One of the most prevalent questions we all ask is, “What is my purpose in life?” There is something on the inside of us that knows we were made for purpose and all of us want find it and walk in it. With that thought in mind look at 1 Thessalonians 5:18 out of the Passion Translation.
18 And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.
Do you see that? God’s perfect plan for our lives is to be thankful in the midst of every circumstance. This means there is a power in thankfulness to bring us into the fulness of God’s plan for our lives.
I will admit, the moment I write about how thankfulness is the will of God for our lives, someone reading this article is thinking, “Yeah, I know I’m supposed to be thankful. I want to know the deeper things of God for my life such as what job to take, what to study in school, or who to marry.” If you were thinking something like that, all I have to say is settle down!!! We’ll get there about how to find God’s plan for ours careers and who to marry in this article, but first God wants us deal with some foundational issues in our lives like thankfulness.
God’s plan for our lives is bigger than Him just showing us the right job to take or person to marry. His will is for us to be conformed to the image of Christ. It’s vital for us to realize that God could show us His will for our career or who to marry and when we get into the perfect career or marriage that we aren’t very Christ-like in them and actually miss God’s will for our lives. God doesn’t want that for any of us.
Thankfulness is is part of Jesus’s DNA. It is who He is. He has a heart of gratitude and a positive outlook on life. When we see how Jesus handled circumstances and interacted with people we learn about the true nature of God. Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus giving thanks many times. For example:
- Before the miracle feeding 5,000 (Matthew 15:36, John 6:11)
- At the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:41)
- At the last supper the night before his crucifixion (Matthew 26:27, Mark 14:23, Luke 22:17)
We all agree that feeding the 5,000 and raising Lazarus from the dead was God’s will for Jesus’s life. All of those miracles were predicated on something more foundational, however….
A Thankful Heart
If Jesus was a griper and complainer do you think His heart would would have been able to hear the voice of God tell him how to feed the 5,000 or raise Lazarus from the dead? Probably not.
If Jesus would have been consumed with negativity in the midst of hard situations, He would have never been able to see what God was doing in order to bring the breakthrough and would have missed the will of God! The same is true for you and me. God wants us to learn to be thankful at all times. Having a thankful heart is key to hearing God’s voice. I can give dozens of examples from my own life about how God spoke to me during a time of praise and worship when my heart became thankful. To learn more about hearing God in worship, check out this message.
Being thankful is also the key to seeing the will of God sustained in our lives when God does reveal His specific plan to us. I know I can speak for myself and many others who have heard God’s specific plan about career or who to marry and obeyed it only to have hardship along the journey. Life is full of challenges even when we are in the perfect will of God so it’s incumbent on all of us to develop the character of God in order to fulfill His plan for our lives.
I hope this article about having a thankful heart has helped you learn how to fulfill God’s plan for your life. If you would like learn more about how to discover God’s will for your life, check out the links below from our “How to Find God’s Will Series.”