Do you wonder what God’s will is for you today? How do you determine what His wishes are for you on any given day? Do you think your circumstances will give you the answer, or your feelings, or someone else’s advice? Answer: none of the above.
Several years ago I had a blog called Being a Woman of the Bible. I’d like to bring out a post from its archives today. Because finding God’s will for your day, TODAY, is not difficult at all. And there’s no way to get it wrong. Read on to understand what I mean. :-)
Finding God’s Will for Today
There are days when I am tempted to be depressed. When the circumstances of life seem to be more than I can handle.
I confess, most often the circumstances are no more than any other woman has to handle — trying to juggle husband’s requests with kids’ needs with schedule with finances with laundry with sanity — but I can tend to feel overwhelmed nonetheless. I let myself dwell on all the craziness, on how inadequate I am to do it all well, on how tired I am…I feel like I am slogging through mud, both mentally and physically. And there are days when I let myself wallow in it.
What are the results when I wallow? Usually increased frustration. Often argumentation with someone. Definitely not productivity. Definitely not an improvement in my spirits.
I still often need to remember that God’s way is always the best way. What does God call me to, each and every day?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
It’s so clear; I’m almost ashamed to read it. I don’t need to question God’s will for me on any given day. Especially on the days when I WANT to question it, when I want to hide away and not accomplish anything.
(Yes, I KNOW this is immature. I KNOW there are people with much larger problems to face than I have. I KNOW I sound shallow and self-focused. But aren’t MOST of us in just the usual trenches everyday? Most of us are NOT faced with life and death issues. Most of us are just trying to do our best day-to day with the ordinary circumstances of life. And most of us ARE self-focused, finding even the everyday stuff difficult from time to time, feeling sorry for ourselves, needing a reminder of where our thoughts should be. I’m not alone in this, am I?)
So God says that every day, in all times and places, I am to rejoice. I am to pray. And I am to give thanks. These three things are His will for me AT ALL TIMES. If I am not doing these things, I need to repent and deliberately change my thought patterns — perhaps repeatedly. When I find myself dwelling on my negative emotions, I am to ask God to forgive me, I am to SET THEM ASIDE — the thoughts AND the emotions — and I am to choose something else to think about. I am to find something to rejoice about. I am to reach out to God in prayer. And I am to find something to thank God for.
Rejoicing is easiest for me when I think about God’s character. His character is so stupendous, so magnificent, that I cannot NOT rejoice about it — it is always worthy of being joyous about. If I need reminding, I can look up in Psalms some verses about who He is. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, full of lovingkindness, gracious, merciful — the list goes on. My everyday circumstances pale in comparison to His greatness when I take the time to ponder Him.
Another thing to rejoice in is Christ’s work on the cross. That “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). My sin has been washed away, and I am clothed in Christ’s righteousness, even though I am so undeserving. My current circumstances don’t change that.
It usually helps, on days like this, to pray for someone else, rather than myself. Praying about my own current situation often just further tempts me to feel sorry for myself (true confessions, here…). But praying for someone else removes my focus from ME. It reminds me that my circumstances are really not that bad. And it helps someone else, which is always a morale-booster.
Another way to pray is to pray from Scripture. I will often pray through a Psalm, or Colossians 1:9-12 (for me or someone else) or Romans 8. There are so many more places where praying the Word, word-for-word, can reset my mind from “poor me” to “praise God.”
Being thankful can be more difficult. It’s probably enough of a topic for a separate post. But I will say briefly that the thanksgiving doesn’t have to be about anything major — most often we overlook the simple things.
I read a book once in which the author decided to be more thankful, and one of the things that she thanked God for was the socks that she was matching out of the laundry basket (one of my most dreaded chores!). She was able to be thankful for that task because the little socks she was having to match meant that there were little feet to go in them.
That example has stuck with me. All of our tasks can take on meaning when we remember who we are doing them for and be thankful.
Thanksgiving is also made easier, even in the midst of difficult circumstances, when we remember God’s purpose, which is to make us more like Christ. We can thank the Lord for His faithfulness in giving us circumstances that will train us. That will cause us to lean more on Him. That will grow and prove our faith, which is “more precious than gold” (1 Peter 1:7).
God’s will is really so simple!! Rejoice, pray, give thanks. No matter what our circumstances are or what decisions we have to make. They will all fall into place when we concentrate on what we KNOW to be true, which is what we find in this verse. Help me, Lord, to choose Your way over my own!
–This is a timely reminder for me, y’all. Our finances are at an interesting point as we continue to recover from The Man’s job loss back in February. (I had no idea it would take this long — and it’s still not over!) As we try to navigate this trial, I can remember the three-fold task that is specified in the Word as God’s will for every moment of every day.
If you want to apply this in your life TODAY, I’ve made a printable worksheet with the verse at the top and questions to answer. You can print it out as often as you want and use it over and over again! If you keep it each time, you’ll have a record of God’s work in your heart.
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Whatever you are facing, try to rejoice, give thanks, and pray! This is God's will for everyone at every time. And He will be glorified!! HUGS!!