I was anxious at the beginning of lockdown for a number of reasons – I couldn’t go to work; I no longer had a routine; holidays and flights were cancelled; I couldn’t spend time with friends and loved ones. The things that seemed to bring purpose and meaning to my life were quickly removed.
To be honest, I also felt anxious as Lockdown began to ease during the summer. A key reason for this anxiety was that while others returned to work, I did not. While others returned to a routine, I still had none. Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of things to keep me busy – DIY, gardening, knitting projects, reading, writing, and overdue catch-ups with friends and family. But unexpected feelings of aimlessness and lack of purpose persisted.
As Christians, our purpose is found in God, in enjoying Him and glorifying Him. But my circumstances caused me to doubt that…
Through these feelings of aimlessness and lack of purpose, God revealed to me that I find my purpose in work and routine, rather than in Him. God revealed to me that I find my purpose in productivity rather than in enjoying Him and glorifying Him. The problem with this is that jobs come and go and routines change. Is my purpose found in things that can so easily shift and change?
As I struggled with feelings of aimlessness and lack of purpose, it helped me to explore Scripture and rediscover my true source of purpose. I hope it will be helpful to you too.
My purpose is to glorify God
Purpose can be defined as ‘the reason for which something is done, created, or for which something exists’. What is my reason for being? What is my reason for existence?
Our ultimate purpose in life to glorify God and enjoy fellowship with Him. We were created by God in His image, to be like Him, love Him and reflect who He is.
Other purposes which overflow from this core purpose include: having good relationships with others, work and dominion over the earth. However, because of sin, “fellowship with God is broken. Relationships with others are strained, work seems to always be frustrating, and humans struggle to maintain any semblance of dominion over nature. It is only by restoring fellowship with God, through faith in Jesus, that our purpose in life can be rediscovered” *
Our ultimate purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy fellowship with Him. But, like so many things, we cannot glorify Him in our own strength. Through His saving grace, and faith is Jesus, our fellowship with God is restored, and He empowers us to live a life of glorifying Him.
To glorify God means to give honour to God, to recognise who He is and what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do. Psalm 100 fleshes out what is means to glorify God:
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
We glorify God by bringing Him praise and serving Him.
We glorify God by recognising who He is, that He is our creator and we are His people.
We glorify God by recognising that all people we encounter are also made by Him and are precious to Him.
We glorify God by giving Him thanks as individuals and in fellowship with others.
We glorify God by telling others of these truths too.
Our ultimate purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy fellowship with Him. In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus describes the Great Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. The more we get to know our Creator and Saviour, and the more we love Him, the better we understand who we are and what our purpose is. We were created to bring Him glory. God has unique plans and purposes for each of us. Lets seek to glorify God whatever our circumstances may be, and know that our purpose is found in Him.