Take a breath. Sit back, and imagine you’ve got a personal letter in your hand, stamped, labeled in the script handwriting of a close friend—”the answer to your questions about purpose.” You open it up and find quite a bit of writing—not a half-full greeting card, but a number of loose pages penned out of a fellow soul somewhere across the globe. As you scroll, you’re flipping from one sheet to the next. We hope as you read, you hear the voice of a friend.
Your Questions About Purpose
You shared your honest thoughts, and I’m so eager to respond. It was impressed upon my heart just how precious you are. You have a face, a name, a beating heart, and a soul full of wonderings. You have more value and dignity as a person than you may be aware of. And there are answers to the aches you explained you feel inside.
You’re searching for your purpose. “You know, we all have that hole in our heart,” you said, “and people fill it with whatever they think will make them happy.”
You are still searching for that “something” to fill your heart. I remember you told me of people precious to you: your mom, your multicultural group of friends. They are very dear to you—I could hear the love you have for them in the way you spoke about them. But, like other joys, they leave you lacking, filled with a sense that there must be something more to life than fun and family.
You’re convinced that the romance of life is real, and that there’s more to us than flesh and bone returning to dust—but what gives meaning to it all?
You told me how there’s something about the sea that makes you feel alive and fills your heart with awe. You love feeling both at its mercy and safe in the joy of its surf. You’re a happy person—I love that about you—and you love being happy.
There Are Answers to Your Questions
You expressed so much truth that resonates with every person’s experience. Chris, all the inner thoughts you shared with me, reveal that your soul is hardwired for the answers to your questions. But where will you find the answers you are looking for? Who can tell you your purpose?
The one who made you can. Yes, someone made you—and he made the sea for you to surf in, the Japanese food you eat with friends, and everything good that you enjoy. He made you to be happy—happy in his world, but most of all, happy in him.
We are told we will find our purpose when we find ourselves, but it’s someone else that we’ve lost and need to find—our Maker, the Lord.
Chris, he made you in his likeness (Genesis 1:27). You reflect him. That’s why you have thoughts and feelings. You were made like God so you can know him in personal way. You were an idea in his mind before time began. And he made a great, big, good world for you to live in. He made it so you would love him for it.
That emptiness you feel when you enjoy good things? It’s because you have joy without direction—you don’t know whom to thank, whom to enjoy it with.
What Is Your Purpose?
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The Bible opens with the big story of everything. It begins with God, not us. We will only find our purpose if we find it in him. Here’s what he tells us in his Word:
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill.
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:24-31 NIV)
God made us to know him and enjoy him. That’s why he made you!
Why You Feel Empty?
You feel empty, still. Why? Because we don’t worship him. Naturally, we try to make gods of other things, because by nature we are opposed to God. So our hearts are searching for something to worship, something else, because we’re wired to worship God.
That’s why God says he is going to judge the world. None of us could live according to our God-given purpose to worship him alone. We traded him for other things to fill our hearts.
Everything belongs to God—our bodies, our breath, the world we enjoy. We are so comfortable using what God, in his kindness, has given us that we never consider thanking him. We take him for granted, we disregard his Word, break his laws and even claim he doesn’t exist. (Romans 1:18-22). What an offense!
What would you do with a creation that refuses to acknowledge you? You would reject them—toss them out for not fulfilling the purpose for which you created them. Imagine making a hammer that refused to hit nails, or a bowl that refused to hold the milk for your cereal. You’d chuck it! For this reason, those who reject God are doomed to eternal punishment, unless they repent and turn away from worshipping created things (the gifts) and worship the Creator (the Giver) of all things. But how do we do this? Can we just try to do good and make up for our mistakes? No, we need serious forgiveness.
God’s Love for You
Praise God he isn’t like us—not so quick to anger, not so fast to discard. No, our God, the God of the Bible is patient.
God loves his world; he loves you, Chris. God loves you so much that he sent his own Son Jesus to pay the penalty for all your sins against him (John 3:16). The root of all sin is ignoring him as Creator. Though Jesus lived a life with no mistakes, he traded the favor of God that he deserved, for death on a cross. He did this so he might stand in your place, absorbing God’s wrath due to you, and give you new life. He died, and he rose again so that sin and death’s power could be broken in your heart. Jesus died because he wanted to make a way for you to be close to God again.
For all who trust in Jesus, he makes it possible for them to have a relationship with God again. That hole in your heart? It’s a wound, not just an empty space. It’s a wound created by an eternally rifted relationship with your Creator that can only be healed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Healing the wound is simple: Believe in what Christ has done for you, and he promises to forgive you and make you totally new (1 John 1:9). When you believe in Jesus, you experience spiritual rebirth (John 1:12). You become ‘born again.’ Life takes on color and true happiness as you live every moment at peace with your Maker. Life takes on true purpose.
How to Live According to Your Purpose
A famous church document from the 1600s says, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” That means we were made to praise God for all the ways he is awesome, make his greatness known to other people, and to enjoy his presence and gifts. When you are reconciled to God through Jesus, you can enjoy God’s gifts in relationship with him, not isolated from him. You will realize that all things come from the hand of God.
God has a plan and purpose for the lives of those who trust in Christ. See, God’s the King of everything, and his plan from the beginning is to have us rule the earth with him (Genesis 1:28), to be his people, living with him. He has a place for you in his kingdom, and specific things for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). You’ll discover those things as you get to know him, read his Word, and let him lead you in life.
You have a purpose. It’s to know a Person—Jesus. In knowing Jesus, he will reveal to you his purposes, and his grand story of which you have become a little part. I think it’s time for that adventure to begin. Run to Jesus today, give him your life and trade it for his.
Your friend at Bibles.net