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Are you seeking God’s will for your life?
A mom often finds herself in seasons of transition, wondering what to do. Worry over questions like, “How do I rear my child in this phase?”, “Should I homeschool?”, and, “What can I do to help with income” leap to the foreground. So what’s the best way to decide?
Seeking God’s will for your life in the transitions
Changes occur. A job, new home, a move, marriage, divorce, passing of a family member, birth, loss of a friend either through death or a severed relationship, new church, a new life phase (such as empty nest, in my case).
All life transitions can seem overwhelming, even positive changes.
Because of this, we wonder: Now that __________, what am I supposed to do? What is my role? How do I handle this? What is the next step?
What is God’s will for my life?
We are all searching. We want a definite answer. Instructions are written down, preferably sent via air mail from heaven.
But we do have an answer! God tells us in His Word what to do. I’ve searched earnestly, and I’ve found the answers.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is THE WILL OF GOD in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Find God’s will for your life through rejoicing
Do you want to know the will of God? Rejoice always.
If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you already have the number one reason to rejoice. Christ died for your sins to wipe your slate clean – to give you a new lease on life: freedom from sin, the power to overcome, and renewal through His Word and believers.
He didn’t stay dead, either – he came back to life, ministered to many here on earth, and then ascended to heaven so that ultimately, you can have a life with Christ and God forever and ever in heaven with all other believers (I Corinthians 15:3-8). Hallelujah!
But there’s more. Rejoice in the big things, rejoice in the small things, take joy in every blessing you receive! Joy is a fruit of the Spirit!
Rejoice: feel or show great joy or delight.
synonyms: happiness, pleasure, joy, gladness, delight, elation, jubilation, exuberance, exultation, celebration, revelry, merrymaking.
What if I don’t feel like rejoicing? What if my heart is sad? And, what if it’s heavy? What if it’s all I can do to get up in the morning?
Obviously, by this verse, we see that God does not desire a sad countenance for us. And if Paul could do this, even through persecution, jail, and deplorable conditions, he must have known how to rejoice. He had to because he didn’t just tell us to rejoice one time a day, or a week, or a year.
Rejoice always. What was his secret? Let’s read on to find out.
Find God’s will for your life through prayer
As we seek to discover Paul’s secret, let’s move to number two: pray without ceasing. Pray about everything – people going through hard times, your family, and your own needs. And we don’t have to be on our knees to pray, because we’d never get anything done!
One of my favorite times to pray is mornings on my way to pick up my grandson. It’s quiet, there’s nothing going on, just me and God communing.
But there are lots of other moments when I can pray. While I’m folding laundry, cleaning the house, even fixing dinner. I could keep a prayer list in my kitchen window. On my car dash. Even the bathroom mirror.
To Pray without ceasing is to acknowledge God’s presence continually.
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” Psalms 139:7
God is with us, even if we forget.
To pray without ceasing is to remember.
And to remember is to bring hope.
And to have hope is to have joy.
But wait, there’s more.
Point number three: in everything give thanks.
Find God’s will for your life through thanksgiving
There is always something for which to be thankful. Breath of life. Family. Friends. Food. Clothing. Beautiful fall leaves. Rain. The kindness of a stranger. The color yellow.
There is nothing too small for which we can not give thanks, even in the dimmest of circumstances.
God never lets everything be terrible at once, have you noticed? If you really look, you can still find things for which be thankful. I have friends who practice this. Friends who are in very low places right now. And yet, they choose to thank.
And do you know what a regular practice of thankfulness produces?
In her book, One thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp accepted a challenge to list one thousand things of thanks. It was a transformation for her, realizing that she did not have to wait until life was as she wanted it in order to be thankful. She was thankful in the hard places. In the slow places, the heavy places, in every day, she added to that list.
Take the Thankfulness Challenge to find God’s will for your life
Having been in a low spot myself, I took the thankfulness challenge. I was mourning from losing two kids out of the nest at once. I started to make thankfulness a habit.
- Thank you, God, for grass that needs cut.
- Thank you that my husband has to leave me for work because that means he still has a job.
