Even with all of the negatives of lockdowns, sickness, and death caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been some unforeseen positives.
Stories abound of neighbors helping neighbors. Relationships being rekindled. Families spending more time together. Preachers and pastors finding new and innovative ways to minister. An increase in people reading the Bible and spiritual material. And people becoming Christians
Apparently, according to a new Lifeway Reachsearch survey, Americans have been thinking more about the meaning of life during the pandemic. 57% of adults, a number that had increased in just one year, said they ponder the question “How can I find more meaning and purpose in my life” at least once a month.
“A large majority still lean toward there being an ultimate purpose for a person’s life,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research.
“During Covid-19, many experiences, pleasures, and metrics of success became irrelevant overnight,” McConnell added. “It is not surprising that more people thought about their purpose and what matters in life.”
As people ponder and pursue the ultimate purpose in life, let me suggest that the Bible offers definite and concrete answers.
First of all, life’s purpose begins with God.
It’s not about you. Too often we start at the wrong place asking selfish questions that center around my dreams, my goals, my ambitions, my life, and my future.
“Every living creature is in the hands of God,” Job asserted. To the Athenians, Paul affirmed that we live, breathe, and are daily sustained by God Himself, our Creator (Ax. 17:25-28). Thus, it’s reasonable to assume that we’re created for a higher, nobler purpose than self-absorbed pursuits and pleasures.
Secondly, we have a source that reveals the purpose.
In 1988 Hugh S. Moorheard released a book entitled “The Meaning of Life According to Our Century’s Greatest Writers and Thinkers.” He wrote to 250 well-respected scientists, authors, and intellectuals asking them, What is the meaning of life?” The book reveals their answers.
One Amazon reviewer correctly concluded that the book was just a collection of opinions and while interesting and entertaining, fell short to have real meaning.
Fortunately, we have a reliable source. The Bible. God’s Word.
For seekers, I often recommend they begin by reading Luke’s treatise to Theophilus, and then his second book, The Acts of the Apostles. Follow this with Paul’s letter to Ephesians and you will learn about God’s eternal plan and purpose before the world began.
Sometimes, even Christians take for granted and forget that “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Pet. 1:3).
Thirdly, we have a person that exemplified God’s purpose for us.
Jesus-Christ. The God-man.
He came to make known the will of the Father (Jn. 5:30; 12:48-50). He left us an example that we should follow in His footsteps (1 Pet. 2:21-25). And He consummated the Divine plan for our salvation from sin through His death on the cross, and His victorious resurrection (Eph. 1:1-23).
Thus, Paul could confidently affirm that by the power of God, “(He) saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Tim. 1:9).
As we come to know God through Christ and the revelation of His Word, we discover our true identity and find our purpose in life in a greater purpose that God has designed for all of mankind.
When we live purposefully according to the Divine plan, like King David, we can go to our grave knowing that we served God’s purpose in our own generation (Ax. 11:33).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
For those wishing to read more on this topic, click this link “Five Purposes of God’s people.”