The third of the nine words in this “Words” Blog Series is…
Purpose is something we all try to figure out, want to know, and seek to find at some point in our lives…..generally more than once in our lifetime. The purpose for our life, the purpose for tragedy, the purpose for a particular season we are walking through, etc. We want to know the purpose.
For a long time, I was very sure of my purpose. I was a husband, father, and Youth Pastor. Those definitions of who I was all provided me with purpose.
But when the role of being a husband was taken, when how I was able to be a father changed, and when I lost the role of being a Youth Pastor, I was suddenly void of definitions in my life…I was void of purpose.
At least that is how I felt.
I began to ask what my purpose was. And even more than that, I began to ask what the purpose of all that God was allowing me to walk through was. Quite angrily and loudly at times.
Early on, as I was still working to simply catch my breath and find some solid footing in my life, I came across a verse while reading my Bible that quite honestly became one of the key verses in my life. Especially over the past 3 years.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. (Psalm 138:8)
That verse became so meaningful and important to me that I even had it tattoo’d on my arm. That way it was constantly in front of me.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me“. This means that God has a purpose for me. I may not know it, or how he is bringing it about, but I can know that he has one for me. And the sentence also says “will”…he will fulfill his purpose for me. Not might, not depending on how I act or what I do…he will. So regardless of what I’m going through in my life, God has a purpose and he will fulfill it. The brokenness in my life didn’t change that.
“Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever“. When my world was falling apart and I experienced rejection in a major way, hearing and knowing that God’s love endured forever was so very encouraging!
“Do not forsake the work of your hands“. Because God has a purpose for me, and because he continues to love me no matter what, I can say “ok Lord, continue to do what you are doing in my life…continue to do your work, because I can trust that you are working out your purpose for me even in the midst of this trial.”
There will be times in my life when I question what my purpose is, or what the purpose of what I’m going through is…and there will be times when I don’t. In either case, I can know with confidence that God knows and has a purpose, for me as well as for what I’m going through.
At the end of the book of Job, after losing everything and then having a pretty candid conversations with God, he says this…
I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)
As I’ve walked down this very difficult path the past 3 years, I have learned that God has a purpose, and I simply need to trust him.
I have also learned that I am not defined by specific roles in my life. As I said earlier, the definitions I had of being a husband, father, and Youth Pastor were what gave me purpose. That was the wrong focus.
Yes, each of those roles in my life provided me with purpose because each of them had certain expectations and actions that went with them. The Bible talks specifically about what it means to be a husband, a father, and a leader in the church. So there is purpose that goes along with those roles.
Those roles do not define me. God does. I am a child of God. He created me, he has a purpose for me, and he continues to love me and bring about his purpose for me regardless of what specific roles I do or do not have in my life.
So whether I’m married or single, God’s purpose for me remains. Whether I’m a Youth Pastor or not, God’s purpose remains. Whatever season of life I’m in, God has a purpose for me, and that purpose remains.
He will fulfill his purpose for me.