We often hear people ask, “What’s God’s will for my life?” “What is God’s will for our family?” or, “What is God’s will for my child?” Great questions!
We try to create meaningful conversations with our kids to talk about faith. It’s a big part of our family culture, and they often dream about what they might do when they grow up, and what God’s will is for them.
Some view God’s will through the lens of their career, family, or role in the church. We could write a series of articles on each of these areas, and it would be helpful and important.
However, these categories are not universal. Everyone has a different calling with regards to their occupation, with parenting, and in their church.
But guess what?
The Bible clearly says what God’s will is for you.
Do you want to know what it is? Here you go:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
These truths are important whether you are a pastor or real-estate agent, stay-at-home mom or a plumber.
All of us are called to operate in these three areas. As parents, it’s extra important, because our kids are watching us as we try to disciple them in our homes.
Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances.
Most of us are OK with the idea of rejoicing. In fact, we look for excuses to rejoice when our favorite sports team wins, when we get a promotion at work, or when our tax return is bigger than normal.
Webster’s defines rejoice as “to feel joy or great delight.” These are usually some of our favorite moments in life, and we look for these types of experiences as often as we can.
However, there’s one tricky word to this verse that changes the game: “Always.”
“Always” certainly captures those Hallmark Card moments in our life, but “always” also covers a host of moments we would rather not think about. These are the valley moments when life hits us hard; these include times when we experience loss such as a job, a family member or our health. These moments can be filled with pain, sadness or depression.
How can God expect us to rejoice during these challenging times?
The answer is trust.
We don’t often understand why challenges happen. We don’t typically see the whole picture.
1 Corinthians 3:12 says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
In other words, even when we don’t understand the challenges we face now, we can be confident that one day we will see our struggles in the context of God’s great plan. We must trust that even the darkest times in life will make sense when we see perfectly.
When we choose to trust God in good and bad times, we can rejoice in life no matter what.
As we learn to rejoice through every circumstance, our kids will learn to see obstacles and dark times with the right perspective. This lesson will give them great emotional stability both now and in the future.
Along with rejoicing, God’s will is for each of us to pray continually. This is a hard concept for many of us to walk out! I don’t know about you, but when I try to picture a continual prayer, I see a monk tucked away in a monastery chanting.
Our world is busy and it places many demands on us. Can we really pray nonstop?
I’m going to get nerdy for a minute, is that OK?
The Greek word for “continually” used in 1 Thessalonians is “adialeiptos,” which doesn’t mean nonstop. It actually means “constantly recurring.”
So what the Bible seems to be saying is that throughout our day, we should be consistently bringing God into the small moments that make up our lives.
God wants to be part of every moment we live. As we get in the habit of bringing Him into decisions we have to make, conversations we need to have, and our interactions with our spouses and children, we will feel His presence in new ways.
God is big enough to care about the small moments in our lives.
As you engage with God on a daily basis, let your kids see you going to God in prayer. It will teach them that God is big enough to care about the small moments in their lives.
Give Thanks In All Circumstances
Thankfulness is an important part of life.
When we express gratitude for all God has done for us, we are worshipping Him. Worship is important because there is no other being in the universe that deserves it!
God is the source of every good thing in the universe, and He is the reason we’re able to take our next breath.
Do you know anyone who is entirely ungrateful?
They complain and whine about every aspect of their lives. They never have enough money, the weather is always too hot or cold, and the car in front of them is always driving too slow or the car behind them too fast!
No one wants to be around that person because they are miserable. Their lack of perspective on the thousands of good things in their lives has left them bitter and frustrated.
When we take time to list a few good things going on in our lives, it can completely change the outlook of our day. When we demonstrate a consistent pattern of thanks to our spouse and children, we will set the tone for a home full of contentment and joy.
We believe that when we rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, God will give us all the wisdom and direction we need.
Likewise, when our kids see us doing this, they will learn from example, and they will grow to find their purpose and discover all that God created them to be.