"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:26-28, NIV
I recently found myself in a familiar conversation with a friend: my friend was concerned about (and possibly second-guessing?) some major choices she had just made. Were they the "right" choices? Would she be okay?
I've had this conversation with myself so many times: how do I know if I am making the "right" decision? Will it all blow up in my face? Will I regret it?
As Christians, we seek God first when making decisions -- hopefully the minor decisions as well as the major ones. We certainly know when something is against His will if it is confirmed in the Scriptures. However, we often find ourselves in a dilemma, for most of our modern-day decisions are not outlined in the Bible. Decisions like, "Should we re-locate?" "Should I take this job?" "Should I start graduate school?" "Should I stop graduate school?" "Should we buy a house?" aren't explicitly outlined in the Bible.
I rejoice when I receive a clear answer from the Lord. God spoke clearly to me in regards to quitting acting graduate school, marriage, and trusting in Him. I have heard His voice with regards to these decisions, among others. But sometimes, the answers aren't so clear. How do we make a "right" decision when we feel we receive no direct guidance from the Lord?
There are the practical ways: speaking to friends, seeking counsel from parents and older friends, checking finances, and evaluating multiple situations. But, in the end, a decision must be made. And then, we are haunted by the ever-looming question...
How do I know this was the "right" or "wrong" decision?
It's hard to know when we're doing the "right" things or making the "right decisions," but the reality is that God uses every situation for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Friends, I have made decisions in my life that weren't exactly the "right" decisions -- some were blatantly the wrong ones and against God's will -- but God is redeeming even my worst decisions. We can rest knowing that no matter what, God is using our decisions as a part of His story, and as a part of our own refining process.
He'll use it, we'll grow, and He will be glorified.