- Indeed, thank you that my kids have grown into mature adults and have left home because they are thriving and succeeding on their own.
- Thank you for the toys strewn all over my house, because now I have a grandson aka The Tiny Tornado.
- Thank you that I have the health to get up at 6:00 AM to go and care for him for the day (even though I hate mornings).
- And, thank you, God, for those leaves out there on my deck, the ones that I have to sweep away. Because it means that there was life, that there was a transformation of beauty in the death of those leaves, and that mattered to You
How I found God’s will – and you can too
I slowly returned to joy. It took a while – crafting a habit to thank and be joyful. But it did come.
And when it came, I caught a glimpse of God’s will. A light shone on the pathway, a step at a time. And God showed me what He wanted me to do. And as I did it, that brought even more joy.
What was God’s will?
I had been at a crossroads in my life since I was no longer homeschooling and most of my kids had flown the coop. Truly, I didn’t know what my purpose in life was anymore. I needed to do something that mattered, to have a purpose.
And in His time, God placed me in a position to care for my grandson. He showed me what was right in front of me. The kids were gone, I had learned joy, my mourning had lessened, and it was time to pick up and move on. That was phase one.
Phase two: begin writing again. I had stopped because my heart was heavy. And then one day, a friend inquired about my writing. She’d missed my blog. And I thought, “I don’t know if I can even write anymore.” Because every time I thought about it, I just felt empty, like there was nothing to write. Nothing to encourage, nothing to bring a smile.
But I decided to try.
And I found that I still had words. And the more I wrote, the more words I had. Pretty soon, the blog posts began rolling again. And then: more joy. More peace. Like I was supposed to be doing this.
Because I am.
God has shown me this already. He and I have been here before. He has revealed in times past that this is my calling.
And He has affirmed that yet again. It was right there in front of me, but I had forgotten. Forgotten that it was important. Even if it just encourages one person in this life, that is important to God. Souls matter to God.
And so, my friend, I ask you to do the same.
Use I Thessalonians 5:16-18 to help you find God’s will
Claim the joy.
Claim the prayer.
And claim the thanks.
And then claim the joy again. Look at what is right in front of you. Seek wise counsel. God is going to show you His will, in His time. Just keep rejoicing, praying, and thanking, Keep doing the will of God, as outlined in His Word, His guidelines. Because that is the most important to Him. And then He will show you the rest. And sometimes, it’s right in front of you.
Walk Worthy as you seek God’s will for your life.
“That you may be filled with the knowledge of HIS WILL in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14
Beth Mclaughlin says
Hi Ruthie honestly your e-mails help uplift me so much. I love your honesty and sense of humour. At this moment in time I feel in a low mood a lot so it’s hard to feel joy and to remember to be thankful. My 8yr old daughter wants a lot of my attention and I feel guilty that that drains me sometimes. I need patience 2 and yes sometimes I am being selfish (but I get no time for me! ) thanks again x
Hey Beth! Ah Thank you for your transparency! I get it. I really do. And you are probably an analytical somewhat introverted personality (it sounds a lot like me anyway). We have to have down time and it’s hard when people keeping “badgering”. Yet I know God is teaching us both through these people. Hang in there, sweetie! I’m soooo glad you’re gleaning refreshment here. That’s the goal. <3
Betsy de Cruz says
Such a great post here, friend! I NEEDED this encouragement today. Really, i did. Was having a low spot in my day and feel better already after reading this!
Hey there, my pal Betsy!!! Ahh I’m sooo glad you received encouragement, as I always do over at your place. I mean always. I pray your heart remains encouraged. Have a great day. <3
Yes, yes, and yes!! I know these things in my head, but having your reminders are SO good. Thank you for sharing!
Julie, we ALL need reminded. I forget constantly. That’s why it’s soooo good to renew our minds daily. Love you, gal! <3
Susan Shipe says
You do what you do very, very well. Never off-track or off-topic. The blogosphere needs people like you. xo
Oh my heart, Mimi. I freakin’ love you. Thanks for blessing me with your sweet bowl of cherry-like words!! <3 xoxo