Psalm 138: 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. 8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
The author of this psalm is believed to be King David – of David and Goliath fame. He was chosen by God at an early age to be king, but there were some 10-15 years between the time David was chosen to be king and the time he actually ruled as king. And, it must be said, those 10-15 intervening years were difficult ones. Yet the Lord was testing David and instilling in him the sort of strength of character he would need to be an effective king.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Two things jump out at me from this verse:
1) God had a purpose for David – to be king of his people Israel. David did not get to decide this. The same is true for you and me. We don’t get to decide our purpose in life, God has already given us one. Our purpose is to grow as followers of Jesus who share life in Christ with others. The particular way that gets lived out varies from person to person, but the overall purpose is the same.
2) God would be the one to accomplish David’s purpose, not David. I don’t mean to say that David had no role to play in his own life, but that fulfilling his purpose was ultimately the work of God – not David. If you read the story of David beginning in 1 Samuel, this becomes obvious. The same is true of you and me. We cannot, in our own strength, fulfill our God-given purpose. God is the one who gives us grace to live as followers of Jesus. God is the one who invites people into our lives that we might share life in Christ with others. We are most certainly active partners in this, and we definitely have the capacity to rebel against God’s purposes for us, but the driver of this process is God the Father.
Question: Does my life line up with my God-given purpose? Does yours? If I’m honest, I’m a work in progress. Some days my life looks a lot like a follower of Jesus, but some days… not so much. I’m regularly tempted to fall into the norms and expectations of the world around me. What about you? Let’s pray.
Heavenly Father, we give you thanks that you have created us with a purpose in mind – to live as followers of Jesus who share life in Christ with others. Give us grace to know how to live out our purpose in the various arenas of our lives; home, work, school, and so on. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.