Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18From David King:
What is God’s will for my life? This is a big question and in all my time as a follower of Jesus I have heard many answers. A lot of them have revolved about seeking God’s help in making particular decisions. Some of them have been helpful. However, generally, the Bible doesn’t speak of God’s guidance in those terms. It does though, speak a lot about God’s will for our lives.
One example is the verse above, “for this is God’s will for you”. Let’s unpack it.
Who is it for?
It is, “for you in Christ Jesus”. So his starting point is for you to be bound to Jesus, since Jesus is the vehicle for all of God’s blessings. Every wonderful promise of the Father is given to you, in Jesus. So the Father’s will for you is that you would commit your life to Jesus. Then once you’ve done that, to hold more and more tightly to Jesus. There’s a challenge for those of us who have been Christians for a while. God’s will for us is to stop taking Jesus for granted.
What is it?
Rejoicing, prayer and thanksgiving. God’s will for you is that you would be a thankful, rejoicing person. This shows us how much he loves us. He wants us to be happy! The Devil wants you and me to focus on what we do not have. This will make us feel frustrated, cheated and unloved. It’s how our whole culture and economic system works. The Father wants to open our eyes to all that he has given us, so that we will see how blessed, free and loved we are.
Isn’t this a strange time to be talking about this, when we seem to have less to be thankful for? Actually the answer is: “No, this is the best time”. After the lockdown, the Lord put it on my heart to walk around with new thankful eyes. So I went on a walk and found myself looking at the leaves on a bush, the cloud in the sky. I started seeing things more slowly and savouring them.
There is a really good book called: “A Good Old Age” by Derek Prime – about growing old gracefully. One precious gem he gives (from a whole treasure chest!), is this: When a part of his body stopped working properly due to old age, he would use it to give thanks to God for all the times it did work properly!
During a time when we can’t do things we would normally do, we can give thanks to God for all the times we could do it but took it for granted.
So next time you have to make a decision and are wondering what is God’s will for you, you now have an answer – rejoice, pray and be thankful!