Purpose… that ever-elusive word that brings meaning to a life and makes life mean something.
It is strange, then, that something as important as purpose is so hard to find. You would think that life would die without purpose, and some destroy their own life for a feeling of lack of purpose. But for many, when purpose in life is not clearly seen, it lights a fire in their hearts to seek it out. Faith, along with patience and endurance, is the fire that is essential in the search for purpose, because it saves a life in the waiting. When the world says the life is not worth saving and the life itself may not feel worth saving, faith comes in to contradict the lies and breathe hope into life.
That is me: the life not worth saving. But that is also me: the life lived in faith.
I was a life not worth saving, according to the world’s standard and according to my own, but faith changed my perceptions, opened the doorway, and let the light in. I do not believe in Karma, luck, money, prestige, or earthly authority. I do not place my faith in earthly strength, wisdom, or abilities. The faith on which I stand is built on Jesus Christ.
Why do I believe in Jesus?
Because He saw my every imperfection, yet loved me so passionately that He gave up His life for me. And because He can, and He does, take the broken sacrifice that is my life and turn it into something beautiful.
Why did Jesus have to die?
Because, more than outward imperfections, my heart was wicked and lost. My sins had me in chains and those chains were dragging me to Hell, but God heard my cry of distress, took my chains, and bound those chains to Himself. (Psalm 107, Isaiah 53) He did not have to lay down His life for me. He could have listened to me scream and walked right on by, but He was the Good Samaritan who saw me in my blood, took compassion on me, and made sure I was brought to safety and healing. (Ezekiel 16, Luke 10) And the reason why I am found is because Jesus was not held down by the chains of my sin, but He tore them off of me and off of Himself. (1 Corinthians 15) He is risen indeed! (Luke 24)
Here is the final (and, essentially, the first) question; the question behind the words on this page and the very air I breathe; the question behind, “What is my purpose?”
Why did God make me?
Why did He make life at all, knowing that millions would deny Him and choose sin and death? It was God’s choice to make the world and to make mankind, but why did He do it?
There are probably many answers to this question, but here is one (long) answer I have found:
In the beginning, God made the first man and the first woman; they were called Adam and Eve, respectively. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, a perfect world where everything was provided for and they walked and talked with their Creator daily. They were both made in the image of the One they walked with, but, unlike their Creator, they had no knowledge of good and evil. They were bound to their Maker and followed Him, because that was all they knew, and that was more than enough.
Life in the garden was perfect, and Adam and Eve could do whatever they wished, but there was one thing they had been commanded never to do, one rule they had to follow: they were never to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If they would disobey, and eat of the fruit of that tree, then it would bring death to them both. Against the command of their Maker and Friend, Adam and Eve chose to eat of the fruit and they died spiritually in that moment. Their eyes were opened to evil and sin, and they became unclean in their own eyes. But with the knowledge of evil also came a knowledge of what is good; they had the ability to choose good or evil, to choose their Creator and Friend or to choose the snake that sold them a lie.
It was God’s will that man was made, but it was man’s choice to fall away.
What we see here on this earth – pain, death, sorrow – is only an infinitesimal moment in the context of eternity. God knew that man would fall, and He knew that sin could and would be the price of giving man freewill. The original intent for humankind (our purpose) was to serve as wise stewards of the creation God had made, to be fruitful and multiply, and to have fellowship with and abide with our Creator daily. But when man chose disobedience, the bond between God and man was broken, and our purpose was made a little harder to find and fill.
In order to heal what was broken, something else had to be broken in its place. At first, it was animals that were broken and their blood was poured out to cover the punishment for sin, but that was an imperfect and poor price to pay for the souls of God’s creation. So, God promised that a Redeemer would come; that Redeemer was His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. God sent His Son into the world, that the world, through Him, might be saved.
