I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
Have you ever asked yourself, 'What's the point?" The verses above from Solomon show 'there is no true happiness and satisfaction to be had in pleasure, and the delights of sense. ' So many people are living for the desires of the world with no sense of purpose, other than themselves. Matthew 16:26, "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?"
Are you living with a godly purpose with your earthly possessions or are you living for the world with no reverence for God? "One soul is worth more than all the world; our own souls are of greater value to us than all the wealth, honor, and pleasures of this present time, if we had them."
When I read the verses above from Ecclesiastes 2, I immediately thought of Rick Warren's book "The Purpose Driven Life." God made each of us with a purpose in mind...His purpose. The book of Ecclesiastes can be discouraging because yes, without God, life is a cyclical routine that ends in death for all. All paths without God lead to destruction and death.
Ephesians 1:11-12, "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory."
3 Principles from this verse on why our purpose in life starts with God:
1. You discover your identity and purpose through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. God was thinking of you long before you ever thought about him. His purpose for your life predates your conception. He planned it before you existed, without your input! You may choose your career, your spouse, your hobbies, and many other parts of your life, but you don’t get to choose your purpose.
3. The purpose of your life fits into a much larger, cosmic purpose that God has designed for eternity.
Life can get overwhelming with our daily routines and stresses but we must remember that God has us right where we need to be and there IS purpose in it. We didn't get a vote on how God wanted to use each of us for His glory but His ways are greater than ours.
"Even when we’re physically limited, a smile, a word of encouragement, a prayer, or a display of faith during our trial can be used to minister to the diverse and interdependent body of Christ. When we serve the Lord, no job or act of love is too menial to matter." [odb.org] His glory is manifested in many different ways, so may we use whatever we have been blessed with to point others to Christ.
As for myself, I feel a greater understanding of how God has and is using me for His purposes as I get older. My 'routine' has changed drastically over the years, but I know that "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." If God thought and knew that He would be more glorified with my temporary trials, then who am I to question His purpose in and through me.
I was "planned for God's pleasure, formed for God's family, created to become like Christ, shaped for serving God, and made for a mission." May I persevere with an increasing faith, love and hope in Christ.
I encourage all of you to read "A Purpose-Driven Life" By Rick Warren and deeper understand why God has a purpose for your life.
Warren, Rick. The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life, The) (p. 28). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.