Friday, November 4, 2011



ABC News reported on a study that shows how having a purpose in life reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer's by 52% (1) The Chicago Tribune also published an article linking happiness and health to having a purpose in life.(2) Actually, there are quite a few studies demonstrating a variety of health benefits that come from having a purpose in life. Scientific studies reveal that purposes in life are directly related to the degree of selfishness or unselfishness in a person's life.(3) This would seem to indicate that having just any purpose will not do.

There are a lot of people who don't know or understand what the purpose of life is. They plan their lives and live without giving much thought to the possibility that there is some urgent and important reason for their existence. Years of unnecessary difficulty and stress as a result of trying to deal with the issues of life are the experience that many go through. The origin of life, the purpose of life and the issues of life are all interrelated. What a person believes and understands about how life began will shape his or her understanding about the purpose of life and will affect how he or she relates to the issues of life.


This may come as a shock to masses of people but the purpose of life according to the One who makes life possible is not to make oneself happy at any cost. The purpose of life is not to have all one's desires nor to pursue one's dreams of fortune and success. These may gratify but they cannot satisfy. They may thrill but they will never fulfill. That's because The One who created human beings has a grander purpose in mind for us than granting us just a few fleeting moments of selfish pleasure. In fact, the person who lives for pleasure is already dead, in a sense, in more ways than one.(4) When our lives are not in harmony with God's purpose for our lives, deep joy, peace and contentment elude us.

What is God's purpose for every human being ? Very simply - To be conformed to the image of His Son.(5)

To reflect the character of Jesus Christ is to thereby assure true happiness. Happiness that has the right foundation of an excellent character. What the Bible explains and what many of us don't realize about happiness is that it is conditional upon who we really are as a person. Let this be impressed upon the mind -

Our happiness comes not from what is around us, but from what is within us; 

not from what we have, but from what we are. 

Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. 
(Psalms 144:15)

According to Jesus, those who have come to the age of accountability before God and have lived their lives without determined, consistent efforts to reflect His character and resist sin have the source of their unhappiness within.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:21-23)

True and abiding happiness cannot come from what's around us so long as what is within us is unChristlike.

The things we have cannot make us happy if we have a miserable character. The incredible mystery of this strange situation is that our own self is the last person we would suspect of making us unhappy. We are for the most part in great measure self-deceived.(6) God understands this and for those who have invited Him into their lives, he helps to bring to our knowledge the hidden, sinful things about ourselves that we would never have known if He had not chosen in our behalf to save us from them.

He often does this through allowing us to encounter difficult circumstances and difficult people. Our words and conduct as we relate to these are revealing what is in our hearts and it is the purpose of God that as we pray and receive His grace, we will be victorious over impatience or any other unChristlike traits of character that are revealed during these times.

It is by close, testing trials that God brings his people near to himself; for in trial and temptation he discovers to them their weakness, and teaches them to lean upon him as their only help and safeguard. When this result is attained, his object is accomplished, and his tried servants are prepared to be used in every emergency, to fill important positions of trust, and to accomplish the grand purposes for which their powers were given them. While under the trial, these seasons are terrible. Hope seems to fail, and despair seizes upon us. But in these dreadful hours we must learn to trust, to depend wholly upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, and cast our souls in their helplessness and unworthiness upon him who is mighty to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by him.

Our sorrows do not spring out of the ground. In every affliction God has a purpose to work out for our good. Every blow that destroys an idol, every providence that weakens our hold upon earth and fastens our affections more firmly upon God, is a blessing.

The fact that we are called upon to endure trial shows that the Lord Jesus sees in us something precious which He desires to develop. If He saw in us nothing whereby He might glorify His name, He would not spend time in refining us.

So long as we are in the world, we shall meet with adverse influences. There will be provocations to test the temper; and it is by meeting these in a right spirit that the Christian graces are developed. If Christ dwells in us, we shall be patient, kind, and forbearing, cheerful amid frets and irritations. Day by day and year by year we shall conquer self, and grow into a noble heroism. This is our allotted task; but it cannot be accomplished without help from Jesus, resolute decision, unwavering purpose, continual watchfulness, and unceasing prayer. Each one has a personal battle to fight. Not even God can make our characters noble or our lives useful, unless we become co‑workers with Him.

Through conflict the spiritual life is strengthened. Trials well borne will develop steadfastness of character and precious spiritual graces. The perfect fruit of faith, meekness, and love often matures best amid storm clouds and darkness.(7)

So there you have it; the purpose of life.

To cooperate with God and allow Him to develop within us a Christlike character before we die so that we can be trusted with the gift of immortality; to live eternally in heaven and be made capable of enjoying heaven.

Many misunderstand the object for which they were created. 
It was to bless humanity and glorify God, rather than to enjoy and glorify self.(8)

Is Jesus Christ your deeply personal Lord and Savior from the penalty and power of sin ?

(4) 1 Timothy 5:6
(5) Romans 8:28,29/Philippians 2:5
(6) Jeremiah 17:9
(7) 1 Peter 1:7, 4:12,13/James 1:12/Job 23:10/Romans 5:3,4/Zechariah 13:9/Psalms 66:10/Revelation 3:18
(8) 2 Timothy 1:9,10/Revelation 4:11/Ephesians 2:10, 3:8-11/1 Corinthians 3:16,17

© 2011 Tyrone Keels