rebelling against low expectations

The Problem With Trying to Figure Out God’s Will


“God has a plan for us.”

We live in a world where we are told this a lot. Some of us know the goals God has given us as teenagers, others have no idea.

Whatever group you fall into, though, there’s always one question that we have asked at one time or another: How?

How will God fulfill our goals, or how will He show us these goals?

We ask this question because we like to know where we’re going and how we are going to get there. We like to plan things out so it goes exactly how we would like it to.

And that’s the problem.

You see, we like things to go our way and seem to get uncomfortable when we don’t know what’s happening.

But that’s the challenge of doing hard things – we don’t always know.

And in a sense, that’s a good thing.

In her book The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom asked the question, “If I had known, would I have gone ahead? Would I have done the things I did?”

Speaking from a personal point of view, if I knew all the risk doing hard things for God could bring me, the answer would probably be a firm N-O.

You see, God knows our hearts.

He knows what we should and shouldn’t know, when and when not we should know it. He knows that if we truly knew the sacrifices we might have to make for Him, we might just run and hide, like Jonah.

That’s where faith comes in.

We all know Hebrews 11:1 when it says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” But how often do we really put this evidential faith into action?

Do we actually trust God to bring us through?

And that’s the whole test of faith, the ability for us to say, “God, I don’t know how, but You will.” Sure, it’s going to be tough, probably even scary. But what comes from this?

Well, let’s look again at Corrie ten Boom.

Through all the toil, abuse, and loss she suffered, she held onto her faith and after she was released and World War II was over, she developed a world-wide ministry that helped thousands of people recover from “our darkest hour.”

We may not always know what the plan looks like or even what the plan is, but none of that really matters with God.

What does matter is that we take the first step, prayerfully seeking guidance, while continually trusting when God stays silent.

And, as ever we know from Jeremiah 29:11 and many other verses that God’s plans will always be to prosper us, never to harm us. So we can rest assured that it’s ok how God will it just matter the He will in the end.

And that at least, is good enough for me.

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Jacob T. Murphy

is a 21-year-old writer and web-developer from Northern Ireland. Throughout his life, he has had many labels applied to him by other people. But Jacob is always learning that God calls him to higher things in Christ, and loves walking with a Savior who always has deeper love for him than he could ever know.


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  • Jack, thank you so much for this article! This is definitely something I have been struggling with, thinking about, and learning over the past couple months.

    • Hey Hannah,

      Thank you so much for the feedback! I know this has been something God had been speaking alot to me about lately, and I’m glad it’s helped you!



  • We can know the will of God because the word of God. The will of God lived out in the Life of Jesus Christ.
    Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
    Ephesians 1:5

    Having made know unto us the mystery of his will,according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
    Ephesians 1:9

    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth is come , he will guide you to all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
    John 16:13

  • Thank you so much, Jack Murphy! This is a very thought provoking, helpful, and well-written article. I read The Hiding Place for school this year, and was so glad I did. It’s one of the best books I have ever read. Thanks again for your thoughts!

    • Hey Haylie!

      Thanks so much for the encouragement! I loved the Hiding Place and have a few other book about/by Corrie ten Boom I’ve been meaning to check out! Thanks again and glad you enjoyed the article.



  • Thank you so much for this article, Jack! This is something that I have struggled with a lot, I can be a bit controlling, which makes it hard when God doesn’t want to tell you His plans. 🙂 But I’m learning to come to peace with it. Oh, and I love The Hiding Place! It’s one of my favorite books!

    • Hey Thatcher!

      If God would die for only one, then be sure to know even if you were the only one this post helped that’d still be worth it to me! Thanks a bunch for the response.



  • Thank you for the article, Jack! I need to learn to put my faith in him for everything and that . I am yet to read The Hiding Place.

    • Hey Erica!

      Thank YOU for the feedback, none of you guys in the comments really knows how much it lifts me up! And definitely check out the Hiding Place, warning though, it’s a tear-jerker!



    • Hey Chris!

      To be honest with you I needed it as I was writing it, it’s amazing when God uses you to teach yourself and others valuable lessons!

  • “The sweetest part … is the rest which full identification with Christ brings. I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how.” -Hudson Taylor

  • I’ll have to add The Hiding Place to my to read list. Ok, I don’t actually have one, but I think I’ll make one now.

  • Thanks Jack! I found this article really helpful, since I often have doubts about whether or not what I’m doing is going to result in anything special or big. If I knew the answers to these questions, I might more easily become arrogant, complacent or discouraged. But it’s faith that matters.

    • I could pretty much copy and paste these words as me, because this is literally what I struggle with, yet I always come to that same conclusion.

    • “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.” Mark 4:26-27.

      Be encouraged, things that seem small now can grow and amount to greatness later!

  • Really great and convicting article Jack!
    As one of my pastors told my college and career group in response to “what God’s will for your life is”, it’s that we love God with our entirety, love our neighbor as ourselves, obey His commands, bring Him glory through our lives, etc. That is God’s will for our lives. How we live that out (education, occupation, where we live, who we marry, etc), God has given us the freedom to decide, as long as whatever we do, we do it for God’s glory and obey Him in the process.
    This gives comfort to me because I don’t have to stress out about whether or not I’ll pick the right career, marry the right person, or live in the right place. Simply obey God, follow His leading, listen to council, and seek to know more fully His Word, which is sufficient, clear, authoritative, and necessary for our lives.

  • The Hiding Place is one of the most faith-inspiring books I have EVER read and I am so thankful for Corrie ten Boom’s life that she has shared with the world. Though our path may be ever-changing and unpredictable, that’s okay- here’s to believing God at his word and trusting him to bring us through. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 Thanks for the encouraging article Jack!

  • I’m the kind of person who always has to know what’s happening. A big issue in my relationship with God is simply giving Him control – I like to think I can handle life on my own and only go to Him when I think need his help. The fact is, I need His help all the time, and that’s a lesson I’m still learning.

    Reading this really reinforced the message that I don’t need to know what God is doing or what He wants – the most important thing is just following Him, and often I forget that when life gets really busy. Thanks so much for posting this, Jack 🙂 A reminder I really needed right now.

By Jacob T. Murphy
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →