What should I do? We ask ourselves this question a lot, from eating breakfast in the morning (“What should I eat?”) to driving to the store (“What road should I take?”) to choosing a career (“Where should I work?”) to purchasing a home (“Where should I live?”). We can’t get away from the “What should I do?” question, and sometimes that can cause us a lot of anxiety, because we don’t always know what we should do.
At the same time, however, God has told us what we should do. What we should do is contained in His Word. I know what you’re thinking: No, the Bible doesn’t tell us what we should eat for breakfast. Or does it? Taking care of our bodies as a temple of the Holy Spirit certainly has implications for what kind of food we eat (1 Cor. 6:19). So, in some way, the Bible does give us guidance on what to eat and how to eat it (10:31). The same kind of reasoning from Scripture can be used for other questions: “What road should I take?” Well, whatever the road, commit your way to the Lord (Ps. 37:5). “Where should I work?” Wherever you work, do your job with all your heart (Col. 3:23). “Where should I live?” Wherever you choose to live, make it your goal to live a peaceful and quiet life as you shine as a light in the world (Matt. 5:14; 1 Thess. 4:11).
So, God has given us the freedom to choose, but He’s given us parameters about how to choose. He’s gifted us with faith and reason to live in this world. We’re called to trust Him as we make these small and big decisions, because though He often doesn’t tell us exactly what, who, or where, He does tell us how.
One passage in particular that has stood out as a how passage to me is 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Often when I’m struggling to know what to do, deep down I’m wondering what God’s will is for my life. And Scripture gives me the answer right here. It says, “This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” That is, rejoice because of the great salvation you’ve received in Jesus Christ. Pray without ceasing, because God hears your prayer, and the prayer of a righteous person is effective (Heb. 14:6; James 5:16). Give thanks in all circumstances, because no matter what happens, your circumstances will work together for your good (Rom. 8:28). Moreover, your Savior is coming again someday (John 14:3).
Perhaps we should consider whether we’re doing what God has already called us to do before wondering about the things He’s left more open for us to decide. Are we rejoicing? Are we praying? Are we giving thanks in all circumstances? When we seek to do what Scripture says God’s will is for our lives, the decisions we have to make become easier, because we’re trusting in the Lord rather than in ourselves. God has given us a tremendous amount of freedom to make decisions as we trust Him every step of the way.