I think most of us have asked this question at some time or another.
“What is God’s will for my life?”
We all want to know God’s will for our lives, but how can we know? After all, God’s will is different for different people, right? We can’t all be pastors or writers or doctors or any other one thing. God wants us to be different.
So how can we know what God’s will is for our specific lives? Truth be told, that’s between each individual and God.
However, in the Bible, God does tell us some things that are His will for all of us. And yes, His will for our lives, does involve “doing hard things.”
“In EVERY THING give thanks: for THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD in Christ Jesus concerning YOU.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18
For years I read this verse and thought nothing of it. After all, I could quote it when I was two-years-old, it obviously couldn’t be that important, right?
I was wrong.
When we put this “simple” verse into practice, we not only change our own lives, but the lives of those around us.
Giving Thanks for EVERYTHING, is hard. If you don’t think so, try to be thankful for the mosquito buzzing in your ear. Try to be thankful for your car breaking down. And try to be thankful when your mom ends up in the hospital on life support.
So why would God command us to give thanks in everything when He knew it would be so hard? Well, when we give thanks for every thing, we realize how much we really have. How often to we remember to thank God for that last heart beat He allowed us to have? Or that last breath we just took?
And by giving thanks for the things that we don’t like, it changes irritations into chances to praise God. And when we praise God in EVERYTHING, it not only cheers us up, but those around us see God’s peace in us.
When we as Christians get upset and irritated, the world sees that and thinks we’re no different then them. But why would anyone with a God like ours get irritated? God knows what is best for us, and sometimes, we need the storms of life to water down our deserts of dry mirth.
So why aren’t we thankful to God for sending trials, when it’s those trials that make us more like Jesus?
I had a brother die. For years, I asked God why my brother had died and not me. Living on a farm, I knew that my brother would have been more help then me, so why would God take my brother and leave me?
Then I found this verse, and I thanked God for leaving me here, and for taking my brother home to heaven. When I did that, my whole attitude changed. I don’t have to be bogged down by the things I can’t do. Instead, I can be thankful for the things I can do.
No one makes you have a bad attitude. That’s a choice that we make. So why do we chose to have a bad attitude when God commands us to give thanks? When we truly give God thanks, He helps us have a better attitude.
So what about you? What situations are there in your life that you’re not thankful for? Maybe you just lost a friend. Maybe you’re persecuted because of your faith. Maybe, you’ve had to live with the most undesirable circumstances imaginable.
Whatever the case, God still commands us to give thanks.
It’s hard. It’s tough. It’s difficult. But the peace that God gives when we follow His commands, makes doing hard things worth it.
So roll up your sleeves and get to work. Be thankful for that annoying kid at school. Be thankful for the pain you’ve suffered. Be thankful for EVERYTHING.
After all, that is God’s will for your life.
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Thank you soooo much for sharing this, Priscilla. I’ve heard that verse over and over as well. Whenever I see it, I always have brief moment of “Yes! This is what life is about!” …and then grumble when asked to do some extra chores, or inwardly sigh as I help my siblings with their homework. But God has a purpose for everything, and He works in very mysterious ways sometimes, even if it’s through that mosquito buzzing in your ear. 😉 It’s so cool when we finally understand why something happened, and realize that God had a plan all along, a plan a whole lot more awesome than our own!
This hit me so hard in so many different areas, on so many different levels. I struggle with this every minute of every day, and I have a lot of trouble being grateful for the trials of this life. A verse that I love to quote to myself is John 16:33. It says; “These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” It keeps me thinking with the attitude of “Yes, this is super hard to bear, but Jesus has overcome this world already, and I don’t have to. I just need to focus on what He has done already and trust that he will help me get through what I’m dealing with right now.” Thank you for writing Priscilla! – In Christ, Katie
This is just what I needed. Thank you for being transparent–and sharing both the struggles & triumphs in your Christian walk!! I love being edified by another believer who has walked down hard paths before and wants to offer you what God taught in those places. As brothers and sisters in Christ it is very important to share what He has been doing in our lives so others may not have such a rough time of it. As we practice this, it may possibly keep people from making the same mistakes we did. It’s kind of like marking the path with road signs. Warning. STOP. Caution. Slow. Detour.
