Three Ways to Remain in God’s Will

There’s a verse stuck in my mind these days.

It keeps popping up at the most uncomfortable times – when I’m grumpy and think I have a good excuse, when I’m scared or worried, when I’m frustrated about dreams and goals that seem as though they will never become a reality, and I start wondering what exactly God wants me to be doing with these days of mine:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

How can I think I have a good reason for being grumpy with those words going through my head?

How can I justify any negative thoughts?

How can I wonder what God’s will is for me, if I truly take that verse to heart? It seems pretty clear to me.

But what about all of the big questions? How do I truly know what God is wanting me to do with my life? It seems as though it should be more than this little list, three items long. Sometimes we have really important decisions to make, and I need to know right now what to do.

God's Will

Joy, prayer, and thanks.

That’s it.

It may sound so little sometimes, but I’m realizing that it pretty much covers everything. Because the big issues are made up of the little things, and a long journey is made up of the little steps we take. And maybe moments of great wisdom and clarity are the result of many, many little moments of insight and preparation leading up to the great moment.

This makes me wonder….Does anything significant and important truly take place in only a moment?

Maybe everything is slowly building up over time, even if it’s unnoticed. And maybe, as I try to find joy and thankfulness, and I keep sending up those little prayers…maybe all of it is leading to my big moment of clarity.

Maybe each of these days filled with little acts of faithfulness are all adding up. In the end, I’ll still look back and see that it was God’s will, even without any great moment of enlightenment.

Some things in life seem really complicated, but I think I can manage to seek joy, prayer and thanks. They don’t always come easy, but I know how to try.

So today, I will look for joy and thankfulness to add to my list. I will stick up post-it notes, reminding me to keep praying.

And my guess is that there will always be peace found in these three little acts, because I will be right where God wants me to be, as long as I continually give this life and this day back to Him.

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