Knowing Your Purpose
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. -Acts 20:24
One of the inspiring marks of the apostle Paul’s life was that he knew his purpose. He was utterly controlled by the Good News of the Gospel—believing, loving, preaching, and defending it, often at the risk of his life.
In this passage, Paul is speaking to church leaders of his journey to Jerusalem, where trouble and suffering awaited him, as it did for his Lord. He saw his life in some way fulfilling or completing the sufferings of Christ, almost as a quota to be filled by those who follow Jesus in this world.
But he was never derailed by whatever troubles he encountered along the way. Resistance and opposition were not unusual and unexpected. Instead, these trials confirmed that he was on the right track.
God called the apostle to speak the truth about the realities of a believer’s life and Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. And Paul found that there was plenty of trouble whenever he declared the Good News. It’s no different today. If it doesn’t quite seem that way for most of us, maybe it’s because we’re too quiet about our faith.
For Paul, the Gospel was vital, powerful, and urgent. Nothing else mattered as much as preaching and living God’s word—not even his life. Paul did not have some odd, religious death wish, nor did he long to be a martyr to gain extra points in God’s eyes. Instead, he found so much hope in the Gospel that even his life didn’t matter in comparison.
If we would gain the apostle’s vision and see earthly life so overwhelmingly saturated with divine purpose, then the troubles and difficulties, even the great suffering we face, would seem minuscule in comparison.
So, rather than praying for less trouble and fewer trials, let’s find or increase the purpose to which God calls us. Putting Jesus and his kingdom at the center of everything we say and do helps us experience the power of his Holy Spirit and grants us the joy, strength, and courage we need.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford’s words are a powerful reminder of why we stagnate and see no growth in our spiritual lives. When contentment, routine, and lack of vision smother us, we lose the powerful impact of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Taking risks in Jesus’ name and jumping into the turbulent, risky waters of Holy Spirit-led faith grows our faith and trust in a God who delivers and saves.
What, then, is holding us back?
Questions to consider:
What risk have you taken to grow your faith? Sometimes, when we step out in faith, we won’t know how it will turn out. The guarantee is that God can turn our mistakes around, too.
How has your faith life grown in the last year? What caused it to grow?
May God bless you and yours as you abide in his word and purpose.