What, exactly, is the purpose for this life I have been given?
I know that I can feel as though there is really no purpose to my life. What do I have to offer anyone? How could God possibly use me? These questions and so many others run through my mind on nearly a daily basis. Am I the only one?
Somehow, I doubt that I am. Yet, when these feelings arise it is easy to begin to experience feelings of worthlessness...of not being "enough" to fulfill the will of God just waiting for me. Feelings of incapacitating fear of the unknown...of failure....can be overwhelming and can prevent me...(us)...from stepping out in faith.
Peter stepped out in faith. (Matthew 14:22-33) Peter stepped out of the boat at the Lord's command to "Come." He walked on water - until he looked around him and actually saw the storm and allowed fear to take hold of his thoughts...and to distract from keeping his eyes focused on the One that bid him "come." What was Jesus response? "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Peter's fear of the storm around him caused him to doubt that he could do the Lord's bidding. So, he sank into the water. For me, the moral of that lesson is when I keep my eyes on Jesus and do what He has asked me...commanded....me to do, then I can be successful through His strength and His Word. If I falter, if I look away, if my goals cease to be those that have a center on following Christ and coming without hesitation when He calls, then I will not accomplish what He has set before me to accomplish.
I don't see the big picture of what God has planned. I know He has a purpose for not only me, but for each and everyone of us. Jeremiah 29:11-12 clearly tells us that:
11 - For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 - Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
Not only, does He think thoughts of peace to give me a future and hope, but He also says in Isaiah, that His thoughts are higher than mine...
8 - "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
9 - "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."
Sometimes I have to cling to the scripture above to remind me that I do have a purpose...God's purpose. It is His thoughts towards me that give me hope, that give me a future. I also have to remember that those thoughts He has towards me are higher than anything I can think of myself. There can be no room for anything other thought process to take hold. The human, fleshly side of me is constantly fighting the battle of the mind and I am learning every day to control what I think, to put down thoughts that breed fear or doubt. Some days I am successful. Some days I feel as though I fail....and fail big. But then...on those days I feel like a complete and utter failure, I go back to Jeremiah 29:11, 12. How can I consider myself a failure and less than useful to God when He only has thoughts of peace towards me?