What is God’s will for my life? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us. We break down this passage and how to implement it into our lives.
God’s Will For My Life
Have you ever asked yourself the question: What is God’s will for my life?
I think most of us have at some point in our lives. The good news is that God tells us what his will for us is!
There are just a couple of places in the Bible, where God says explicitly what his will for us is.
One of those places is in 1 Thessalonians:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
This is such great and encouraging news. Let’s break this down.
1. Rejoice Always.
Always give rejoice to God. Think about this. How often are we complaining or sad? In those completely natural moments are we also rejoicing to God? Because the truth is that God is still good and worthy of our praise.
How can we rejoice always? What about when we are in the midst of terrible circumstances?
One way we can do this is by always turning to God. When we turn to God for all of our needs, we recognize him as our faithful provider.
Another way is to listen to praise and worship music in the background. Maybe you don’t always feel like singing along, but just letting the music (which is often words taken directly from scripture, frequently the psalms) sit on your heart is a rejoicing form.
2. Pray continually.
Pray continually or pray constantly as the HCSB version states may sound impossible to you.
But if you think of prayer as a conversation you’re having with God throughout your day, it becomes not just possible but easy.
God desires to hear from you, just as you desire to hear every little detail from your kids.
Think about when your kids go to school for the first day of the year, and they come back and sum up the day with “it was fine.”
You want to know how their day was every hour. What was their teacher like, the other kids, where was their desk, what they served at lunch, did they like it, and on and on.
Our heavenly father is the same with us.
Prayer doesn’t have to be prepared ahead of time and face down on our knees in a darkened room. It can be a conversation in the car; when you’re on a walk when we’re doing dishes, while we are sitting in a frustrating work meeting, it’s literally all day long.
3. Give thanks in all circumstances.
Giving thanks to God when things are going well is so easy, even those who don’t believe in God thank him.
But when things are difficult, we often blame God. We don’t’ thank him for our circumstances.
Hard times can be where our faith takes a real test. Or it can open our hearts to see what God has to teach us.
We don’t have to thank God for house catching on fire. Instead, thank God for keeping our family safe when the house caught on fire.
Or thank God for the miracles or wonders you saw during a tragic event instead of thanking him for the actual tragic event.
God doesn’t cause tragic events. Those are the effect of living in a sinful world. But being aware of God’s presence amidst the sadness and thanking him for it is how we can fulfill his will for our lives.
So how does living these three truths of God’s will help us?
Living in the alignment of God’s will for your life will give you peace, joy, and purpose.
When we first live for God, many things we currently obsess about and find worrisome God will begin putting in the proper perspective.
The tricky part for us as humans is continually coming back to God’s will.
We are prone to wander and do our thing. We get caught up in gossip and don’t want to pray for someone else.
Or we begin to feel bad for ourselves because of what someone else said or what we saw on social media, so we quit giving thanks, and before we realize it, we’ve walked away from these three truths.
I’ve found keeping a sticky note by my bed so it’s the first thing I see in the morning and before bed: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks.
But I have to keep changing the colors of the sticky note; otherwise, my brain gets used to seeing that sticky notes, and pretty soon, it thinks its just part of my bedside table, and it no longer catches my eye.
How will you live within God’s will for your life?