God has big plans for you.

Some people are living their “best life” right now, while others are struggling with spiritual, relational, financial, and health issues. Deeper still, some are struggling to discover a sense of purpose.

It’s important to remember that there is hope for a better future no matter how your circumstances currently appear.

Unfortunately, some of the very people you live and socialize with are convinced that their best days are behind them and there’s not much to look forward to.

One of the reasons for the despair that so many are experiencing is that we are too often self-focused, instead of being God-centered and others-focused. We’ve never considered that when we make a difference in someone’s life — when we bless others in small, practical ways — it also makes a difference in our lives.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” —Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJ

Jeremiah 29:11-13 gives us counsel about how to discover our purpose. It indicates that we must take the initiative to pray and to “seek God.” God hears our prayers. He listens to the requests of his people. He answers us in his own time and in His own, perfect way.

Another thing we can do is to take action. Jeremiah said, “Then you will call upon Me and go…” That’s action.

A great way to grow in Christ and share the light of the gospel is by taking action — by serving others. Whether it’s through administration, coaching, mentoring, helping someone move, writing a book that’s been in your heart, pursuing an idea you’ve had for an invention, purchasing groceries for a family in need, or adding food to your local Pantry Box. You can take action. You can “go.” You can make a difference.

Maybe it’s by contributing towards a seasonal retreat for a young couple, donating school supplies for an at-risk child, or volunteering time to a non-profit that moves your heart. There are several ways to serve and take action.

So many of us wonder what our gifts, talents, skills, or purpose might be. A great way to discover your specific niche, giftedness, and passion is by experimenting with a variety of options, like the ones listed above.

Another way to take action is by becoming a voice that encourages others to use and engage their gifts.

What’s obvious to us may or may not be obvious to the person who is constantly focused on their shortcomings and insecurities. Sometimes all it takes is a word of encouragement or acknowledgement from a trusted friend to motivate us to take action and engage our gift in this world.

Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift makes room for him.”

The things you enjoy doing, are good at, and make you feel accomplished and fulfilled — these are often an indication of the talents and abilities you’ve been given by God and need to take action on.

This life is not our own. Believers have a responsibility to use our gifts to the best of our ability. This can be challenging when we allow ourselves to become distracted by trials, discouragement, or getting stuck in “survival” mode.

Instead, we need to remember the guidance God provides in Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” —Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJ

God longs to provide leadership. He loves giving guidance to those who “seek His will.” Maybe He’s just waiting on you to take action.

ISOW Bible College provides a number of courses to help you discover your calling, passion, and purpose in life. Check out the “Personal and Ministry Development” area on our site. The course “Literary Writing & Publishing” is helpful and practical if you’re interested in writing. Perry Stone shares insights from decades in writing and publishing dozens of books.

In the course, “No Limits,” Pastor and author Tony Scott will challenge you to pursue God’s purpose for your life.

Finally, the excellent course, “Starter Guide to Ministry” gives you an up close and personal look at the ministry experiences of Bryan Cutshall and Perry Stone. Serve others and take action today.

To view courses in Spanish, click here.

—D, Staff Writer