Do you want to know God's will for Your life? Many believers are stressed out trying to know God's will. Sometimes we think it's hard since we can't look up a specific verse in the Bible that will tell us who to marry, where to work, or in which city to live in.
These things would fall into the category of "God's Specific Will for Our Lives". They are important to know. It's also very important for us to know God's general will for our lives, that which is true for every believer.
We have what is God's general will for all believers right here in Paul's letter to the Thessalonians.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Be joyful always. It sounds so simple, yet it is so challenging. Yes, it actually says "always." Then pray, continually. That means all the time. Give thanks in all circumstances, not just in good circumstances, but in ALL.
These three things are very simple. It does not take a PhD in Theology to understand them. It does take the power of the Holy Spirit to practically apply them to our daily lives.
Thankfully, I can say that I'm doing a lot better in applying these verses to my life than I did years ago, but I cannot honestly say that I practice them "always, continually, and in all circumstances." I'm still in the process of getting my mind renewed and yielding myself to the Lord as He matures me in Christ.
Some might say, “I'm not interested in being joyful all the time, I just want to know God's specific will for my life.” Maybe God's specific will is for you to marry Jane, but Jane isn't attracted to grumpy men. Therefore, embracing joyfulness always will lead you to God's specific will—Jane, who is now attracted to your joyful attitude and positive outlook.
This passage tells us to pray continually. If your only perspective of prayer is you talking to God, I'm not sure this is possible. If you understand that prayer is a dialogue, it's not just us talking to God, but it's also God talking to us, then praying continually is much more doable. It takes maintaining a humble heart with a listening ear inclining itself to hear God speak at any time.
Maybe you're trying to discover God's will for your job situation. You could be frustrated with the job you currently have and contemplating changing jobs. Maybe you should. Maybe you shouldn't. You might not know God's specific will for your job situation, but we know that His general will is for you to give thanks in all circumstances including the job that you currently have. Maybe your complaining attitude is what keeps your boss from giving you the promotion that you would like to have. Instead of holding on to a bad attitude, if you would embrace giving thanks in all circumstances with an attitude of gratitude, you might find that favor starts to come your way and that people will want to work with you.
Obeying God's general will for your life will often pull you into knowing His specific will for your life. I would propose that complaining and negativity stop up our ears from hearing God's voice in the continuous dialogue of prayer. Joyfulness and thanksgiving open up our ears to hear the Father's voice and tune our spirit's ears to the frequency of heaven so we can know God's specific will for our lives.