How do we Know our Purpose?

Have you figured out the purpose for your existence? I wondered what my purpose was for many years, but then I saw purpose in every day in how I treated other people. Purpose is to aim, intend, or resolve to do something. Did you ever think that our purpose is to resolve to show love, be kind, be patient and gentle with annoyances, spread joy, ease a burden for someone, live in peace with others, be faithful to our family and employers, be trustworthy and not lie, and lastly to be self-controlled and not indulge our unhealthy feelings or desires. The following verses are well known to many concerning God’s purposes.

Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare1 and not for evil (calamity; NAS, harm; NIV), to give you a future and a hope.” (ESV)  1) Welfare means a state of being or doing well; condition of health, happiness, and prosperity; well-being.

Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Patiently wait for God’s purpose for our lives.

I will describe God’s plan and purpose for some of the people in the Bible, which was to fulfill the good work God planed as they put their trust in Him.  In the same way, the purpose God has for us will impact mankind (male and female) no matter how insignificant even if our purpose is to work in the nursery at church, which has a great and significant impact in the kingdom of God. I know that my purpose was to create the “Hope for Complete Healing” website, to help people become free from the bondage of painful memories.  I hope the following summaries will encourage you and help you see that God’s purposes for each of us are different; we only need to be willing to obey and be faithful and trust Him.

Adam’s and Eve’s purpose was to rule all the created creatures, birds, and fish, as well as all the earth. They were to be fruitful and multiply and to obey God. Therefore, when they disobeyed, then sin and its consequences affected all of mankind. See Genesis, chapters 1-4.

Noah’s purpose was to build an ark, which took over100 years to build. He obeyed God even though he had no concept of what a flood or rain was. He was ridiculed the entire time he was building the ark by everyone around him, but he steadfastly obeyed God’s purpose for his life. See Genesis, chapters 5-11.

Abraham’s purpose was to be the father of the Jewish nation, yet he had no children until he was 100 years old, when he had Isaac. God told Abraham to go to a foreign land and settle there. He obeyed God and remained faithful, and God blessed him wherever he went. Because of his faith in God, he was known as the friend of God. See Genesis, chapters 12-23.

Joseph’s purpose was to be the ruler of Egypt and save his family (the beginning of the Jewish nation) from starvation. But to fulfill this purpose, he had to be sold as a slave into Egypt, put in prison for three years, and then to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Pharaoh then put Joseph second in command of Egypt. Joseph did not know what his purpose was until he saw his brothers many years later, but he remained faithful to God. See Genesis, chapters 37-47.

Moses’s purpose was to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, where they were being oppressed and made slaves. God arranged for Moses to be raised in Pharaoh’s house until he fled into the wilderness when he killed an Egyptian for hurting a Hebrew. Moses was 80 years old when God called him from the burning bush to fulfill his purpose and go back to Egypt after spending 40 years herding sheep in the wilderness. Moses obeyed but asked God for help because he did not speak well, so God arranged for his brother Aaron to meet him. See Exodus, chapters 1-4.

David was anointed king around 15 years old. He knew his purpose, but it was another 15 years until he became king, and much of that time he spent wandering the wilderness and living in caves fleeing from King Saul, who was trying to kill him. But David remained faithful to God and is known for having a heart after God. See 1 Samuel, chapters 19-22.

Daniel’s purpose was to be a ruler in Babylon and to intercede for Israel. He was taken as a captive to Babylon at 16 years old and indoctrinated into the Babylonian culture.  Daniel remained faithful to God and continued to trust Him. God put it into His heart to pray three times a day for Israel, and he was faithful to this purpose even after knowing he would be thrown into the lion’s den, but God sent an angel to shut the hungry lion’s mouths. See Daniel, chapters 1-6.

Esther was a Babylonian Jewish captive, whose purpose was to save the Jewish nation from annihilation. The Persian King wanted another Queen after beheading the previous queen. So, there was a beauty contest, and Esther won. She was queen for many years before she found out about the plan to kill all the Jews, but she took courage to approach the King to save herself and her people. She did not know her purpose for being queen until it happened.

There are many other Old Testament examples; the following are two New Testament examples:

Jesus’s purpose was to redeem us from our sinful nature and eternal death, by offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty and debt for our sin. He was 33 years old when he fulfilled his purpose. John 12:27 states, “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose, I came to this hour.Ephesians 1:7-9 states, “In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace, 8) which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight, 9) He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

Saul, who was killing and imprisoning Christians, became Paul, whose purpose was to spread Christianity to the Gentiles.  God struck him down and blinded him for three days, then he received the call of God on his life. He then spent three years in the wilderness, learning from God about what he was to do and preach. When Paul obeyed and remained faithful, God was able to use him mightily.  He spent most of his ministry in prison because of a wrongful accusation, where he wrote most of the New Testament, which was God’s purpose for him. Acts 26:16 –explains Paul’s conversion.  “But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I [Jesus] have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;Acts 20:27—Paul wrote, “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” According to this verse, our purpose is defined in the Word of God; therefore, I believe we need to study the Word of God to know His purpose, and to be ready to obey and fulfill our purpose.

APPLICATION

Some of the people in the Bible knew their purpose, but it took a while until they saw the purpose fulfilled. In fact, they all had to go through some suffering, trials, and wilderness experiences to prepare them for their purpose, which is the same for us. Some people may never know their purpose because their purpose was fulfilled as they lived out their lives. And, some people will only know their purpose at the moment God calls, and they obey.

Author: Joyce Holzman Hanscom

I teach the women in the county jail how to discover a new reality for their lives. Discovering a new reality is acheived when we transform painful memories and remove negative heart issues. When negative issues are removed, then we can love from a pure heart.

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