There Is No Purpose Without God

Hello, friend! Welcome to my blog. I hope you’re doing well! Today, I’d like to talk to you about purpose and meaning in life. Do we have a purpose in life? Or is all lost? Keep reading to hear my thoughts on it!

If the Lord Isn’t In It, It Will Fail

I got the idea for this article from a song I was listening to recently. The song was called “Build the House” by Ross King. The first two lines of the chorus explain the meaning of the song pretty clearly.

If the Lord don’t build the house
It'll fall down

This song repeats the idea that no matter what we do, if we don’t do it with God we will fail and it will be in vain.

But what does the Bible say about things being in vain?

Is It All In Vain?

King David, in Psalm 103, speaks of man and how fleeting life is. 

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

Psalm 103:15-16

We may become great or important or flourish in this life, but we still can’t escape death. Death will come eventually, unless Jesus returns before then, and we will pass away and be gone. 

Solomon, the son of David and ruler after him in Israel, wrote the whole book of Ecclesiastes trying to figure out the meaning of life. Ecclesiastes is a hard book to get through, since Solomon essentially goes through the list of anything that could make a person happy and says, “This is in vain too.” He concludes that everything is in vain, nothing will last, and everyone will eventually die. 

However, there is a positive note at the end. Our days may be like grass, and all may seem to be in vain, but there is still hope. 

God Lasts Forever

The very next verse in Psalm 103 speaks of a truth that reassures us.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,

Psalm 103:17

All is vanity without God. All is lost without God. All is meaningless without God. 

That’s why we need God. We need God to give us purpose. We need God to give us reason. We need God to keep us going. We don’t belong to this world and its passions and treasures. Though we can experience the world, we are not of the world and shouldn’t cling to it too closely. 

Jesus said in Matthew 6:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

Everything on earth will pass away, but we can put our hope in Jesus and lay our treasures in what’s to come, not what’s happening now. 

What does this mean our purpose is, though?

To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain

Our trust in Jesus gives us a reason to hope for something better after death, but what does that mean now, in life? The apostle Paul faced this very question and decision while in prison writing a letter to the Christians in Philippi. He wrote:

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which shall I choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.

Philippians 1:21-24

Paul here is trying to decide between dying and going to be with Jesus or continuing to serve Christians and witness the gospel to unbelievers. Paul seems to believe that heaven with Jesus would be better than his situation on earth, whatever it may be, and I’m sure he is right. Heaven does sound a lot better than what we have to experience on earth.

However, Paul comes to a decision in writing this letter. He concludes:

Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

Philippians 1:25-26

Paul decides that his work and his fight to keep going on earth is better for those around him at the moment than death is. He decides to continue on his journey to glorify God and spread the good news.

What can we learn from this? Well, Jesus gives us hope after death, but He also gives us a reason and purpose to live our lives.

At the end of Ecclesiastes, Solomon concludes:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

And in 1 Corinthians Paul repeats something similar to what he wrote in Philippians:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Our purpose is to glorify God, know God, and enjoy God. We have a hope in Jesus Christ, and it should be spread and shared and enjoyed. We don’t have to fear the things of this world: the trials, the temptations, the worries, the fears, or even death because Jesus has already won the war. We can build our house on the solid rock of the gospel and know that through every part of life God is with us and we have reason to sing and learn and live. 

Learning to glorify God in everything is something that will take time, maybe even our entire lifetimes, to master. However, we can take joy in learning how to do it because we have such a great hope in such a great God.

So there you have it: we have purpose in God. How will you glorify God, even in something small, today? 

Final Thoughts & Resources

Thank you for reading today’s article! I hope you enjoyed or learned something from it. If you want to listen to “Build the House” by Ross King, I’ll have the song along with one or two other resources from Desiring God related to today’s topic linked below. Also, if you want to hear more from me and get updates when I post, please consider subscribing to my email list! The form for that will also be below.

Ask Pastor John – What Is the Meaning of Life?

Ask Pastor John – To Live Is Christ — What Does That Mean?

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