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Finding Purpose

Discussion in 'Spiritual Formation & Disciplines' started by ARHCC, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. ARHCC

    ARHCC New Member

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    Do you ever feel like all there is to life is to work, pay bills, and die? How do you find purpose when you have no time, but to work come home and sleep. Have no idea what the purpose in life is. I feel so envious of other people when I see how fulfilling their lives are and all the talents they have and the amazing things they do for God and other people. I shouldn't feel jealous, but I do. I feel guilty for feeling jealous. I'm terrible person for being jealous when I should be happy. How do you find your purpose or maybe this is all there is?
     
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  2. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Prayer is the best place to start. God made you, so He can tell/show you what your purpose is.
     
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  3. My King and Lord

    My King and Lord Member

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    Honestly I don't know what to say since I feel the same. Life is just a boring cycle. I really wish I was born a historical king, conqueror, explorer, or saint/martyr in the past. Maybe then I'll have a true purpose in this world. But no. I'll probably die as a no one, being forgotten for the rest of history forever a just "someone else." It's a hard to accept that fact, but I know I will end up like that. I won't ever be a famous martyr who gave up everything or someone who explored what was never seen or was a great ruler of his nation or whatever.
     
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  4. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try to look at it from God's point of view. Our values are pretty much worthless when it comes to what you describe. All the "amazing things they do for God and other people" are also, according to Paul, "filthy rags".

    Do you feel guilty for sin, for not measuring up to God's expectations, for not even living up to your own conscience, or is it true that the guilt concerning this jealousy is all that concerns you?

    "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Quit looking around and pursue Christ. God is your judge --even you are not.
     
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  5. Messerve

    Messerve Well-Known Member

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    For a long time, I thought my purpose in life was finding my career and making a name for myself in order to make everyone I knew proud of me.

    Well, I think it's safe to say that at this point I don't really have a specific career. A degree, yes. A career, no. And that was a huge burden on me. I felt like I let down everyone, especially my parents who paid for my college years. And I had all these people at church excited about my future and expecting me to move to a foreign country eventually. But I'm still here.

    I struggled with that a lot. Was I being a bad steward of what God had given me? Was I being trapped by fear? Was I disobedient to the Holy Spirit's leading?

    At the end of the day, I'm not 100% confident, more like 98%.... But I think I can safely say no to all of the above.

    During an internship in college I spent time in the South Pacific on a remote island in a little village, and that caused me to completely rethink what it means to have purpose in life. For someone who will most likely live his or her whole life on one island where there is no college, few business opportunities and half the people are relatives, where would such a person find purpose?

    There were many people on that island who felt purpose-less and wandered around wasting time for a large part of the day. Getting into trouble, accusing others of wrongdoings, sneaking off to the "bush" to engage in rebellious behavior... None of them seemed very happy and you could tell they felt trapped.

    But there were others who clearly had purpose. Those who seemed most at peace about living there were, not surprisingly, the Christians. Because for them, life wasn't all about having the most stuff or being the most talented, or having everything on the bucket list completed, or being able to get on a boat and sail away. They had the mindset that, despite the island being confining, limiting and sometimes lonely, that wasn't their ultimate home anyway. One couple would walk around the island at night praying for their neighbors and asking God for revival. Another man wrote new hymns in the native language for the local church. When foreigners (like myself) visited, they would gladly host us and even let us stay the night in a guest room. We had many discussions about the Bible and theology at mealtime, and at one house one man basically preached an entire Gospel-focused sermon to me!

    So, that stuck with me. And when I saw the door to my own post-college plans closing, which would have been my long-awaited escape from my economically-depressed rust belt home town, it was hard not to feel hopeless. Instead of being a foreign worker, I had a job milking cows at a local farm...:sigh: Yet, I knew it would be okay and that God had a reason for it. I had been placed on an "island", and I knew God had a purpose for me here, just like those Christian islanders had found theirs.

    I began praying for one co-worker in particular, very, very persistently. We became friends. I had to move on to another job, but I now have a home nearby and we still see each other. I see God at work in his life, and recently found the boldness to actually share my faith verbally.

    God is making me a light in this community. None of my neighbors go to church, but I go every Sunday and I know they wonder why I bother. I'm a 20-something kid. What 20-somethings willingly go to church? ^_^ I don't live with a girlfriend, I barely use my television, I get newsletters from missionary organizations in the mail, etc. In my spare time, I write worshipful music and I will soon have new neighbors below my apartment who will probably hear my singing... :D

    So what would I say is my purpose? My purpose in life right now is to glorify God with what I do have and where He has placed me (or kept me, rather). comparing yourself to others is a lesson in futility. There will always be people more talented, richer, more beautiful, more successful than you. None of that equals purpose! This life is temporary, so the only true purpose and the only true path to joy is serving God and being wholly submitted to Him. When you do that, I can guarantee not only will your life feel purposeful again, but it will be a whole lot less confining and boring, too!

    For the Christians on that remote island, it was because they served God and supported the idea of a Bible in the island's language that I ended up there. I was their latest adventure from God. :D
     
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  6. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    Some of the greatest Saints have had the tiniest lives!
     
  7. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Hello and welcome to CF. :)

    Our purpose is to be transformed to be like Christ. That's very hard to do as a king or industry mogul (but with God anything is possible) ... but it is easier to do as a nobody, as a beggar, as an unimportant person who isn't pressured into important decisions for the sake of the praise of men.

    Don't lament if the masses don't recognize and remember you. This world and all its glories will pass away. Lament if God doesn't remember your works. And He remembers us sharing out of our poverty, kindness shown to an unfortunate one, a smile that lifted the day of someone who was feeling unloved, and so on. Go through your days trying to be like Jesus, to share His love everywhere that you can, serving others - and know that this is greater in the Kingdom of God - the only Kingdom that matters.
     
