God’s Will

March 11 2024 | by

Dear Mr. Pfister, I am struggling to discern what to do with my life and to identify where God is calling me. I am currently working in a dead-end job that I find unfulfilling. I graduated high school and went straight into the workplace without thinking too much about my future. Now that my peers are graduating from college and getting married, I am beginning to ask myself more seriously if this is all God has in store for me. And if God is calling me to something more, how will I know what that is? How do I discern His will when it comes to work and relationships? And how will I know if I’ve discerned correctly or if I’m making a mess of His plans for my life?


The discernment of God’s will in our lives is one of the most puzzling mysteries each of us will experience in this life. Many of us become stuck in trying to discern God’s will and making decisions, whether it be about our career, vocation, relationships, or other important decisions.

While God’s will can appear mysterious in many ways, a few of the ways in which He chooses to communicate it to us is through our strengths, talents, opportunities, and circumstances. Our gifts and talents show the way in which He has blessed us with ability, our desires how He speaks to our hearts, and our opportunities and circumstances how He already has – and continues – to direct our lives through His providence and the gift of free will He has endowed all of us with.

When it comes to this form of discernment, there are three foundational questions that can guide us in our decision-making process:

The first question is related to our gifts and talents. “What gifts and talents has God blessed me with?” God calls us in our families, careers, and relationships to use the gifts and talents He has blessed us with to glorify Him and to be a blessing to others. Having an awareness of what these gifts are will help us in discerning what God is calling us to do.

The second question relates to our desires and the longings of our heart. “What are my goals and dreams?” “What desires do I have?” Questions such as these help us to determine what we feel called to do in this situation. They also point to the way in which God will use our desires to speak to us and guide our discernment.

Lastly, the third question identifies our opportunities and the circumstances surrounding us. “What opportunities do I have available to me?” “How do my circumstances affect my opportunities?” The opportunities that present themselves to us can be God’s way of opening doors for us and leading us along a specific path, while our circumstances provide the boundaries that guide us along the way. This is because, as the saints remind us, God makes us saints in our specific state in life, and our circumstances are simply a reflection of our present state in life.

Commonly, after answering these questions, we will see an alignment between our gifts and talents, desires, and opportunities and circumstances. And while answering these questions does not always provide us with a direct answer to our question of discernment, they do help us to identify the ways in which God speaks to us and guides us in our decision making.

Ultimately, however, God desires us to make a choice, even if we are uncertain about the outcome, because in doing so we show trust and a sense of abandonment to His will.

Updated on March 11 2024