How many times have we said, “If I only knew what God’s will was, I would do it!” We search and we wait for God’s will, promising we will be obedient if God will clearly tell us what his will is. What if I told you I know exactly what God’s will is for you today? What if I could direct you to a scripture that makes it so clear you can’t possibly miss it? Are you ready for this?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Did you get it? THIS IS GOD’S WILL FOR YOU, always be joyful, never stop praying, be thankful in all circumstances.
Those three things are God’s will for you today, tomorrow and always. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “God’s will”, think of God’s sovereign plan for your life. God’s will is his ultimate desire for you. Most of us spend our entire lives wandering around, dabbling here and there, wondering what God’s will is. And what we find is this truth … God is so much more concerned with HOW you live than WHAT you do.
What if this entire time you’ve been praying about WHAT to do and God is saying ‘girl, it’s not what you do, it’s HOW you do it.” It’s not where you live, you can live anywhere. It’s how you live. It’s not where you work. God can bless you anywhere you work, it’s how you work. We get so caught up in the details of what … have we missed the importance of how? How are you living? How did you wake up this morning?
God is so so so good to us. He knows we are hardheaded. He knows we are distracted, always focusing on the wrong thing. And so he breaks it down for us. He gives us 3 simple ‘how to’s’ for us to follow today.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances.
Will you be joyful today? Quite simply, will you choose to be happy? Yes, I said choose because happiness is always a choice. Just as you choose what clothes to put on today, you can choose to be joyful. Imagine in your closet hangs 3 shirts. One is your joyful shirt. One is your worried shirt. And another is your grouchy shirt. Which one will you choose to put on?
Why would we ever intentionally put on our grouchy shirt and choose to go through our day agitated, irritated, disgrunteled and generally grouchy butt about life? While you put on that grouchy shirt, you mite as well go ahead and reach behind you and pull your panties up in a big ol’ wad and walk sideways too!
You tell me, “but Pamela I have so much to be worried about … today is a day I really need to wear my worried shirt.” Hmmmm … I wonder, does that really help anything? Has worrying about a single thing ever made it better? That track record sucks!
Scripture tells me that God’s will for you is to ALWAYS be joyful. I’m pretty sure always includes TODAY.
NEVER STOP PRAYING
So, you’re dealing with some less than perfect circumstances? Gotcha. Me too. And God’s will has that covered. His second instruction is to never stop praying. John 7:38 says that everyone who believes in Jesus Christ shall have living waters flowing through him. So imagine water flowing through your heart, mind, body and soul. Now imagine that living water flowing through you touching every burden, every worry and every depressing, hopeless thought you may have and allow that water to sweep them away. This is FLOWING WATER. It is MOVING. It is not stagnant. So imagine releasing your death grip on those burdens and worries and negative thoughts and watch them drift away in the flowing water of Jesus. Release them. It is God’s will for you. This is what prayer does. When you pray about something, you release it and let the living water carry it away. You don’t have to sit and drown in your worries. Pray about it and release it.
And finally, be thankful in all circumstances. Easier said than done, right? Maybe you’re going through something right now that seems so incredibly impossible, so overwhelming difficult that you can’t possibly be thankful for it. So you carry around this guilt trip thinking how disappointed your God must be in you because you just can’t be thankful for this cancer diagnosis, you can’t be thankful for the pink slip that told you your husband’s job of 20 years just ended. You can’t be thankful for you child’s illness, or your pending divorce, or your family’s suffering. And you don’t have to be. God’s will is for you to be thankful IN all circumstances, not FOR all circumstances.
Some things you just can’t be thankful for. And that’s okay. You don’t have to be. However, IN all circumstances you can be thankful. It’s a perspective shift from ‘have to’ to ‘get to’. It’s an attitude of gratitude. It’s an intentional highlighting of any little thing that is good and right in a season of dark gray. Find something, anything, to be grateful for today, and dwell on that.
Does your family have food to eat today? Do you have a car to get to where you need to go? Do you have people who love you? Then be thankful.
This is God’s will for you always, and always includes TODAY. Always be joyful. Never stop praying and Be thankful in all circumstances.