The Big Question... What is God's Will for Me?
"in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
The answer to the biggest question of all time, which is "what is God's will for my life," is simple. We are to give thanks, to be grateful, and live a life of gratitude! Seriously! It's that simple.
So, What is my purpose? It's to give thanks!
Do I have a destiny? Yes, you do, and it is too 'give thanks continually!'
Seriously, "Why am I here, why do I exist, and is there a plan? The answer is an emphatic YES! It is to give thanks and be grateful and to live a life of gratefulness!
"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;" Hebrews 12:28
Is There a Purpose for My Life?
The simple answer to the BIG QUESTION IS, "Yes, our purpose or the will of God for our lives is to be grateful!" We are to be witnesses to the world by sharing our gratefulness. Yes, the will of God for our lives is to be in a perpetual state of thankfulness, always grateful and prepared to give a reason for our JOY.
It's so clear in the Bible, God's will for each one of us is to be grateful IN everything. The Scriptures state over and over again, "IN everything give thanks."
Did you notice the nuance, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states, "IN everything" be thankful!" Notice it does not say be grateful FOR everything, but IN everything.
"God will use whatever he wants to display his glory. Heavens, stars. History and nations. People and problems." Max Lucado.
"What is Being Grateful and Why Does it Matter?"
What is the difference between "gratitude" and being "grateful?" "EVERYTHING!"
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." Colossians 3:15-17
Consider in your mind a typical day in your life... and begin to see the typical tasks and events you'd normally do or be doing. Now look a bit deeper.
If you are like me you already have your entire day planned, and your busy schedule includes all kinds of errands, chores, trips, deadlines, tasks, appointments, and personal and professional events, including Men's Bible study at 7 PM tonight.
But are you full, really? Are you complete? Are you content? Are you happy, peaceful, or grateful? Or, is there something missing? Do you feel lost, empty, and spent? Do you often find yourself feeling overburdened, ragged and worn out, tired and depressed? If so, you are not alone. Recently I had to ask myself, "what is my purpose? Am I making a difference?"
"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude." Colossians 2:7
Webster defines "gratitude" as the quality of being thankful, having a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Webster defines "grateful" as feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness and thankfulness. According to Webster, "gratitude" is being willing or "ready" to show appreciation, whereas "grateful" means actually showing appreciation, therefore grateful.
I will admit, at first glance, it seems as though the difference between "gratitude" and being "grateful" is ever so slight, but when you look a bit deeper the significant difference begins to emerge.
"For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;" 1 Timothy 4:4
Imagine for a moment you are lost in the desert for 3 days, without water, and totally parched, you're close to death and so thirsty you can't breathe. Now that you have a hopeless picture in your mind, what if all of a sudden I showed up? Would you rather me show up with an ice-cold bottle of water in my hand or just the thought of an ice-cold bottle of water?
Would the thought of me wanting to give you a cold bottle of water be helpful to you? Or, would you rather I directly hand you an ice-cold bottle of water? The difference between "wanting to do something good for someone else," and actually "doing something good for someone else" is SIGNIFICANT, especially for those who are dying of thirst!
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28
Being ready and prepared and willing to give a cold bottle of water is nothing like actually GIVING a cold bottle of water, at least it is to the lost thirsty desert wanderer!
The important thing to know is that God's will for us is to give thanks IN all things, and be thankful in all our circumstances, showing our trust in Him no matter what!
"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need." Philippians 4:11-12
But why? Why is it important to be grateful and thankful IN all my circumstances? Because it's a demonstration of our FAITH in God and it is seen by others that we have absolute assurance (faith) in our hearts that God loves us and He has our best interest regardless of what we are going through at the moment. It's this kind of FAITH that touches the heart of God, faith that gives Him great delight.
When "believers" place their absolute faith in God, knowing confidently that He is totally in control of EVERYTHING related to our lives, including our DESTINY, it means we are a worthy testimony of His love. God's will for us is to show the world His love for man. This kind of faith goes beyond hope, it's more like SUPERNATURAL hope.
"always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;" Ephesians 5:20
More to come on this subject, lots more!