One summer, I got food poisoning that set my body off-kilter for months. Crashing on the couch after just an hour of work made me feel useless in every way.
Another time, I couldn’t find work. All I had was freelance writing, and all the projects wrapped at once. Day after day for a season, I woke up with nothing to do and nowhere to go. It felt like a waste and like life was going nowhere.
Recently, a desire God gave me morphed into a dream, and then a plan. But after one major step of obedience, I was met with disappointment. It made me wonder if I’d done something wrong.
Have you had times like these? Moments or seasons, big or small, where you struggled to grasp what God’s will includes when it comes to your life?
It’s been times like that where God’s Word has helped my perspective shift…
God’s will is for “whatever we do,” not just the “big-picture”
I’ve helped my husband build stuff and most of the process is boring. But Jesus did that for decades. The couple of times I tried fishing (and failed), it was unfulfilling work. But Peter did that for years. We can only imagine how Paul’s various jobs must have been tedious and stressful.
How easily we forget that minutes spent on mindless tasks or years of work that seem wasted fit into God’s will, too!
God’s will includes: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” –Colossians 3:17
Despite what we think life and work ought to be like, the truth is God can be glorified in whatever we do. Even the things we do monotonously or only do because they are necessary to living. His will involves working all things together for good and for His purposes.
God’s will is more about what He transforms than what we accomplish
Usually, when we talk about seeking God’s will, we want to know what our purpose is and how God intends for us to accomplish it. There are plenty of examples of this in the Bible…
Nicodemus struggles to understand being born again by God’s grace because he wants an action point to take. Jonah’s a prophet who cares more about his own purposes than God’s. The disciples quarrel about bread after seeing Jesus feed 5,000 with just a few loaves.
God’s will includes: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” –Romans 12:1-2
When we feel like God’s will for our lives is hard to grasp, it’s important to start with God’s will for all believers.God’s strategy isn’t about doing more for Jesus. It’s about being more like Jesus. Click To Tweet
We tend to seek God’s will concerning jobs, relationships, success, etc. God does care about the temporal. But, God also maintains a bigger perspective of how the temporal is useful to His eternal purpose. His will is to make all things new, including us (whose minds focus on improving what isn’t everlasting.)
God’s will is personal and generous
Just as it’s important to start with God’s overall purposes when we seek His will, it’s also vital to recognize how personal and good His plans are. The way God makes each of us is purposeful. His involvement in our lives is intimate.
God’s will includes: “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” –Ephesians 2:10
This verse punctuates the point that we are saved by grace, not by works. It follows descriptions of the riches of God’s mercy and the greatness of His love.God’s will for us isn’t stingy or callously utilitarian. We’ve been personally factored into His overall purpose simply because of His generous love for each of us. Click To Tweet
How encouraging! God’s will for us isn’t based on His evaluation of our performance. He planned in advance, based on Jesus’ righteousness and His love for us. He who calls us is faithful. He will ensure His perfect will accomplished in and through us. We don’t have to measure up or figure it out- our calling is to trust and obey.
God’s will for us doesn’t lead to disappointment
When we believe we’re following Christ and run into disappointment, it doesn’t always mean we took the wrong path and need to turn around. Often, we need to keep going when it looks like “the end.”
God’s will includes: “You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” –Romans 5:3-5
God’s will for our lives is faithfulness in line with His unfailing character. This is what He is pleased with in His servants- this is what His purpose is for you and I. Most days, living God’s will out in transition, the mundane, or excitement simply looks like persisting in faith that He is who He says He is.
What gives you perspective when you struggle with God’s will for your life?
Pastor Colin Smith outlines the 10 greatest struggles we all face in this free sermon series. The series has also been made into a book. Either or both are helpful for gaining a godly perspective of things we tend to get hung up on.
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