- Religion and Philosophy
Does my life have a purpose?
Pondering Life's Questions
Life's Many Questions
Does my life have a purpose? Am I meaningful or is life meaningless? Is there a reason I am here? All of these questions reveal longing for a sense of certainty and purpose; furthermore, all people struggle with these questions at some point in their lives. This desire for certainty and purpose presents itself in several other questions that we ask everyday : How do I know what I should study in college, Is this really the right career for me, where should I live, where should I go for vacation, or am I going to have a job next month?
As a recent high school graduate, I have wrestled with many questions about my future which has led to struggles with doubt. I’m sure that many of you have had this experience. Instead of taking my questions to another person, I decided to take them to God, and the following hub is devoted to declaring what God wants for your life, for my life, and for the life each person across the globe!
God's Purpose for All
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.”
This powerful verse is a clarion call of encouragement to all those who trust in God. In answer to all the questions of purpose, uncertainty, and doubt, God lovingly proclaims to all that we have a purpose, and that purpose is a prosperous and glorious one sustained and directed by God himself if we allow him. God has great things in store for those who trust him, and desires to help you overcome troubles and questions in your life. To show the power of this verse and illustrate the plan that God has for his children, we can look to the well-known Biblical story of David and Goliath.
The story of David and Goliath opens with a war between the Israelites and Philistines. Dust fills the air as the two armies march out to meet each other, and when they have aligned on opposite sides of the battlefield a monster of a man steps forth from the ranks of the Philistines. The man’s name is Goliath¼if he can be called a man, for he is a giant. He towers over nine feet tall, and is the most terrifying sight that any of the men of Israel had ever seen. Goliath began yelling curses and insults at the people of Israel...he challenged their faith, blasphemed God, and boasted of his own invincibility. In the midst of his vile intimidation, Goliath proclaimed a challenge to the entire host of Israel: if any soldier from Israel could defeat Goliath then the Philistines would surrender, but if Goliath defeated the Israelite champion then the Israelites would become the slaves of the Philistines. After this challenge is declared, the battlefield resounds with the sound of clanging metal as the soldiers of Israel tremble with fear.
Goliath continued to ridicule the armies of Israel and blaspheme God for forty days. Eventually, Saul, the King of Israel, became desperate and offered the man who could defeat Goliath a reward of gold and the hand of his own daughter. Even with this incentive, not one soldier in all Israel put their faith in God and stepped forth to meet Goliath in battle...until one young boy arrived at the battlefield.
One day a man named Jesse sent his son David to the battlefield in order to deliver food to his sons and some of the officers. When David arrived at the battlefield he was pumped to see the action. He was so excited that he managed to muscle himself to the front where he could see and hear Goliath. When David heard how Goliath was insulting God, he became indignant at the fact that no one had had enough faith to challenge this wicked pagan. David then rose up and announced that he would challenge Goliath and would have victory by the power of God. David stated aloud that he could not be defeated as long as God was on his side.
David and Goliath
With everyone doubting him, including the king, David stepped out to meet Goliath armed with only a sling and a few stones from a nearby creek. Fear could not be seen in David’s face as he approached the giant; only faith defined his disposition. Goliath, amused by the young boy’s perceived ignorance, began teasing and taunting David. Goliath then moved in to kill David, but instead was killed with a small stone from David’s sling. David faced his giant and conquered it, David put his faith in God and was strengthened, and because David trusted God he was transformed into a great King of Israel.
Rose Window in Notre Dame Cathedral
What Does this Story Mean for Us?
Now I want all of you who are reading to picture yourself in David’s shoes and that is the life that God desires for you! He desires to see you overcome the giants in your life and he longs for you to live gloriously! Jesus Christ came to this earth, died on a cross, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father so that you and I could “LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL John 10:10.” This is an amazing realization, but we must first realize what the giants are in our life that we need God to save us from. Do you feel trapped by a disease, unexpected death, a mistake, a sin, a quickly made bad decision, quilt, or greed. Do you struggle with lust? Is there something that has caused you to doubt your faith? Have you lost a loved one unexpectedly? What is keeping you from living your life to the full? What is keeping you from living a life of peace, joy, love, and grace? Whatever that thing is, God desires to give you the strength to overcome it and liberate you from it forever! God desires to forgive you, liberate your soul, and heal your heart, but like David you must first put your faith in Him and what he has done for you through His Son Jesus Christ. This can be difficult in a society that teaches us to not trust anything that cannot be scientifically proven and that stresses personal independence over dependence on God. But as the English poet John Keats once said, “Nothing is real until it is experienced.” Putting your faith in Christ is similar to looking at a stained-glass window on a cathedral. As long as you are standing outside looking in, you will never understand why someone put something that looks useless and ugly on the side of the building, but the moment you walk inside that cathedral or church you are overwhelmed by the beauty, colors, and light that streams through that same stained-glass window. You would never have understood the window if you had remained outside. Likewise, you will never fully understand God unless you have the faith to step over the threshold and reach for His hand...He is already reaching for you. You may be thinking that this doesn’t make rational sense or how can I believe in something I cannot prove? Let me just say that the deepest truths in life are usually irrational. Reason cannot prove that beauty exists, yet beauty is true. Nothing can fully explain love, yet we all know love and feel. And science cannot prove the light exists, yet by light we see and understand all things. Put your faith in God, for he desires to give you victory as he gave David victory.
