Have you ever found yourself lying under a starry sky, gazing at the universe and pondering the age-old question: “Why are we here?” It’s a question that has intrigued philosophers, poets, and thinkers throughout the ages. From epic movies to late-night conversations with friends, the pursuit of purpose is a universal quest that transcends time and culture. In this post, we’re diving deep into the heart of this profound question and finding out what God has to say about it all.
The World’s Take
Let’s face it; we all want to know our purpose in life. It’s like having a roadmap for our journey—it guides our decisions, shapes our aspirations, and lends meaning to our existence. Without a clear sense of purpose, we feel like a small boat in a big ocean. In times when I’ve felt purposeless, I’ve also felt hopeless. We crave a purpose that gives direction to our actions, brings fulfillment to our hearts, and offers a profound sense of belonging in the grand scheme of things. Our pursuit of purpose is woven into the fabric of our being; it’s an innate part of our human nature.
For many, the pursuit of happiness is the ultimate goal. They seek joy in life’s pleasures, whether it’s the thrill of adventure, the pursuit of personal success, the accumulation of wealth, or fleeting moments of ecstasy. Others find their purpose in the pursuit of fame and recognition, hoping that the spotlight will fill the void within. It’s not uncommon to see people chase after power, control, or influence, believing that these attributes hold the key to a meaningful life.
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” – Aristotle
Have you ever built a puzzle without the picture on the box cover? While these pursuits for happiness may offer transient moments of satisfaction, they often leave a lingering sense of emptiness—a feeling that there must be something more. It’s as if these worldly aspirations are pieces of a complex jigsaw puzzle, and we’re searching for the missing picture on the box cover.
A Divine Perspective
Now, let’s pivot our perspective and explore what the Bible has to say about our purpose and existence. According to the Bible, humanity was created in the image of God, both men and women. This foundational concept provides a key to unlocking the mystery of our purpose. We were intricately designed to bring glory to God, to reflect His character, and to illuminate the world with His goodness.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”Genesis 1:26-27
Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a mirror—a mirror designed to reflect the divine image of God. However, there’s a catch—much like a mirror must be clean and free from blemishes to offer a clear reflection, our ability to mirror God’s image is influenced by our spiritual condition.
In reality, we can’t always be perfect reflections of God. We’re flawed, we make mistakes, and we stumble along life’s journey. But here’s where the story takes an incredible turn: Jesus, real man who really walked the Earth, accomplished something extraordinary. He embodied a flawless reflection of God’s character, a mirror without the slightest distortion.
And here’s the good news: through faith in Jesus, we gain the opportunity to become clean mirrors ourselves. His life, teachings, and ultimate sacrifice open the door for us to experience transformation, to become increasingly aligned with God’s image, and to reflect His goodness more clearly, to do so perfectly in His new creation.
Unveiling Our Purpose
So what’s the bottom line? Why are we here?
In the simplest terms, we exist to glorify God. We were deliberately shaped in His image, not as mere cosmic accidents, but as purposeful creations. Our calling is to honor God through our actions, attitudes, and choices—to live in harmony with His teachings and to look forward with hope and anticipation to the remarkable future that Jesus has prepared for us.
Some Scriptures to Chew On:
- “God made us in His image—men and women, we’re all part of this divine portrait.” – Genesis 1:27 (The Casual Version)
- “You know, God deserves major kudos because He’s the mastermind behind all creation, and He did it all because it brings Him joy.” – Revelation 4:11 (The Casual Version)
- “Here’s the deal: Show some respect for God and make it your mission to follow His guidelines—that’s the essence of a fulfilling life.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13 (The Casual Version)
- “And here’s the kicker: Jesus, after facing incredible challenges and growth, became the go-to source for eternal happiness for anyone who joins His journey.” – Hebrews 5:9 (The Casual Version)
So, in summary: Our purpose begins with the profound recognition that we are God’s creations, intentionally crafted in His likeness. Our true meaning unfolds as we actively bring glory to Him, endeavoring to reflect His goodness and grace in our daily lives. It’s about embracing the adventure of making God look amazing and finding immense joy and purpose in the journey and in Him, not in the temporary happiness the world offers.
The New City Catechism
The above post has been adapted from a series we did in Zeal taking our youth through the New City Catechism. It is an incredibly helpful resource with a lot of extra resources on the above topic as well as 51 other related topics.