(December 1, 2018)
The image says, "The purpose of our lives is to be happy." Is it really?
What if our purpose in life is not what you think it is? Not what the world teaches us it should be?
What if our purpose in life here on earth isn't to become rich or famous or to "live life abundantly"?
I'm not saying we CAN'T or SHOULDN'T become rich or famous or live life abundantly. I'm saying we need to stop lumping everyone into one extreme or another. We have a personal, relational God, and His purpose for each of us varies as much as His designs for snowflakes, tears, and sand. He's not a cookie cutter God, molding and shaping us into a one-size-fits-all Christian.
In the Gospels, Mark shares the story about the widow's mite in chapter 12.
41 And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.
42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.
43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;
44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” (NASB)
This wasn't one of His parables. Jesus had been sharing parables earlier in the day, but then sat down, observing the people around Him. Calling the disciples over, He pointed out the widow and used her as an example to teach them.
Scripture doesn't say that Jesus relieved the widow of her poverty. The Bible doesn't say that God blessed her abundantly for her faithfulness. Jesus did not tell the disciples to go take care of the woman's needs to get her back on her feet.
But the widow, even in her lack, served His purpose as an example to teach others.
What if our own lack (financial, spiritual, mental, physical, emotional) is to serve a purpose outside of yourself? What if our own lack is to teach others? What if our own lack is our very purpose?
We all want to prosper. We all want to be healthy. We all want to be successful.
But do we want God's will for our lives more than we want anything else? What if that means giving up those things? Is that enough for us?
Jesus Himself is another example of this. He came to earth as a baby. He wasn't wealthy. He wasn't a property owner. He stated that He didn't even have a place to lay His head. (Luke 9:58 and Matthew 8:20). He had nothing. He gave up everything. He gave His life. He suffered. To accomplish God's purpose for His life.
None of the disciples had it easy either. Nor did Mother Teresa, Corrie ten Boom, and countless others who have suffered here on earth. People who love the Lord, who lead "right lives."
What if God's purpose for our lives is to suffer? Are you willing?
If God's purpose for someone is to suffer, how do you respond to them? How do you interact with them?
What do you do about their suffering?