Finding Your Purpose
Though ones' focus and purpose can and do often change throughout a lifetime, the fact remains that God has a series of purposes and plans for each of us. But it is important for us to want to have a purpose. Understandably, many people find it especially hard to recognize their purpose in life when they are hit hard by adversity. But remember this: Purpose often quietly comes to the forefront DURING times of great challenge. It is up to us to recognize it and pursue it.
Have you ever wondered if your life has purpose and what your purpose is in this life? Sometimes when we are in a 'good place' in our lives, we become complacent and at times a little too comfortable. We may not see the need for having a purpose at that point as we go about our daily lives.
No need to wonder if you have purpose, for God already has a purpose for each and every one of us-No one is exempt! In talking about purpose, it naturally brings me to one of my very favorite Holy Scriptures, Jeremiah 29:11-14, as written in the New American Bible, the NAB:
Thus says the Lord:
"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.
When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, and I will change your lot." Jeremiah 29:11-14 New American Bible [NAB]
In today's awe-inspiring Scripture, there are five (5) awe-inspiring God-given promises-Some of God's most amazing life-giving promises ever. For those who embrace God's promises as truth, these promises lift us above any circumstance that we may encounter including unemployment, poverty, financial strain, infirmity, mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder, disability, homelessness...
In this Bible passage, when we consider that the Lord himself wants to be fully involved in your life and mine, these God-promises can be truly life giving and life-changing. It's true! God wants to be the focus and center of our lives! So let's take a closer look at the 5 promises that God has generously included in this Bible passage: 1) God has a plan for you, plans for your welfare, not for woe. 2) God's plan for you WILL provide you with a future of hope. 3) God will listen to you. 4) When you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him. 5) He will change your lot.
This powerful Scripture is about how God cares for us, and communicates with us in a way we can understand. In essence, God has our best interest at heart, and wants to be intimately involved in every aspect of our lives. But we have to invite Him in and then step out of the way so He can take the wheel from our hands, and thereby take control of our life. For these Bible promises enable us to grow in faith despite adversity, and sometimes because of it!
There are 3 basic phases to realizing your God-given purpose in life. They include wanting a purpose, searching for your purpose and finding and embracing your purpose.
It's also easy to fall into the temptation of letting circumstances, distractions and fear take over or derail ones' sense of purpose when times get tough. These can be tremendous factors in diverting us from our God-given purpose. As I'm sure many of you know, once fear gets a stronghold, it can make any and every situation even tougher, distract us from our spiritual journey, and cause our mental and physical health to plummet.
In actuality, faith and fear cannot coexist. In tough times, we need to make a choice and decide between faith and fear while trying to continue to focus on our God-given purpose. The pressing question is this: Do we choose fear and slip away from our faith and purpose, or do we choose faith and hold on to our hope in Jesus Christ, our Great Healer, Comforter, Protector, and Almighty Savior to help us stay the course?
Sure, at times, your situation may seem out of control from your own perspective, but it is never too much for God when you place your life in his loving hands. For by His grace, He makes all things new! Though your purpose at any given time may not seem readily apparent to you, especially in confusing, turbulent or trying times, in the eyes of God, your purpose remains well-established. I'm sure you agree, in this promise-rich Scripture, He has given us much to think about and hold on to.
During difficult times, however, we may go into survival mode and our sense of purpose may seem to waiver or go by the wayside. But in the eyes of God, our purpose does not necessarily need to change or end at that point. In fact, you may actually find your purpose through experiencing and enduring tough times. Distractions and challenges come and go in life, but whether you recognize it or not, the fact is that your God-given purpose is enduring, as it is a gift from God.
So now that you know you have purpose, you may be wondering just what your Christian purpose is. Well, let's consider another blessed Scripture, this time from the New Testament in the Book of Acts 26:16-18. This is what God told Saul, before he became St Paul while he was actively persecuting Christians with great cruelty:
"Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of Me." NIV
Formerly a ruthless tax collector, God told Paul what his new purpose was, and in a moment, his life changed forever. And he accepted and embraced his God-given purpose and pursed it with great vigor. Like Paul, we also have to be willing to accept our God-given purpose to be servants and witnesses to what we have seen of God in our lives. It is a choice each of us makes for him or herself. Though God made Paul's purpose known to him by talking directly to him, most of us can find ours through reaching out to God in prayer, helping others, and reading the Holy Bible, the Word of God, daily.
Could it be that our purpose as Christians, like Paul, is to be servants and first-hand witnesses to what we have seen and will see of Jesus in our daily lives? If that is the case, perhaps our purpose is to serve God by example, helping others, and sharing the love of Jesus with others. This is in keeping with Jesus' mandate to "Love God and one another."
It is often said that every Christian has a ministry, and I believe that to be true. But that ministry does not necessarily need to be formal ministry or one that is far reaching. Rather, for many, there is a simplicity in ministry that allows us to minister to and serve those right around us, people we encounter each day. One-on-one, through example and reaching out in kindness to each other, we are able to accomplish our purpose in Jesus Christ.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we all have blessings, spiritual gifts, and the fruit of the Spirit from God himself. Your purpose in ministry could be as simple as becoming an encourager. Encouraging others is a powerful way to effectively help validate and lift a hurting souls in your midst. Prayer changes things. A gentle smile, a pat on the back for someone in need of a boost, a thoughtful gesture. Donating to those in need, and volunteering. These are all but a few ways to serve God and witness to God's love in our daily lives-- to live out our purpose as Christians.
Yes, everyone has purpose and that purpose is found in serving God, through others, while giving witness to the abundant blessings He showers upon each of us. What better witness to God could there be than to live a godly life serving and witnessing to others through example, compassion and kindness?
Today, after you leave here, please take a few minutes to ask yourself: What is my life purpose? How do I live out my Christian faith as a loving servant and witness to God? By so doing you will likely find your God-given purpose in this life, and be better prepared to pursue your spiritual journey.
For in the eyes of God, we all have purpose-No one is exempt!
Copyright 2016 Distributed by News Consortium
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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