As we go on in this life, there come certain points when we realize that there are larger issues and meaning beyond the commonplace. One of the larger questions concerns our purpose on earth. What are we on earth for? Is it just to go from day to day doing our routine, just trying to get by another day, or is there a larger significance to it all?
Pr Julie Khoo shared in the THRIVE 2016 Youth Conference that the full impact of this question only hits home as we reflect upon it. Especially with all the information and news hitting us today, it can be asked many ways; meditatively, in anger, in fear, in depression, joyfully, with gratitude, resolutely, in hopelessness or in hope.
There will be many moments when we feel lost. Understanding this question Scripturally will however bring clarity to the centrality of what it means to be a Christian. The Bible says that we are called to thrive, indeed not just called but also empowered to thrive through Christ.
‘We are alive to thrive,’ Pr Julie conveyed. ‘There’s more to life than survive. We want to be agents of change in our community, in our nation, going beyond docility and our comfort zone. The very fact that the Scripture says we have a race marked out for us indicates that there is a function to our lives.’
‘We want to run the race but in order to run the race we have got to thrive. Have you ever seen a successful athlete that does not thrive on the field? We do not exist just to make up a number. We were made for a destiny. Only we can fulfil our destiny. No one else can do it for us.’ We know we have a destiny because God had created us. He does not do things without aim or by accident.
Why did God make us? It wasn’t because He was lonely, for long before we were here, He had already existed in relationship through the Trinity. It wasn’t to feed His ego. He’s already secure in His identity. He does not live in temples built by human hands. He has Heaven as His throne and the Earth as His footstool. He is the source of life itself.
Why then did God create us? The fact is He had a purpose when He was creating us and we were purposefully created by Him. But it wasn’t because He needed us, Pr Julie shared. Rather, it all points back to God. Though the world may look large and we feel lost and insignificant, we are not accidents. We have security in the fact that God had known us even before we were born. This is great assurance indeed and it is a great reminder that we each have a meaning and a destiny.
Reflecting on this, the great king David marvelled. When we consider the great works of God’s hand, that He set the moon and stars in their place, what is mankind to God that we matter to Him? (Psalm 8:3-4). And yet the Bible says that He knows us so deeply even unto the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7).
So we come to three key questions: ‘Why Am I Alive?’, ‘Does My Live Matter?’, ‘What is My Purpose?’ One passage, John 9, illustrates the answers to these questions comprehensively. It is the passage of Christ’s healing of the blind man.
The man was afflicted with his blindness from birth, and alongside it, a sense of inadequacy. ‘This man must have asked this question ’Why Am I Alive?’ many times. He must have grown up being labelled by society, for even the disciples asked Christ whether it was the man’s or his parent’s sin that had caused his blindness. However, Christ corrects their perspective and answered that it was neither, but it was so that the glory of God might be displayed in him.’
Like the blind man in this passage, many of us may have grown up being thrown with labels, and some of us may have grown up identifying with those labels. Just like the blind man, some of us may have sit in the same spot everyday asking this exact same question. But we can be oppressed by this or we can chose to ask ourselves what Christ can do for and through us. The Bible is replete with encouragement that we can take to heart (Philippians 4:13; Esther 4:14). ‘Whatever inadequacy you may feel, whatever you may go through, there is strength in the Lord, and like Esther, we were born for such a time as this.’
Secondly, does our life matter? God Himself says our lives matters to Him. Even the way He created us demonstrates how much we matter to God. He created us in His image. Though it may not be physically, on a deeper spiritual level, we are the image and creation of God.
The blind man in John 9 would have grown up feeling insignificant, feeling no one look at him, but as Christ passed by, He noticed the man. And not only that; He stopped to heal the man. Later in John 9: 35-39, we read of how Jesus searched for the man after he had been forsaken by his own parents. And Christ did not just heal him, but also delivered him spiritually, giving him not just natural but also spiritual sight. This man mattered to Christ. We matter to God.
It is clear from God’s word that our lives matter and that the reason we are alive is because He has a destiny for us. Through the passage in John 9:13-38, it is evident that the blind man found his life purpose after being healed by Christ. He was bold to be a testimony (v13-17), he gave God the glory (v24-25), he took up his cross (v26-34), he loved the Lord wholeheartedly (v35-38), and he worshipped God faithfully (v38).
These are all the things that define our identity and resolve as Christians and they’re all founded on an intimate relationship with a loving God. Why are we on earth for? To love God and His people and run the good race for the Lord. Why did God make us? He created us out of His love so that we can have a full and joyous relationship with Him.
Why are we alive? To be in that relationship with Christ and to be testimonies of His glory on earth. Does our lives matter? Yes, it matters immensely. What is My Purpose? To be a testimony for God unto His glory, to take up the cross and to love the Lord wholeheartedly and worship Him faithfully. When we are in a complete relationship with Christ, we will have all these questions answered.
NOTE: The THRIVE Conference was envisioned to empower the young Christians in this nation to go beyond the ordinary, into becoming THRIVING overcomers. This is the first year the conference was held. You can find out more about the conference on their FaceBook page.
This article has been published with the permission of the organiser of the event and all photos from the event were kindly given permission for usage by the organisers. Photos credited to Caleb Lim.
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