The two things that I have seen hinder people from putting their lives in God’s hands are fear and pride. Let us consider King Saul for a moment. If anyone should have marched out to meet Goliath in battle, it should have been King Saul, yet he was paralyzed by his fear and refused to put his faith in God. Because he succumbed to his fear, Saul would eventually become an evil tyrant driven by jealousy. He would lose his faith in God, lose his reputation, lose his kingdom, and ultimately he lost his life on his own sword. Saul’s fear restrained him from becoming the glorious king he could have been. Do not let your fear keep you from committing your life to God.
Pride causes people to believe that they do not need help from God or anybody else to overcome their problems and mistakes. This is a falsehood that has caused many people to live far more difficult lives than they could have. Let me use a humorous example from my own life. A couple years ago I was surprised on Christmas morning to discover a pool table in my basement! My parents had purchased the table as a combined gift for my brother and I, and since that day we have made many fun memories playing pool. The only thing I had to do to make the pool table fully operational was move the old fuze ball table into the garage. To accomplish this seemingly simple task, I first had to remove all four legs from the table before it would fit through the narrow door that led out to the garage. One thing you must know about me: I am not mechanically inclined! The next morning I woke up early and resolved to move the fuze ball table into the garage before my brother woke. Believing that I had enough intelligence to remove the legs, I gathered the proper tools and set to work. The first hitch in my task occurred just after removing the first leg from the table. This missing leg caused the table to become unbalanced. I solved this crisis by taking apart one of the new pool sticks and placing half of it where the fuze ball table had been. This pattern continued with the next to legs, and I maintained a shaky balance of table equilibrium with more pool sticks. When I arrived at the fourth and final leg of the table, I realized that it would be entirely unsafe to crawl under the table while it was already wobbly on the pool sticks. After contemplating how to remove the leg from the table, I was forced to call for my little brother to come down stairs and support the table while I crawled underneath it. With sleep in his eyes, he came downstairs and looked at the fuze ball table, then he looked at me, and then he looked a the pool table again. With a sigh he mumbled, “Why didn’t you just flip the table over and remove the legs that way?” Embarrassed by my stupidity, I tried to come up with a good excuse, but failed to think of one. This funny anecdote shows an experience from my life in which my pride made life more difficult than it should have been. I urge you not to let your pride keep you from living the incredible life that God has in store for you if you will only trust him.
Now the story of David and Goliath also comes with some warnings for those who pursue God’s will in their life. When you as an individual begin following God there are three things that you must look out for that also confronted David: the voice of jealousy, the voice of doubt, and the deception of the world.
When David first arrived at the battlefield and began proclaiming that he trusted God to overcome Goliath, his brother Eliab began stinging David with insults. Eliab was jealous of David’s bravery and faith, and when he saw David radiating with glory and courage, Eliab tried to knock him down. Likewise, in our own lives, when we begin to live the wholesome life that God want to give us, people will be jealous of you and will attempt to tear you down. Know that this is a tactic of our Enemy who is constantly trying to dethrone God’s children from their honored position.
Moreover, when David announced that he would challenge Goliath, King Saul spoke as the voice of doubt. Saul doubted David’s faith, ability, and determination, but in answer to Saul’s doubt David presented his faith. David refused to listen to those around him who were stating all the reasons why he couldn’t or wouldn’t succeed; instead, David remained focused on God and trusted God with all his heart. In a similar way, all Christians, especially those who are new to the faith, will be assaulted by those who will attempt to use reason, experiences, and examples to show why God cannot be trusted, that God is a police officer, or that God doesn’t even exist. In this trying times, remember to act as David did. Focus your eyes on God, and trust his promises to protect and rescue you. As Jesus said, “I am with you always even unto the end of the age.” And remember the wise words of Paul, “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength! (Philippians 4:13).”
Another weapon that the Enemy used in an attempt to cause David to fall was the deception of the world. David was offered the armor and weapons of the armies of Israel, but he refused to use any of it because he knew it was truly useless. David realized that the only way he could overcome Goliath was by God’s grace and power. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, everywhere we turn someone or something is trying to offer us something, other than the Gospel, as the rock upon which we should build our lives…I have seen so many of my friends fall prey to trusting in relationships, their intellect, money, drugs, and other things; rather, that put their faith in Christ…these friends have always eventually ended up feeling empty or desolate…they feel like their world is essentially a mess with little purpose. The world can never set us free from our past or sins…neither can it heal our hearts and help us cope with troubles and hardships, the world cannot empower us to overcome our giants, but the all-powerful, loving, God Almighty can do all those things.
A Mended HEart
God has a Purpose for You!!
God’s message to each of us is a message of love through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus sacrificed all in order that we might have life! God longs to reach down into the depths of our hearts…he desires to dig around in the mess of our lives and mold us into something beautiful! God has a purpose for your life and my life, we just have to have faith in the Gospel and in God’s faithful love. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”