Whether we feel like it or not, God has a purpose for each of us. He has called us to go out into the world and spread His Gospel. God is faithful, sustaining, and loving – among many other attributes – and He has called us to reflect those and to be Christ-like. Being an example in this way is one of many ways we respond in loving obedience to what He has commanded.
For some of us this may mean sacrificing many of our worldly possessions. God may be calling us to leave behind what we have grown to love in order to complete mission work in places we may never have dreamt of going before, and to be an example of Christ for those who may never come into contact with another Christian again. For others, this may mean just portraying Christ in a “normal” life. Part of this may look like working or studying enthusiastically, overcoming frustration and irritation with co-workers at an office, or showing love and care to all those that you encounter.
Each of us has a very unique, very different purpose in this world, one that God has set out before us. Despite these many differences, we are all ultimately called to portray the fruits of the Spirit…but sometimes this becomes quite difficult. As imperfect humans, it can be exhausting. We grow weary in our pursuit of Christ. We grow tired of reaching out to people in God’s name, only for them to turn away. We do not love when we should, are not faithful when we should be, and so on.
No calling of God’s is unreachable, no purpose of His can be undone. We need to trust and rest in God and what He has called us to. Even if our minds become so clouded that we struggle to see His plan, or we try to create our own, alternative plans, we need to remind ourselves that He is in complete control, and will take care of us – mentally, physically and spiritually.
Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (ESV).
The distraught were told that, despite the suffering that they were experiencing (and would experience further), all was as God had planned, and He would give them hope. He mentions that if He can care for something as insignificant as a bird, then we have no reason to worry (Matthew 6:26) as He will care for us; surely this applies to emotional strength as well. Perhaps one of the reasons that we, as powerless humans, become so tired, so very quickly, is because we are trying to reach out to people under our own strength, not through the strength of God.
If He is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), surely we should be less focused on our personal strength, and more focused on turning our eyes towards God. Instead of praying that He give us energy and perseverance so that we can accomplish our own goals, why not pray that He carries out His work, using us? If it is His will, and part of His purpose for our lives, it will be so much easier, but if we stray or wander, stubbornly refusing to return to Him, we will only make the process of returning to His will a rather painful one.
There will most definitely be trials. We will be tested. But going through these tests when walking side by side with Christ, allowing Him to carry out His will, even when it doesn’t seem like He is even there, will fill us with a strength that we would never have known had we been trying to fight against this world by ourselves.
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.” – Ephesians 1:11 (ESV)
I was speaking with a group of friends once, and we very quickly came to a conclusion that many of us know, but forget, in our everyday lives: it is not we who save souls, but the Holy Spirit who simply uses us as a vessel. And at the end of the day, our time in this vessel is merely a grain of sand on the beach that is eternity, but this single grain will affect all the others. We should bare this in mind, as we use this time wisely.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” – Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)
We, as humans, are imperfect and tired of trying to carry out God’s will for our lives, but even in our most exhausted moments, we know that the God that breathed life into us, is there, holding us, and He won’t let us fall. Even in our darkest of times, we know that He will sustain us, and that He will give us hope. We will carry on, and we will know that no purpose will be left undone.
“O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, and a life more abundant and free. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of the earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.” – ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’ by Helen H. Lemmel, 1922.
~Guest Author Lace Fraught~