When you awaken in the morning, you may already know why you should get
up. Then again, you may not know why. The warmth of your blankets is
comfortable. Sleep is pleasant. Do you have a purpose today that would
draw you out of bed, get you dressed, breakfasted, and ready for action?
Not everyone is the same.
Some days you may wonder what is the point of living, of caring, of
finishing your work. It seems that at a certain age between 13 and 20,
we begin to ask this question, sometimes with a bitter or sarcastic
spirit: “What is my purpose?”
If you have asked this question, it may be some comfort to know that you
are not the first. The holy Bible was written by the hands of many men,
but all of those writings were intended by God to teach us, even now.
One of the writers was a powerful King, who had many flaws of his own.
You may know Solomon as the king who settled a dispute between two women
over a baby. Solomon ordered the baby cut in half for them, and the
woman who was not its mother was willing to let this happen.
King Solomon also applied his wisdom to our question of purpose. The
result is the Bible’s book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon considered all the
things in the world that are precious in the sight of human beings:
property, family, friends, the natural world, society, amusements, work,
and so forth. His conclusion: all of it is mere vanity in the end,
filled with no enduring value, like a puff of wind. Though we may enjoy
some things for a while, they will soon fade away, and even the memory
will be forgotten.
We want to have some meaningful purpose in our lives. Yet Solomon wrote
that the best we can do is to find pleasure in our work, knowing that it
will not endure beyond the grave. Maybe that’s enough to get you up and
going each day, and maybe it isn’t.
What we really need is to know that our lives can have value beyond the
pleasure of the moment. Can they? Yes, they can. While our own
efforts and pleasures always lead to nothing in the end, God’s works
always endure, despite appearances. For example, the Christian Church
has survived thousands of years, outlasting mighty empires, though most
of the time it seemed on the brink of collapse. It will outlast this
world. So if we want meaningful purpose and value, we will find it in
the purpose and will of God.
The Bible’s chief message is twofold. First, it shows us human beings
that we have been born into a great rebellion against God. It’s not
hard to see when we honestly consider our own hearts. Do we always
submit to the will of God, or do we sometimes prefer our own ways? I
find that my own heart *always* prefers its own ways, resulting in many
other inward and outward sins. Already in Genesis 6:5, God perceived this
condition in mankind.
The other part of the Bible’s chief message is the main point of the
whole Bible. God has reconciled rebellious mankind with Himself through
the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. His demanding justice was
met, and all our guilt was punished. We are restored to Him, and will
live eternally. You and I have been freed from the power of death, and
are invited to participate in God’s work even here on earth. His work
is meaningful, and His purpose is to bring the blessings of Christ to
our neighbors on earth.
God calls us to many vocations: in the family, in society outside the
home, at our churches, and elsewhere. Those callings — as long as
they are godly callings and don’t contradict His Word — *are* the
purpose of our lives here on earth, and our life in heaven is the
You can see how rich are the gifts that come from the cross of Jesus
Christ. Because of Him, we have a reason to get up each day. Because
of Him, we can lie down each night, content that we have done something
meaningful. Thanks be to God.
The Word of God Endures Forever. VDMA