We hope you enjoyed this series on finding joy during lent. Below is the final post in this seven-part series which has been linked at the bottom of this post.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Everything we experience has the loving hand of our Father in heaven behind it. Every challenge and triumph we face, He is there guiding our way. Through the gospel, we learn what makes our lives better. In an interview about living the life you were made for, Author Chris Stefanick explains:
Jesus said, “I came so that they might have life and have it to the full” and He also said, “I told you these things so my joy may be in you”. Everything Jesus did was to show us who God was and through Him we could find joy.
Abraham knew what God's voice sounded like. He had heard God many times before and obeyed that God was known to him. God's voice had always proven trustworthy, so when Abraham heard God's call to take his beloved son Issac to sacrifice, he did so without question because he trusted God. We know that ultimately God did not require the sacrifice of Issac and in Romans we read that Abraham's faith never wavered but his trust grew (Romans 4). Through trusting in God's love, and following His laws we grow closer to Him which allows us to hear Him better when He speaks.
In effect, those two actions, God's love, and our obedience act like a microphone for His voice.
5 Tips to hear God's Voice*
- God speaks through your experiences as you live your everyday life.
- God speaks through His word. If you want to know the heart of God, read His word.
- God speaks through people in our lives. Lean on the advice of people who love God and live good lives, He will often speak through these people.
- Be silent and listen. Love God, live your right life and God will guide you through your thoughts and feelings.
- Visit somewhere sacred, where your thoughts and feelings can be elevated from the noise of the world.
It's not about you being perfect, remember we need to show ourselves love too. Don't forget, our perfectly loving Father will be there guiding you. You need only to turn to Him.
We may not understand what God says...
We can look to Abraham and Issac as our example. Abraham didn't understand why God wanted him to sacrifice his beloved son. And Issac had no idea when he lay down as his father Abraham asked why. They simply both obeyed. This is faith, to believe in something without evidence.
So too must we put our faith into action.
For example, we will never know why our world is going through a pandemic or why one person finds "luck" and another does not, we can't know. When we don't understand why things happen we can only control how we respond to God.
How will you respond to God's call?
Instead of saying, "Why me?"
Couldn't you say, "Why not me?"
It’s our testimony that joy comes from trusting God. Try an approach of gratitude. Love God. Look to Him and be lifted up regardless of the cross you are called to bear. Serve your neighbor. And be like Abraham and faithfully obey the commandments of God because God will only ever ask of us those things that are ultimately best for us. We wish you true joy in all your efforts to come closer to Christ!
Our Faith & Focus Planner is a great tool to help you see how God is moving in your life.
It’s designed to help you:
- Become more like Jesus by infusing every part of your life with prayer.
- Reflect on what God is doing in your life so you grow to trust Him more.
- Find a rhythm of life that allows you to accomplish your most important goals.
Read the other posts in this series here
*Based on tips shared by Chris Stefanick