But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
- Isaiah 43:1-7
“Why was I born? Why am I living?”
- Jerome Kern
“Sentiments like Jerome Kern’s have haunted mankind throughout the centuries. Those who never come to know God by Salvation through Jesus Christ miss the answer for all eternity and a truly abundant life. And some times even Christians puzzle over the answer. …
“First concentrate on why you were born. There are three main reasons: To glorify God (Isaiah 43:7), to love God (Mark 12:30), and to fulfill God’s will and pleasure (Revelation 4:11).”
- Lynn D. Morrissey, ‘Writing your Purpose Statement’, Devotion in God’s Abundance, edited by Kathy Collard Miller
The Jerome Kern quote is from the Jerome Kern who won two Academy awards among many nominations and composed a lot of music that is still sung today. Why would he wonder that? He was successful. Yet, can’t we all have that moment at times when we say the same thing? Lynn Morrissey’s answer to the question seems to be so easy, too easy.
But answer a different question. When you break away from glorifying God, loving God, and fulfilling God’s will and pleasure, is there any true sense of fulfillment in your heart? If you kinda, sorta said that there was, did that feeling last?
Don’t get me wrong. One of my first accomplishments as an engineer made millions of dollars for the company. Was that done for God’s pleasure or my own? I still feel good about that, but that feeling does not sustain me. The fact that the old company forgot what I had done for them when I got out of the Army did not help much either. We live in a “What have you done for me lately” world. That even includes us within our own lives. Personal achievements need to continue, if that is all that matters. Or we’ll end up being that old guy sitting on the front porch in a rocker who starts every sentence with ‘Back in my day …’
Please, someone point out this post when I start a post next month with “Back in my day…”
We can learn from our success. We can learn from our failure. Recounting those stories is not bad, for it helps illustrate the reasons for those successes and failures. But to sustain true meaning for our existence, the only thing that sustains in glorifying and loving God and fulfilling God’s will and pleasure.
God sustains us as He promises in the Scripture above. We can have suffering. Water and fire can destroy our stuff, but it cannot destroy our souls. Someone may say that they are not a son of Jacob, but all who believe in Jesus are called His brothers and His genealogy is traced back to Jacob. These promises apply to us.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.