Purpose: The Reason We Don’t Give Up
Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:13 NJKV
When the COVID pandemic hit in early 2020, incidents of depression began to rise. According to a tracking survey by the University of Southern California, mental distress in America peaked in April but by late May, signs of resilience were obvious. “People are able to bounce back by drawing on the resources available to them . . . and their own inner strength.” (T. Em Arpawong, Research Professor, USC)
The professor’s observation is especially true of Christians, who lean on the additional resources of our Heavenly Father. We too, suffered losses of loved ones, jobs, and control of personal schedules; but we know that God designed every life with purpose, and determination to fulfill that purpose prevents us from giving up. We aim to honor God by fulfilling our responsibilities―like stars which shine no matter what.
Whenever depression rears its head, remember God’s question to Elijah. Feeling lonely, inadequate, depressed, he was hiding in a cave from Jezebel, seemingly forgetting that God had recently honored him above her and her people with a gigantic victory on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18: 20-40). God’s question, “What are you doing here?” suggests that Elijah was physically, mentally and spiritually in a wrong place, where self-pity robbed him of his significance. God does not condemn him, but directs him to move on.
Worse than being in a wrong place is staying there. We bounce back when we trust in God to deliver us, when we remember how He delivered us in the past. Let’s seek human help also, when necessary. Why stay in a place where self-confidence fails, and it seems that our purpose has expired? Why remain in a place where our light doesn’t shine?
Be reminded that we are "created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life” (Ephesians 2: 10 BSB). We belong in a place of confidence that His grace is sufficient; in a place of assurance that He will never leave us; in a place of success where, by His grace, we fulfill our purpose and remain faithful.
Prayer: Thank You, God, for the purpose You have given us, for the strength to pursue it, and Your promise to remain with us to its completion. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
10 Powerful Quotes on Purpose
All ten quotes are from The Purpose Drive Life by Rick Warren.
- “Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time? One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! It’s what enables us to grow. Remember, earth is not heaven!”
- “The easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the creator of it. The same is true for discovering your life’s purpose: Ask God.”
- “The Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God’s view of life: Life is a test, life is a trust, and life is a temporary assignment. These ideas are the foundation of purpose-driven living.”
- “To discover your purpose in life you must turn to God's Word, not the world's wisdom. You must build your life on eternal truths, not pop psychology, success-motivation, or inspirational stories.”
- “Remember, you will take your character into eternity, but not your career.”
- “Every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fiber. Paul said, ‘We know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character.’”
- “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.”
- “We are healed to help others. We are blessed to be a blessing. We are saved to serve, not to sit around and wait for heaven.”
- “The Bible says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. . . You are God’s handcrafted work of art. You are not an assembly-line product, mass produced without thought. You are a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece.”
- “If you have felt hopeless, hold on! Wonderful changes are going to happen in your life as you begin to live it on purpose.”
- Returning Home for the Change We Need
Don't be afraid to embark on the road to change. Pray for obedience to embrace change however, whenever God arranges it. Consider that the path to godly success may lead us back to our starting point.
- Say Something Good and Also Something Helpful
Sometimes it takes the gracious words of another person to point out God’s favor. That’s by design. The attitude of both speaker and listener improves when we build each other up with the right words.
© 2020 Dora Weithers