Purpose and Hope

 Have you ever wondered what your purpose in life is? Do you feel called to a higher purpose but just seem to be weighted down with the day to day mundane? Or, maybe you have a clear vision for what you want out of life. You have a life plan, but the desires of your heart seem so far out of reach. No matter how hard you strive to pursue your dreams, you aren’t getting any traction.
          God called each of us to our own journey. We all have our own race to run. 1 Corinthians 9:24 says: “ Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”
        God not only called you to your destiny, but He gave you the talents and gifts to fulfill that destiny. We are reminded in 2 Timothy 1:6: “ Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” Paul continues in verses 8-9: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began…”
        God did not call us according to our works, but to His purpose. Notice it says His purpose. I believe God gives us dreams and desires that line up with His will for us, but let’s remember it is His purpose. He may have a different view of how we are to fulfill that dream and vision. We live our lives for Him. We are here to serve and do His work. That is everyone’s purpose.
        Sometimes our circumstances can cloud our view of what our purpose is. When we look at current circumstances, it can seem so hard to see how something good can stem from something so seemingly terrible.  I challenge you to think of a time in your life when you thought your circumstances seemed impossible. Maybe it felt like God wasn’t hearing your prayers while you were in the midst of your trial. Did you feel lost and alone? Maybe you felt as if you were treated unjustly, even though you had done nothing wrong.
        I am reminded of a time where I was wrongfully accused at my job. Someone claimed I had manipulated a sales goal. I was fearful. I thought I was going to lose my job over another person’s lies. I gave it to God. God was in control of my life, and I was going to have faith that He alone had control of my destiny.
        I remembered from a Joyce Meyer message that helping someone else was the best way to get your mind off of your own circumstances. I decided to give it a try. I called my dear friend who has a precious child with medical needs. I told her that I wanted to start a campaign to help her and her family with their medical bills. I decided something positive was going to come out of a negative situation. Do you know what happened? By taking the focus off of myself and putting it on someone else, I was able to steer my energy away from something I could not control to something that could positively impact another’s life. My fears and worry didn’t disappear overnight, but they gradually faded as my focus turned to the good of someone else. That simple act gave me a whole new perspective and helped me get through that specific trial.
        Genesis 50 tells the story of Joseph confronting his brothers after selling him into slavery. Verse 20 says “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
        After looking into it, management concluded I had not manipulated my sales goal. By then, I already had another job offer. Despite my current employer offering me a $5,000 raise to stay, I accepted the new job. I knew the time had come to move on in my journey. Not only did I receive a better job, but the campaign that was started for my friend’s son has raised over $2,000 for her family. That is what our God can do! To Him be the glory!
        When you thought about that time in your past when you felt wronged, did God work it out for your good? In hindsight, do you see the beauty that became of that trial? Did you become a stronger person for it?
        Sometimes we have to go through the valley to get to the mountaintop. If there were no valleys, we couldn’t truly appreciate the full beauty of the mountaintop. That does not mean that we have to live in fear or worry while we are in the valleys. We can still walk in the “peace which surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7).
        Let’s think back to the passage in 2 Timothy. Paul was writing in a jail cell. He shared space with human waste. Maybe his circumstances will shed a little more perspective on some of our own trials. But you know what he did? He wrote. He wrote letters to encourage others. He wrote God inspired scripture that we can still apply to our lives all these years later. He turned his focus off of himself.
        Each and every one of us has a purpose, and God called every one of us to serve others. Mark 10:45 says:“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
        If we are to be Christ like, how much more should we be doing to help other people? What if we turned our focus from our own life, our own problems, our own insecurities and began to put that energy in positively affecting other people’s lives? I believe we would become happier individuals. Not only would it positively affect others, but we just might help ourselves in the process.
        God wants to bring you out of this valley you are in. He wishes no suffering on anyone. We brought the suffering and pain into the world when we sinned. We have a sin nature. However, God is grace. He is merciful. He will bring us through every time. We can’t give up. We can’t stop pursuing our purpose. We will never be truly happy unless we walk with Him and become others centered.
        I’ll leave you with this song called “I have this Hope” by Tenth Avenue North. I heard it on the radio as I was preparing this blog. Is God not good? The lyrics say:
“As I walk this great unknown, questions come and questions go. Was there purpose for the pain? Did I cry these tears in vain? I don’t want to live in fear. I want to trust that you are near, trust your grace can be seen in both triumph and tragedy…But sometimes my faith feels thin, like the night will never end. Will you catch every tear, or will you just leave me here? I have this hope in the depth of my soul. In the flood or the fire you’re with me, and You won’t let go. So whatever happens, I will not be afraid, cause you are closer than this breath than I take…You calm the storm when I hear you call my name. I still believe that one day I’ll see Your face.”
Take comfort in knowing it’s your scars that make you the person you are. Life is imperfect, but it’s beautiful. So are you. You are so beautiful my friend.
OX- Crystal

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