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The Purpose of Life

Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.
(Ecclesiastes 3:9-15)


God has “planted eternity in the human heart” (3:11). This means that we can never be completely satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits. Because we are created in God’s image, (1) we have a spiritual thirst, (2) we have eternal value, and (3) nothing but the eternal God can truly satisfy us. He has built in us a restless yearning for the kind of perfect world that can only be found under his perfect rule. He has given us a glimpse of the perfection of his creation. But it is only a glimpse; we cannot see into the future or comprehend everything. So we must trust him now and do his work on earth.

What is the purpose of life? To revere the all-powerful God—to respect and stand in awe of him because of who he is. Purpose in life starts with who we know, not what we know or how good we are. It is impossible to fulfill your God-given purpose unless you revere God and give him first place in your life. God wants us to enjoy life. When we have the proper view of God, we discover that real pleasure is found in enjoying whatever we have as gifts from God, not in what we accumulate.


As you go to the Lord in prayer, you might start by telling God what you appreciate about him. Offer up thanksgiving for the good plans he has for your life.

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