North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Some people dismiss the idea that God created them for any good reason. The continuous recollection of our mistakes can destroy our hopes that we can actually achieve something worthy. And this causes too many people to quit planning for the future because of the weight of guilt, failure, and the over burden of prior commitments. I talk with people who struggle with life and their purpose. For some, where they are now is nowhere near where they thought they would be professionally, relationally, geographically, and spiritually. Rarely does life go as planned. The truth is we’re not ultimately the masters of our own fate. Different factors affect our destination and journey.
Not being sure of your purpose can lead to over doing, burnout, or both. Coping with the daily grind can cause us to misjudge our limitations. Some people have a hard time saying “no” and they get overwhelmed with tasks and become victims of burnout. Burnout can happen to anyone.
A young man came to me for counseling one day and complained of being tired all the time. His interest in everything was gone. He didn’t like the feeling and felt there was nothing left for him in life worth doing. I told him that it’s normal for a person to get into this state when their mind is filled with anxiety, tension, resentment, guilt, or a combination of all four. I continued to explain that if a person doesn’t have a positive release or healthy way to cope with them, they will become a candidate for a breakdown emotionally. These emotions, when long-held, will clog up your personality much like a “log-jam” on a river. The flow of energy and vitality of life will trickle to a slow stream as opposed to a swift-flowing river. I suggested he commit to doing three things: practice prayer at least twice a day (with one being first thing in the morning), practice putting faith in God’s promises (which requires reading the Bible), and practice positive thinking (which means looking for the good in bad situations).
Part of people’s problems, including Christians, is we forget that our main purpose is to know God. John 17:3 says, “This is life that lasts forever. It’s to know You, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” When we get caught up in our own plans we fail to see what God would have us to do. Knowing and loving God is what life is all about. When we get that right, everything else begins to make more sense. Every part of your journey is necessary to add life to your story. It’s as simple as placing your life in God’s hands. In your thoughts, rise above the circumstances so that you look down on them, not up at them. Test things according to God’s will. Never try to gain success from something that’s wrong. Be sure it’s honest, moral, and ethical. Keep your ideas of success firmly fixed in your mind and believe that God is going to give it to you.
Christians are rarely tempted to commit atrocious criminal acts. And when they are, they can usually rise above it. However, the small, almost insignificant everyday happenings can wear people down to the point of defeat. To deal with the daily grind there must be a process you can turn to. The first step in this plan is to know your life is not random. God is weaving together a great story with your life. Your life is to trust Him and embrace the adventure. “Honor and thanks be to the Lord, who carries our heavy loads day by day. He is the God who saves us” (Psalm 68:19).
Because many people neglect God’s promises, they’re ill-equipped to face the daily grind. We should “Remember God’s Promises”. There’s power, healing, and help in God’s Word. You have to search for the promises that fit the specific area of your need and once you find them they become your weapons. They enable you to cope. Read them, meditate on them, write them down, use them, and remember them.
The second step in coping is to “Receive God’s Peace”. The daily grind can become upsetting and frustrating and it’s easy to forget to “Fret not” (Psalm 37:1). Jesus said, “My peace I give to you and let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:27). This kind of peace enables you to handle the purposeless thoughts that may be haunting you.
The third step is to “Reclaim God’s Power”. Colossians 1:11 says, “I pray that God’s great power will make you strong and that you will have joy as you wait and don’t give up”. As the daily grind wears on us and the potential for burn-out looms in our minds, we become more sensitive to distractions. Escape routes can look inviting. In these cases we often try to cope with circumstances in our own strength. Our power is insufficient. But God is still in control and His power is finite.
When our friends or family are engaged in their own personal pursuits, it’s easy to feel alone. “Recognizing God’s Presence” will help you know you’re never alone. Everyone has a time and place on this earth. Our time can seem complicated and confusing. What constitutes true happiness isn’t what you might think and it’s certainly not wise to abandon your life. Your happiness in life doesn’t depend on feeling good all the time or getting everything you want. Joy and contentment comes through faithfulness to a worthy cause. And I assure you God’s promises, peace, power, and presence are worth pursuing.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at


Posted by on Sep 14 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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