Finding Purpose in Life
by Nellie Shani

I believe that a life without purpose is the greatest human tragedy. A wise man once said, "Do not waste your pains and your sorrows; learn all you can from them." How true that is. The only thing worse than suffering is to learn nothing from it! Even suffering has a purpose if we learn something valuable from it. Our Christian life is all about purpose. A purpose is followed by a plan. A plan becomes the engine that drives the purpose to its destination. A plan is a road map that shows us how to get to the point where our purpose is accomplished.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God told a dejected and very discouraged people, ""For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope."" That is what the Israelites needed to hear. At this time they were captives in Babylon, suffering under King Nebuchadnezzar. Their future seemed bleak and hope had walked out through the front door. It probably did not make much sense to them why they, the people
of Almighty God, had no victory over their enemy. The Book of Jeremiah the prophet tells us that they were in captivity in Babylon for 70 years, as judgment for worshiping other gods. However, it must have sounded like music to their ears to hear God say that their stay in Babylon was not without purpose. Jehovah God had a plan. His purpose was to prosper them, by giving them a future and a hope.

Every individual needs to know, that his or her life has a purpose. That God has a good, pleasing and perfect plan for them. It is incumbent upon all parents to convey this very valuable and important information to their children from a young age.

Recent research shows that the highest suicide rate in the world is among young people aged between 15-19 years. It is also said that suicide rates are remarkably higher among men than it is among women. This tragic situation is as a result of young people not seeing any purpose to their lives. Single parent homes are on the increase. Fathers, who are supposed to be role models for their sons, have become a rare commodity in many families. In cases where both parents are living together, there does not seem to be any mentoring for the children. The parents live their own lives, while the children are also engrossed in their own world. Only as children are pointed to God, will they be able to grasp the incredible love and purpose that God has for their lives.

Involvement in illicit sex, drugs, gangs, and alcohol, is just young people "crying out in the wilderness." The clarion call is that they do not see any purpose for their lives, and they do not believe that anybody really cares about them or what they do.

Young people need to know that God has a purpose and a plan for their life, and that they were created to meet that purpose. After that steps should be taken to help them discover their gifts and to how use them to serve others. Liberation comes when a person stops looking for people to serve them, but how they can serve other people. An inward looking person will always be a miserable person. Looking at ourselves will often reveal flaws while looking at others reveals needs. To meet the need of another human being in a God honoring way is one of the most fulfilling experiences there is. The need to feel needed is sometimes stronger than the need for life. That is why some young people commit suicide

Nellie  Odhuno Shani is a Counselor, Conference speaker and writer. Her first books are available on, Barnes and Nobles and on her author's websites.

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