1 Thess. 5:16-18


"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,

for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."


Isn't it interesting that God's will for us is something that is impossible for us to do? Be joyful always!? Pray continually!? Give thanks in all circumstances!! Perhaps I am speaking for myself alone, but when I make plans and they don't work out I get upset. That's not pure joy! My joy is mixed with disappointment and failure and, sometimes, anger. Of course, when I can't get things to work my way - after trying everything I can think of - I may seek the Lord's council and help. But that's not praying continually! That's putting God at the end of my rope and not even thinking about Him till I get there. As for giving thanks in ALL circumstances . . . well, we've pretty well covered that one already!


So what's the problem? First, I (and perhaps all of us) have a tendency to confuse God's will and my will. I hope in God, but I still act as though my way is preferable. Second, I forget that God the Father has made provision for me (and you) to live out His will "in Christ Jesus." Not in myself; not through my wisdom; not according to my plans; and not in my strength.


So what's the solution? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding." -- Prov. 3:5. God's will is not accomplished through our struggles; it is accomplished only when we let His will be our motivation not through striving but through yielding! We must pray as the Psalmist prayed, "Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." - Ps. 86:11.


And remember, God's will for you is not just good; it is PERFECT! Romans 12:1 says: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and PERFECT will."