“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
There’s hardly a Christian who hasn’t looked into the future and questioned, “What is God’s will for my life?” Today’s verse may be short and sweet, but it’s all the answer you need. Be joyful. Pray continually. Give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
“But you don’t know my circumstances,” I hear you saying. “How can I be thankful for pain and heartache?” God is not asking you to be thankful but to give thanks. There’s a big difference between feeling thankful and giving thanks. One response involves emotions, the other, your will. Trusting God has absolutely nothing to do with trustful feelings.
Also, God’s not asking you to give thanks for the tough times—only that you give thanks in them. Give thanks that He is sovereign... that He is in control... giving you grace and peace... and planning it all for your good and His glory.
Today’s verse became my anchor when I was first paralyzed. I gritted my teeth, pushed aside feelings of despair, and willfully gave thanks for everything from the hospital breakfast of cold cornmeal mush to the grueling hours of daily physical therapy. Many months later a miracle occurred. I began to feel thankful. My brighter attitude enabled me to give thanks for greater things. Later on, another miracle happened: I was able to rejoice in suffering.
Finding God’s specific will for my life was incidental. I happened upon it as I daily made 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 the anchor of my soul.
Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances and God will move heaven and earth to push you forward into His will. Whatever happens, whatever you decide, you will have every confidence that you are completely centered in His will for your life.
I want to find Your will for my life, O Lord. In other words... I want to find Your heart.