Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life?

Published 9:05 am Friday, July 28, 2017

In a 1999 USA Today poll, this question was asked: “If you could get into contact with God directly, and get an immediate reply, what would you ask?” By far the number one response was “What’s my purpose here?” Or, as many ask, “Why am I here?”
Every day millions of people go off to work only to return home to eat and sleep. For most individuals, life is as boring and predictable as a hamster on a wheel in a cage going round and round and round. It seems as if most individuals are running in circles and going nowhere fast. There is no doubt then why people ask, “Why am I here?” Through Solomon, God reveals to us how to find meaning beyond the monotony of life. Many seek flamboyant and extravagant answers, however the only answer we need to this question is found in God’s Holy Word.
Humanity should realize that God’s original plan for man is as constant and true today as it was on the first day of man’s existence. The Psalmist wrote, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalms 139:16 ESV). From this one verse we learn that God knew the beginning of our lives, the length of our lives and that He had a plan for our lives.
We learn in Ecclesiastes 12:9-12, that God’s word is designed to guide us. Here the writer states that God’s Word, properly understood, goads or motivates us by showing us His will for mankind as a whole and individually. There is no doubt that this is one reason Paul encouraged Timothy to study (2 Tim. 2:15).
We should remember that it is God and His Word that is both an anchor of strength and a light for the soul (Psalms 119:105, 29:11). One must study and learn of God’s word to gain from it what God has in store for those who obey Him as well as for those who do not. God’s truth can be a stabilizing force in our lives; if we discover and follow God’s plan we can weather all the storms of life with confidence in the eternal future.
One of the problems with mankind is that he often fails to focus on God and His plan for man. Many people fail to seek God’s plan and substitute worldly pursuits to try and give meaning to their lives. But as we so often see, these fail miserably in fulfilling the desired goal. Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon tried to find the meaning of life in such trivial pursuits.
In chapter one Solomon sought enlightenment, knowledge, and clarification but then concludes that human wisdom is vanity. This helps us to understand what Paul meant when he said that there were those who are ever learning but not able to come to an understanding (2 Tim. 3:7). In chapter two, Solomon shows that seeking pleasure, doing great works, attaining material possessions, power and fame would lead one to the same conclusion; that life without God is vain. A self indulgent lifestyle is no replacement for the security of God in our lives. Self indulgence has led many to lives filled with misery, addiction and heartache. The reason is simple, worldly indulgences cannot replace what God had originally planned for mankind.
Solomon was wise, wealthy, having many material blessings, and great power and influence but without God he found no peace. Solomon like so many today sought to be a part of something; he sought to do good for others and had many physical relationships with many different wives but through it all he learned that all was vanity and he was left asking “why am I here?”
Man has an ultimate purpose in life, and Solomon after wasting many years in pursuit of the answer finally came to the proper conclusion. Solomon said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV). After a life of seeking answers in all the wrong places, Solomon concludes that there are two main purposes in our lives. First, we must “Fear God.” This simply means that we must understand God completely. Second, we must keep His commandments. God does not merely want us to try some religion He wants us to know Him and to come to Him on His terms. This involves realizing the rewards of obeying God and the punishment for disobedience.
When asked which the greatest commandment was, Jesus showed that all the commandments could be reduced to two: (1) Love God with all your heart and (2) Love your neighbor as yourself. Our obedience to these two commands will give us more meaning in life than anything that mankind could ever gain from worldly pleasures.
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ. To contact him or to submit a question call him at 423-737-2287 or e-mail: CenterviewCOC@comcast.net)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox