Living with Adversity – and Purpose
The truth is, we are here for something greater and something nobler than just to exist – just to take up space. We are here to fulfill God’s purposes in our lives. And that DOES mean making an impact on the world and on others. And of course it also means pleasing and glorifying God.
The contrast could not be greater. Simply flicking channels on the television can show up the most glaring differences. On the one hand you might come upon a documentary or program about folks going through horrific suffering and hardship. It might be the suffering people of Ukraine, or someone dealing with years of recovery from a horrible accident, or those who have gone through years of abuse, and so on. Many are scarred for life.
And then you get various brainless reality TV shows, such as “The Housewives of…” where you seem to have a collection of narcissistic, rich, selfish airheads who seemingly spend their whole lives drinking expensive champagne, throwing lavish parties, and arguing with one another.
Or it could be shows like “Botched” which features a regular supply of brainless bimbos whose only desire in life is to have the world’s largest breasts, or to look just like a Barbie doll, or some other bizarre thing. Even when doctors warn them that such procedures are dangerous and may kill them, they insist on going ahead, spending tens of thousand of dollars (or more) on boob jobs, Botox, nose jobs, etc, etc. They have scars too, but only where the breast implants went in.
Such seemingly empty and vacuous people live for absolutely nothing but themselves. They seem to be completely without purpose in life – at least any worthwhile purpose. The idea that we are here on planet earth not to serve ourselves and pamper ourselves but to actually serve God and others never occurs to them.
And the only thing that I really wonder is this: which is worse, the folks featured in these shows, or the millions of people who slavishly watch these shows every day? Both groups seems to live for nothing, and seem to have no purpose in life. It is just eat, drink and be merry. It is hedonism on steroids (or botox).
I often wonder about fellow Christians and just what they are living for. So many seem to have no real sense of meaning or purpose. Yes, they will go to church once a week – maybe – and they might flick through their Bibles once in a while. And they will pray, mainly when things start going really wrong.
But they seem just as purposeless and without passion for the things that matter as any non-Christian. So let me bring together some various thoughts and experiences I have had over the past few days. Some of these things I have recently shared on the social media. They include:
-If you are like me and easily despair, thinking you are offering little to the kingdom, think again. We all have a divine calling and God will use us for his purposes. The saints of old may have also despaired, yet look at how they are still being used even today. As I discuss in my new piece: Recall that John Bunyan’s classic work was written while he was imprisoned, and it was not published till 1678. How many millions of people have been blessed by that great book? I have been greatly helped by Roger Scruton who in turn was greatly helped by Bunyan who in turn was greatly helped by earlier writers.
-Sometimes it seems like things go pretty smooth and easy for a few weeks, but then all hell seems to break loose: one attack after another, one difficulty after another, one calamity after another. All you can do is cry out to God and tell him you don’t think you can handle it any more. All you can do is call out for his help. And he does get you through, and with the help of his people. Case in point: I was going through the other day, and a few posts by friends helped get me through, including this meme that a friend had just posted: “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).