So I read this article, and two different times I start to write a comment, each time I tried everything I wanted to say had already been said in the article, so all I have to say is AMEN! 🙂 Thanks for writing it!
Wow, this is excellent, Priscilla! It’s hard sometimes to thank God for things, but we know that if we love Him and are called according to His purpose, He will work all things out for good (Romans 8:28). So we know that we can thank Him for anything and everything! Thank you for the humbling reminder.
Great article! Thank you. Betsie ten Boom was a great example of living a thankful life even when things were hard. You should read The Hiding Place by her sister Corrie ten Boom. It’s full of thankfulness in the midst of suffering.
Funny, I was just wondering about God’s will for my life not five minutes ago. Great article. Thankfulness is something we all need to keep in mind.
Yeah…. you’re right. Give thanks for the bad things too.
Thank you all for your comments. I wish I could say that I’m always thankful, but I’m not. I’ve found that it’s a daily choice to be thankful. But then didn’t Jesus tell us to take up our crosses daily and follow Him?
This hit home for me. Thank you.
Priscilla, first of all I love your name! 🙂 second of all, I am so sorry, your brother died. I know that is really hard. Finally, great post! We really do need to be grateful for everything. Thank you for the reminder. Lovely job!
Your name is Priscilla too!?!?!!! That’s awesome! There aren’t many of us out there.
yes! I am always excited to meet another Priscilla!
What a great reminder, thanks so much for writing!
Right on 🙂
Thank you for sharing this! I never really thought about that verse before as relating to God’s will. Great job 🙂
Good post; thank you!
Wow. I’ve been thinking a lot about this particular subject. I started reading this really good devotional book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp at the beginning of the year and taken on the challenge of writing a list of at least a thousand blessings God has given me. It really puts things in perspective, to just sit down and write out a list of blessings; of gifts God has given you. I found that when i started writing them down, I couldn’t stop. There’s so many that I couldn’t possibly be satisfied with only writing down a thousand. I can’t be satisfied with giving thanks for even ten thousand. God has blessed me beyond measure and I take all that He’s given me for granted. Constantly. I, as well as everyone else out there- need a daily reminder to just stop and give thanks. Thanks for the inspiring reminder Priscilla.
Wow, great post! I’ll be one of the first to admit that giving thanks in the difficult seasons isn’t easy.I have to remember, though, that God is good all the time ,and He uses the hard times to mold me into the person that He wants me to become.
Thank you, Priscilla. God Bless
God will show you in his own time
Just wait it will come
I needed that. Thank you.
Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established
Refound this verse a few days ago… Just another reminder that God is in control
Thanks a lot, Priscilla. Why do we allways forget to give thanks for everithyng? From now I will try to remember more often 🙂
Thanks Priscilla. I really do struggle with being thankful for some of things that have happened to me. Then I remember that it was all God’s will, and his timing. Thank you so much for bringing this up!
I needed to hear that. Thank you!
Priscilla why would God give us pain and sickness is it not the devil.Could you look up 1 Peter 1:3 and John 10:10. If you can provide verses for your argument i would like to see them. Thanks
Abigail, I know that I’m not Priscilla but I thought that I’d try and answer your question anyway if that’s alright. Your right, pain and sickness is of the devil but God does not give it to us in the way your thinking. This may sound kind of cheesy but sometimes God allows things like that to happen to us in order for us to grow in our relationship with him. Think about this, when things are going good in our lives we tend to forget to rely on God and trust in Him to lead us. But, when we have problems and difficulties it serves as a wake up call to us to remind us that we don’t have it all together and we can’t rely on our own strength but we must rely on God’s. Problems can also serve as a way for God to accomplish His will. God doesn’t make bad things happen but He can use a bad situation to accomplish a part of His plan. I hope that this helps. Also, here are some verses. Romans 8:28, John 9:1-5, Romans 5:3-5, and James 1:2-3.