Got Purpose?

Have you ever wondered what your purpose is?  Sure you have.  We all have at one time or another.  Maybe you have even wondered if you had a purpose at all.  I have wondered that.  Not about you…but I sure have about me.

I guess it’s normal to think about what our purpose is.  I personally think we’re all wired that way.  We all want to know why we are here.  It can’t be just by accident can it?

This past weekend I had the difficult opportunity to go back to my hometown and preach the funeral of a friend from high school. Tommie was a great friend to many people and he died way too soon. Here’s the reason that I share this story.

While I was driving around my hometown, a place that I haven’t lived in over 26 years, I was reminiscing of the days when I was growing up. I drove around town trying to remind myself of some memories of my friend that I could share at the funeral. But mostly what I remembered was that my time growing up was filled with doubt and wondering what my true purpose was. I didn’t know enough, or care enough, to realize it then, but that’s what it was.

While my childhood was mostly filled with good memories, there were also moments of difficulty. Difficulty has a way of adding to our doubt and struggles with discovering our purpose.

When I go through difficulty, I often turn to scripture for comfort. One particular passage that I lean on is found in 1 Peter.

1 Peter 1:13-16, “13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

 

I love this passage of scripture.  Let me give you some behind the scene info…

Peter is writing to a group of believers that are apparently struggling with their faith.  It seems they have lost sight of God’s grace and mercy.  If you read through the entire book, you will find that the topic of suffering comes up often.  Obviously, the people were suffering for their faith and had lost focus of their Savior.  That’s funny.  We do the very same thing.  At least I do.

When I go through struggles, I tend to take my eyes off of Christ.  I get so consumed with my present circumstance or situation that I can no longer see God clearly.  It’s not that He has moved.  It’s simply that I have lost my focus and have begun to look at other things.

The first real difficult situation that I remember having to go through is when my parents divorced.  I was 18 years old and a senior in high school.  That’s supposed to be the best year of your life.  At least that’s what I had been told.  It sure didn’t work out that way for me.  I felt so discouraged.  It had a negative effect on every part of my life.  My life was turned upside down.  I began to sink deep into depression.  This led to irrational thinking.  I not only lost my sense of purpose, I wondered if I ever had a purpose at all.

Maybe you’ve been there.  Maybe something tragic has happened to you or your family that has caused you to travel down the same road.  Has it caused you to lose focus?  If so I have good news.  I believe God does have a purpose for you.  Scripture affirms this…

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)

You were created by God and for a specific purpose.  What that purpose is specifically we will get to in a later session.  But before we go any farther, you must know that you are not an accident.  You didn’t just happen.  You may have arrived in this world unexpected to your parents or family but not to God.  God knew you were coming.  He even planned it.

Isaiah 44:2, “Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you…”

So maybe the difficult situation you are in, or have been in, is there for a purpose too.  I’m not saying God caused it.  But maybe He is using it to “REVEAL” Himself to you.  Pastor Mark Batterson writes in his book Soul Print, “When was the last time you praised God for your perceived disadvantages or thanked God for the challenges in your life? (pg20)

Can you imagine?  Praising God for something that seems like a disadvantage just doesn’t sound right does it?  But if God had planned us from the very beginning, and if He has a plan for us, then He must have a plan for our situations too.  Nothing catches God by surprise.  That statement is both comforting and puzzling.  It’s comforting because it helps us to see that God is really in control and we are not.  It’s comforting to know that He is bigger than all of our problems.  It’s puzzling because many things that happen in life are painful.  How can a loving God, that has a plan and a purpose for us, allow painful situations to take place for us?  It’s all a part of His plan to “REVEAL” Himself to us.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Did you see that?  “All things work together for good.”  Good things and bad things.  Situations we like and those we don’t like.  They are all part of the plan.  God is showing us that we are not an accident.  No matter what our situation is.  No matter what the world tries to teach us.  God’s plan all along has been for you to be here.  Right here…right now.

So when you go through difficulty, and you will go through it, remember, it may be part of God’s plan. His plan is to reveal more of Himself to you and to prepare you for the purpose He has planned for you.

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1 Comment »

  1. Karen Hobson Said:

    Very eye opening, Deron. Not many of us think about it being God’s plan when bad things happen…I dont. He does want the very best for us so it seems to be in direct contradiction. Still looking for my purposes…guess you’re never too old! Lol


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