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Finding Our Purpose

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Finding our Purpose

What would you say that your purpose in life is? A 2021 study found that most Americans aren’t sure. More than 57% of people in our country wonder about that question every month. One in five wonder every single day what their purpose in life could be, or how they could find more meaning in it. Some might say that their life’s purpose is to have a good job, own a nice house, and vacation a few times a year. Others may say it’s to raise their kids well, get them through school, and send
them off to college. Still others might think that their purpose in life is to work hard so they can retire well and own a nice car. Those things aren’t necessarily bad; but is that our ultimate goal? What should our purpose in life really be? The good news is, this is a question the Bible answers very clearly.

We can find the answer to this massive question in Isaiah 43:6-7. Here, as the Lord is speaking through His prophet Isaiah, He proclaims:
“I will say to the north, give up,
and to the south, do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
You see, humanity was formed and made, created by God, for His glory. All of those other things we have in the world that we may spend our time doing, the goals that we strive toward with all of our might, pale in comparison to our God-given purpose and goal. Our all-consuming mission as Christians should be to glorify the all-knowing, all-powerful, always-present God of the universe.

The answer to the question “What is our purpose in life?” brings up another. If our life’s goal is to glorify our Creator, how do we do that? How can we live in a world filled with sin and conflict and unbelief, all the while glorifying the God who is over it all? I think the solution is best summed up in author and pastor John Piper’s famous quote from his 1984 book Desiring God: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” Piper’s position finds it roots in the Westminster Shorter Catechism of 1647, that described the “chief end of man” as being “to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.” But this isn’t just an idea made up by church councils and notable preachers; it comes directly from scripture.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” –Romans 11:36
“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:25-26

When we are satisfied in God, we glorify Him; and we have the records and writings of the Apostle Paul as an excellent example for how to do that. Paul went from being a Pharisee, a self described “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Phil. 3:5), a well-respected Roman citizen, and likely a wealthy member of Jewish society to an evangelist that was abhorred by many of the citizens and leaders of his time. Paul described his sufferings for the gospel in 2 Corinthians, writing:
“Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.” – 2 Corinthians 11:25-28

Most of us will never be shipwrecked, or beaten, or imprisoned like Paul for the sake of the gospel, I pray. But what is even more significant about this man’s life is how he reacted to each of these circumstances, that seemed terrible on a surface level. While Paul was on a sinking ship surrounded by Roman guards, he broke bread and thanked God. When he was stoned nearly to death in Lystra, he went back into the city and continued his mission of preaching the gospel. While he was imprisoned with Silas in Philippi, they sung hymns and praised the Lord, sharing the gospel with the jailer and his family. He summarized his challenges in Philippians 1:12, saying "I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel…”

Paul was satisfied in the Lord’s providence, even when he experienced terrible persecution. Because of this, Paul glorified God in all that he did; it was his life’s mission. Shouldn’t we, likewise, make it our life’s goal to accomplish this ultimate purpose? Shouldn’t we be satisfied in Him, no matter the circumstances? After all, the things of this world will never truly satisfy us; only the Lord will. If we are trying to
chase a satisfied, purposeful life in sports, or work, or relationships, or anything but Him, we’ll never find it. In Christ, He made a way for us to be freed from the shackles of sin and come to Him. It is only in this blameless, blood-bought relationship with the Lord that we will find ultimate satisfaction and be able to achieve our ultimate purpose in life: to glorify our perfect, living God.


An answer to my purpose, but an answer l want to pass along to two young men who seem to be struggling with what their purposes are.
Very good!

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