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  8. CGB3928

    CGB3928 New Member

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    Every adult feels like that at some point in their life. Reason why Jesus said just get through today. I remember Adrian Rogers, a very famous pastor that is passed now, but he said something in a sermon that I will never forget and really became the purpose and theme of my life and my Christian Walk. He said "the hardest part about life is the routine" He went on to say that the big things in life only happen once in a while. A wedding, birth of a child, a funeral, a vacation, maybe even an illness etc. Those don't happen everyday. Everyday is what you said, work pay bills raise the kids house chores etc. That's everyday. That's what makes life hard. And if we can get through the routine of each day and keep our praise and joy, that's victory!. But that's hard. And only God and inner strength can do that.
     
  9. ARHCC

    ARHCC New Member

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    Thanks.. It seems like you serve quite a purpose. Im sure there will always be those who are all those things that I can never be. I still feel as though there is more to life then this. I try my best to completely submit to God. I feel like I cannot get to the place I want to be. Thanks for your story
     
  10. ARHCC

    ARHCC New Member

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    It is not so much being famous, popular or major life events I'm referring to, but having even a small purpose. Maybe a career that is fulfilling that helps others. Something small, but I don't even feel as though I have that really. I serve no purpose at all. I do pray and talk to God several times a day, but I don't really see anything that I can do to help anyone. I have no time to volunteer. I barely have time to sleep a full night or clean. I shouldn't compare but it is difficult not to do so sometimes. I hate wondering what is wrong with me. Why be here if there is no purpose. We could worship and praise God in heaven as well as here on earth. There is bound to be some sort of mission. I feel like I fail every time I try there is so much im not good at. Especially connecting and relating to other people. Isn't that a command of God to love others, but I can't seem to even do that. I know others probably feel this way as well. Maybe?
     
  11. ARHCC

    ARHCC New Member

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    Thanks for the comment. Keep pushing is all we can do. I want to do more than exist sometimes though, just a little.
     
  12. ARHCC

    ARHCC New Member

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    Thanks.. Even the little things matter.
     
  13. ml5363

    ml5363 Active Member

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    As long as you have breath here, God's not finished with you ..we never know what he is working on behind the scenes..he sees the big picture we are just a small symbol in it
     
  14. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Sometimes the little things matter most of all.

    Remember God does not see and judge as man does, according to what we can see outwardly. God judges the heart. And it is often the small, unimportant, unselfish ones who have the easiest time cultivating a godly heart. And that matters most of all. :)
     
  15. CGB3928

    CGB3928 New Member

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    That's totally understandable. But never forget the people whose life's are inspired by your existence. It's probably a lot more than you think.
     
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  16. Messerve

    Messerve Well-Known Member

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    I hear stories of elderly people in nursing homes who even manage to see that as a kind of mission field from God. I heard of one woman in her 90's who once a year would host a meal at her apartment and dozens of residents would come to enjoy her home-cooked food. It was her own special way of reaching out.

    I also heard of an elderly Christian man who was so intentional about getting to know the other residents and caring for them, that virtually everyone knew him in a very short time. He was very outspoken about his faith and was definitely a light in a place that can be a continual reminder of death.

    All that to say, no situation, even a nursing home, is without opportunities to be a witness to others. I'm sure you have some talent, even if you say you're not good at anything. You don't have to be the best for God to use it. Plenty of people have strengths that they keep to themselves which does no good to anyone. But if you have something you're even just decent at and use it for God's glory, I'm sure it will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
     
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  17. ARHCC

    ARHCC New Member

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    I'm photographer as a hobby and a side job. How do you use something like that for the glory of God? I have no idea what spiritual gifts I have or where to start to use them. I have tried witnessing to my husbands friend who is an alcoholic. He seems a bit unresponsive. I have been trying to look for more opportunities. thanks
     
  18. ARHCC

    ARHCC New Member

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    opps I meant to reply to your above comment
     
  19. Messerve

    Messerve Well-Known Member

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    Oh! I do some of that, too! It's just a hobby for me.

    So, how has God used it? Well... One summer I used my vacation time to travel around to local churches and take compelling photos of their architecture and setting. Then I researched the churches to write up a brief history for each and chose a verse that seemed to fit their history. I got the whole thing printed up as a coffee table book which I keep in my living room, and my relatives who visited (who aren't Christians most likely) requested a copy for themselves. So I had one printed and sent to them, too. We've been praying for them for decades, and that was one of those rare times they seemed to take an interest in something spiritual, outside of attending church just to fulfill their religious duties.

    Someday I'd like to expand on that and even make some kind of devotional for local Christians to pray for each others' congregations. I'm sure I can find 365 churches within an hour's drive or less. I would love to be able to go inside and take photos of some of the sanctuaries or stained glass windows, too.

    So that's just one example. Not to mention, as you are out taking photos people like to ask what you're working on and that can also be an opportunity to be a witness.

    I have a friend who is an alcoholic, too. He hasn't been really responsive to my efforts to share my faith, either. I've pulled back a bit for now because I felt like I was boring him. However, we never know how something we said may stick with someone.

    I have taken test upon test to identify my spiritual gifts. And personality tests, too. I just keep taking them, because I can never seem to figure myself out! I think I finally have my spiritual gifts down to Showing Mercy and Exhortation.
     
  20. Crowned Princess

    Crowned Princess Sunflower Jewel

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    And they haven't always had it easy as well! Many of these weren't always accepted nor appreciated by most around them!

    It is like Tertullian stated; "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church". Yet, looking at this sentence it doesn't make you think they had such great and easy lives. What they endured as well as fight for in Christ, cost them everything!
     
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