A young college graduate was having no luck finding a job. After years of studying, passing tests, completing courses, and finally graduating no one wanted to hire him. Week after week, month after month he filled out applications and went to job interviews, but he was never the “right” person. Eventually he became discouraged and began to wonder “what is the point to all of this”. As his confidence began to wane so did his resolve and purpose for being. “Why am I here” and “what am I doing” filled his thoughts.
Then there was a young woman who could not believe just how bad her life had been lately. Last week a distracted driver hit and totaled her car. The next day she found out her best friend went on a date with her boyfriend. Then on Friday she got a “pink slip” and would lose her job in two weeks. Could it possibly get any worse she thought, and then it did. On Monday her doctor called with the results of her tests, and the news was not good. So she falls to the ground and cries, “Why is all of this happening to me?”
“I am on top of the world” a man shouts after he gets his latest promotion. If only everything would continue to go this well, but we know life can tumble down quickly. We can go from the highest high to feeling depressed and defeated in a moment.
What I have just described is often the nature and cycle of life. We can work hard and still life disappoints us. It can feel as if everything is caving in on us at once. And even when we feel on top of the world we can fall to the deepest despair quickly.
Our efforts and emotions can swing like a pendulum. When life is going well we feel great, but when life goes in the other direction we feel terrible. Now some of this mood swing is natural because we feel better when life is going as we want. When it is not, then it is easy to sulk and to think everyone and everything is against us.
I believe part of the problem is that we forget or do not know the purpose for our being. We are not here for this world and life to give us all we want. How can a world with so much turmoil ever give us lasting calm? How can a human body with so much suffering ever give us lasting happiness and peace of mind? They cannot supply what we are looking for. All that is in the world or of the world is passing away. (1 John 2:15-17)
However, if we know, believe, and chase our true purpose for living then our time here will be good. That is not to say life will never disappoint us or throw obstacles in our way, because it will. Yet by knowing why we are here we can handle these times. And even more than just handle these times, we can excel by them and through them. In fact, they even help us achieve our purpose for being here. (2 Cor. 4:16-18)
Consider the Lord’s life; from our view He had every right to feel disappointed. Christ is God, He left His place in Heaven to live among men, and He did this to save us. (Matt. 1:21-23) But His popularity ebbed and flowed with the people He came to save. (John 6:2&66) The Jewish religious leaders rejected Him and caused His death. (Matt. 26:59-68) Pilate crucified Him even though He knew Jesus was innocent. (Matt. 27:24) The Lord’s closest friends deserted Him in His darkest moment. (Matt. 26:56) Is there anyone who has ever had more right to feel dejected and wronged than Jesus?
It is also clear that His difficulties moved and affected Jesus. He expressed disappointed with the Jews because they rejected Him. (Matt. 23:37) Jesus got on to Peter, James, and John because they went to sleep while He was praying in the garden. (Matt. 26:37-45) The Lord was in agony because He knew what was coming and so Luke says, “He prayed more earnestly”. (Luke 22:44) Three times He prayed and three times His friends slept. Christ prayed so earnestly that Luke says, “His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Looking at how the Bible describes the Lord’s ministry, I think it is safe to say He lived with purpose. Jesus knew exactly why He was here and He understood the correlation between His actions and purpose. He also knew this world and His life in it gave Him a means to an end for this purpose.
Notice what Christ says about His reason for being here. He came to save people from their sins. (Matt. 18:11) Jesus came to do the will of the Father who sent Him. (John 5:33) The Lord came to die on the cross to save us. (John 12:27) So knowing all of this kept Him focused, positive, and productive in His work.
Is our purpose for being here any different from the Lord’s? It all comes down to doing God’s Will and obeying His commands. (1 John 5:3) So the world offers me a place to serve Him and that is the reason I am here. Solomon sums it up this way, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)