When Your New Year Feels Uncertain

For some, the blank slate of a new year feels exciting. But for others, the unknown is unsettling. Not having everything planned — not even knowing where to start — can leave you wondering if you missed God’s voice. Or worse, if He even cares.

In our goal-driven society, it’s easy to lose sight of the simpler and greater truth: You’ll discover God’s will one day at a time as you become the person He wants you to be. It’s all about your relationship with Him. And that relationship, like any other, grows and unfolds over time.

Recognize God’s general will

The apostle Paul gave valuable insight when he said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2, ESV).

This verse gives three steps to discerning God’s will: 

  1. Non-conformity: Don’t follow unhealthy cultural trends.
  2. Transformation: Let the Lord remake you in His image.
  3. Renewal: Develop a new way of thinking.

In other words, God’s will is more about becoming than knowing. It isn’t something you achieve. It’s something you transform into as you let Christ shape you by the power of His Spirit.

Follow God’s specific will

The Bible also says exactly what God’s will looks like. Consider these verses:

  • “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you knows how to control his own body in holiness and honor …” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, ESV).
  • “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV).
  • “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people” (1 Peter 2:15, ESV).
  • “It is better to suffer for doing good if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17, ESV).

Bottom line: God’s specific will means you should become chaste, obedient, thankful, kind, and loving. Everything else — your relationships, where you live, what work you do — flows from that.

Rest in God’s care

God is the Master Planner, the Sovereign Lord of the universe. He declares the end from the beginning and numbers each hair of our heads.

God is intimately involved with the ins and outs of your daily experience, and He’s guiding you according to His purposes. If you need to know any of the details, He’ll show you at the right time.

Meanwhile, stay on track with the process of transformation through prayer and faith and by walking closely with the Lord. Where you cannot see or know, learn to trust and obey.

For a deeper look, we suggest reading The Case for Hope and Know Your Why. You might also appreciate Focus on the Family’s broadcast “Finding God’s Purpose for Your Life.”