Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, 2 Chronicles 31:4-10, Ephesians 4:11-16
What is God’s will for my life?
Oh, the anxious hours I’ve spent with this question on repeat, searching for a spiritual formula to solve life’s riddles. My college years especially were a mishmash of trusting the Lord with newfound abandon yet agonizing over every decision. What am I supposed to study? Am I supposed to go on this mission trip or that one? Should I break up with this boy? Should we get back together?
The weight of my young world balanced precariously on so many question marks. Sometimes it still does.
The uncertainties I’ve faced in each phase of life have felt big and I’ve felt small, like life is the sum of a million puzzles, most of them missing a piece (or ten). But as the years pass and draw me closer to the Lord, a surprising truth has become clear: God’s will is not a problem to be solved.
God’s Word tells me His faithfulness does not depend on my wisdom (Lamentations 3:22-24).
God’s Word tells me His grace does not depend on my performance (Ephesians 2:8-9).
God’s Word tells me that no matter what shape my life takes, His steadfastness and goodness trump whatever is going on around me (Psalm 136).
Friends, our circumstances are big, but our God is bigger. And as we learn to trust the bigness of our God and the sureness of His sovereignty, we find that His will is not just a path—it is also a way of walking.
In his letter to the church at Thessalonica, Paul reduces all our agonizing life questions to a non-formula so simple it makes the perfectionists among us a little crazy:
give thanks in everything;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
No hoops to jump through. No tests to pass. No situational tidiness required. Only actively resting in our God.
Why an active resting? Because rejoicing is not a passive pursuit. Thanksgiving is not an emotion. We are to declare God’s goodness in every circumstance. We are to let the world know what He has done and what He is doing. We are to pray to Him, seek Him, give Him thanks with an expectant, joyful heart. This is God’s will for us in Jesus.
There are heartaches among us today. So many question marks, so much waiting, so many puzzles missing a piece. And with so much confusion surrounding us in this world, Paul tells us to “test all things” with the help of the Holy Spirit, and then to cling to what’s true and “hold on to what is good” (v. 21). And we know this: In everything, our God is good.
God’s love for you is steadfast, no matter the path you’re walking. His promises hold even when your world is crumbling. It is not up to you to be the god of your circumstances. It is for you to give thanks to the One who is greater than any circumstance you will ever face.