Does that long reply answer the question, “Why did God make me?” In a roundabout way, it does. God created all things for the benefit of humankind, but they fell away from perfect fellowship with God. Just because we (humankind) fell away does not mean that God suddenly does not take pleasure in us; it was His will and pleasure to create man, and His will and pleasure has not changed. (Revelation 4:11)
If we ask the question, “Why did God make me?” then we are forced to ask the question, “Why does God love me so much?” There is no earthly reason that God would love us, we can only trust that He does, because of what He has shown through His Holy Spirit, His Word, His Son, and His creation around us. And if we are blessed enough to have open eyes and an open heart, believing in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, then we can experience the greatest depth of love that can be experienced on this earth. So, why did God make me? Because it pleased Him to make me and it even pleased Him to crush His Son if it meant that more of His lost creation (children like me) could be saved. (Isaiah 53) And I am saved for the purpose of a restored fellowship with my Creator, as God purposed it to be in the beginning.
But let me digress.
If you would ask a random sampling of parents why they had children, you would get a lot of different answers; depending on the parent, the situation, and the time in their lives. Some parents may have said they had children by accident. Others may have had children, because they felt that would make their relationship more real or secure. Still, other parents may have had children for other selfish reasons, like not wanting to be alone or wanting someone to take care of them when they are old. But then there are those parents who are married and in a loving relationship with their spouse, and they both decide that the only thing that could make their marriage more complete would be to raise children of their own and teach them in the way they should go. Honestly, I cannot say for certain the reason why any parent would have kids (that is not to say that I am a cynic or hate kids, just read on). For one, I am completely unqualified to know. I have also never asked, and the answers are probably more multi-faceted and deep than I can think to write. But I just wanted to make the general point that those who believe in Jesus Christ are children of God. And all human beings were created, not by accident, but by design. It is God’s pleasure that we are created, and when we choose Jesus over sin, then our purpose is restored; the purpose of living in friendship and fellowship with our Creator. Yes, that is a generalized purpose, but it is the root purpose that brings all other fruitful purposes to life.
Many fathers and mothers realize their children could fall away and choose not to love those who cared for them and loved them before they were born, but that does not mean that a loving parent would take back the life they created just to be free of the pain of rejection. They live in hope that their children will choose the right way someday, but in the meantime, they pray, fast, and give of themselves, hoping that their children will see how they are loved and return home. This is what God does for every lost soul (whether they once called themselves His children, but have fallen away from their first love, or whether they have never known the name of Jesus); our Creator prays for us today, and while He was on earth, He fasted and gave of Himself to bring His children home. But it is the choice of the creation whether they will accept the gift of life given by their Creator. It is the choice of the creation whether they will turn from sin and run to the cross. It is the choice of the creation whether they will find their purpose or stay lost. By the grace of God, I am saved and I live. By the grace of God, my purpose has been restored and I have a daily reason to hope for something greater than what this world can provide. By the grace of God, you can have the same. Choose Jesus, the One Who made you, and has called you back home. In Him, you will find the purpose that you have been searching and longing for, and it will take root in your soul, springing up into everlasting life (John 4).
Published on May 3, 2011
Love, joy, peace. What are they to the world?
When I see the world, I see no reason to hope,
No strength to love, no knowledge of peace.
When I look into their eyes, I see no laughing.
When I look into their lives, I see them grasping,
Hoping, reaching; seeking a peace they cannot find.
Upon painted faces they wear a smile,
But their joyful lips hide their sighs all the while.
They fall, they stumble, and they run from shadows.
Without Christ in their heart, without purpose in life;
They try, but are found wanting;
They seek, but stand proud and striving;
Humility hard coming to their souls: dark and haunting.
But Christ, in His awesome strength,
Has power to break through the strongest chains.
They fight, they cry, but they will bow before the night.
No room to stand on middle ground;
They must choose death or the only Way out.
They can be free through humble repentance
Or they can stay bound by sins and transgressions.
No time to lose, no time to waste;
Peril comes, the angel of death or life to take them.
A choice to make; fatal or life giving.
One life to lose, in sin or Christ’s living.
Christ’s dying has made a way for them.
His resurrection has shown His power over sin.
Death could be defeated and life gained,
But the choice is up to the one that needs saved.