "Our Lord, perfect our light for us, and forgive us; You are Omnipotent."
[2:160] As for those who repent, reform, and proclaim, I redeem them. I am the Redeemer, Most Merciful.
[3:89] Exempted are those who repent thereafter, and reform. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[6:54]..... Your Lord has decreed that mercy is His attribute. Thus, anyone among you who commits a transgression out of ignorance, and repents thereafter and reforms, then He is Forgiving, Most Merciful."
[4:110] Anyone who commits evil, or wrongs his soul, then implores God for forgiveness, will find God Forgiving, Most Merciful.
In conclusion, God's will is explicit in Quran and is consistent with the set laws and systems of Quran. God shares His will and decree with us. He explains in depth who deserves His guidance, who earns His forgiveness and who is promised full redemption and is admitted into His mercy. Although God's mercy is experienced by all beings and we are all equally exposed to all His merciful tools of salvation and balanced means of sustenance, the redemption and the admittance into His eternal bliss and mercy is set to be exclusive for a select group of winners. We are not left in the dark- He has explained to us who these winners are.
[18:10] .... "Our Lord, shower us with Your mercy, and bless our affairs with Your guidance."
[23:109] ... `Our Lord, we have believed, so forgive us and shower us with mercy. Of all the merciful ones, You are the Most Merciful.'
[2:286] ... "Our Lord, do not condemn us if we forget or make mistakes. Our Lord, and protect us from blaspheming against You, like those before us have done. Our Lord, protect us from sinning until it becomes too late for us to repent. Pardon us, forgive us, and have mercy on us. You are our Lord and Master. Grant us victory over the disbelieving people."
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.