What does the Bible say about how to find purpose in life?

Question: "What does the Bible say about how to find purpose in life?"

The Bible is very clear as to what our purpose in life should be!

Purpose of life according to people in the Bible:

Solomon: After talking about the futility of life when lived as though this world and all it has to offer is all there is, Solomon gives these concluding remarks in the book of Ecclesiastes: "Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Solomon says that life is all about honoring God with our thoughts and lives and thus keeping His commandments, for one day we shall stand before Him in judgment.

David: Unlike those whose portion is in this life, David looked for His satisfaction in the time to come. He said, "As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness" (Psalm 17:15). To David, his full satisfaction would come on the day when he awoke (in the next life) both beholding God's face (fellowship with Him) and having His likeness (1 John 3:2).

Asaph: In Psalm 73, Asaph talks about how he was tempted to envy the wicked who seemed to have no cares and built their fortunes upon the backs of those they took advantage of, but then he considered their ultimate end. Then in contrast to what they sought after in their lives, he states in verse 25 what mattered to him: "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You." To him, a relationship with God is what mattered above all else in life.

Paul: The apostle Paul talked about all that he had achieved before being confronted by the risen Christ and how all that he once had or achieved (especially religiously) was like a pile of garbage to him now compared to the excellence of knowing Christ Jesus, even when that included suffering the loss of all things. In Philippians 3:9-10, he says that what he wanted was to "gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead." Again, for Paul what mattered most was knowing Christ and being found having a righteousness from Him obtained through faith in Christ, and living in fellowship with Him even when that brought on suffering (2 Timothy 3:12). Ultimately he looked for the time when he would be a part of the "resurrection from the dead."

Purpose of life as declared in Revelation:

The last book in the Bible, the Book of Revelation discusses what will happen in the end of time as we know it. After Christ returns and His 1,000 year reign upon the earth comes to an end, the unsaved are resurrected and judged by their deeds and sent to their everlasting state in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20). The earth and heavens as we know it are destroyed and a new heaven and new earth are created, and the everlasting state is ushered in. Once again, as in the Garden of Eden in Genesis, man again will dwell with God and He with them (Revelation 21:3); all remnants of the curse (upon the earth because of mankind's sin) will be removed (sorrow, sickness, death, pain) (Revelation 21:4). God says that those who overcome shall inherit all things, He will be their God and they will be His sons. Thus, as it started in Genesis, redeemed mankind will live in fellowship with God free from sin (both internally and externally) and its curse in a perfect world, having perfect hearts like Christ's own (1 John 3:2-3).

Purpose of life as described by Jesus Christ:

God created man in the beginning to enjoy (1) fellowship with Him, (2) relationships with others, (3) work, and (4) exercising dominion over the earth. But with man's fall into sin, fellowship with God was broken, relationships with others are often "rough," work seems to always have its bad points, and man struggles to maintain a semblance of dominion over nature whether it be over the weather or over the weeds in a field or garden. In the new heavens and new earth, man will be involved in all of these once again in a restored state of perfection. But how does one become one of the group who makes it to the new heaven and earth? And what are we to do for now? Is there only meaning in the next life when the curse of sin is removed? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, left His home in heaven, became fully human while still retaining the fullness of deity, and came to earth TO PAY THE PRICE FOR OUR everlasting LIFE as well as meaning in this life. Because it was our sinfulness that separated mankind from God and brought upon us the curse, Matthew 1:21 says that Jesus came to "save his people from their sins."

Purpose in life depends on mankind’s origin:

If we are the result of cosmic chance (evolution), then we are simply sophisticated biological life forms that have managed to achieve self-consciousness. We despair at there being no greater purpose in life than to survive and carry on the species until the next cosmic accident takes our life form one notch higher. BUT, we are NOT the result of a cosmic accident. True science substantiates the fact that macro-evolution (the transformation from one species to a different species) is a farce. Evolution is falsely called “science” when in fact it is not repeatable nor observable but must be accepted by faith just as much as creation is.

As we continue to learn more about microbiology, we have learned that the probability of forming even the simplest of protein molecules necessary for life is a complete improbability even if given TRILLIONS of years for the chance combination of the correct order of amino acids to form. Nor do the fossil records support the evolutionary theory. In evolutionists' own words, there should be multiple numbers of transitional life forms that simply have not been found. What the fossil record does corroborate is what Genesis chapter one of the Bible declares: vast numbers of different species appeared at the same time and those species are for the most part the same as those still in existence today. Changes in birds or moths observed in the past century and cited as support for evolution involve change within a species (micro-evolution), something the Bible does not argue against nor do creationists argue against. Also, as we learn more about the so-called simple cell we are finding again what Genesis chapter one has declared all along: that life is the result of an incredibly knowledgeable Designer and Creator. Because we are not a cosmic accident but are instead created by God, if there is a purpose for life, God has told us what that purpose is.

Recommended Resource: Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot by Max Lucado.

Related Topics:

How can I know God's will for my life?

What is the meaning of life?

What is a “dark night of the soul”?

Can Christians live their best life now?

How do I know which of God's promises are for me?

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What does the Bible say about how to find purpose in life?