“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11
Last weekend, throughout Liberty County and across the nation, we celebrated the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A federal holiday has been named after him; streets across America bear his name; he is a Nobel Peace Prize winner; and he was jailed for his cause and still was able to sit at the table with the world’s elite.
For all the good that he’s recognized for, he was an imperfect man. What he possessed was a purpose.
Purpose is the reason why something is done. It’s the feeling of being determined to achieve something, and the aim or goal of a person. Purpose says, “I don’t want to, but I have to.” Purpose says, “I’m tired, but I’m doing it to the best of my ability.” Purpose says, “I’m hurt, but somebody still needs me.” Purpose says, “I’m broken, but I’m still called.” Purpose says, “I’m lonely, but I can’t give up.” Purpose says, “I feel sad, but I choose to wear a smile.”
Purpose causes you to dream for a brighter day in the midst of a dark reality.
The Bible says, in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
King had been born into a society that anxiously was awaiting his distinct leadership style and measured authority. They were waiting for him to say the right words and do the right things that would draw the attention of the world and change the fabric of America. And everything he went through worked together for good.
The Apostle Paul, in the book of Acts, approached the court of King Agrippa to plead his case. He said, “I think myself happy!” It’s exciting to know that such a simple but achievable task could have a major impact on your life.
Paul continued to speak on his life story and why he stood before the king that day. He wanted him to know he had history, he had shortcomings, and he’d done some bad things and some good things.
Paul said, in Acts 26:21, “For these reasons, the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come.”
Just like King, we all have a purpose in life, and God is ready to use you. Look back over your life and see where God has brought you from. Look at the words that have been spoken to you, remember the experiences you’ve had and reflect on the guidance God has given you throughout your life.
No matter how bad it looks, you have purpose. God is not through with you yet!
Hayes is the pastor of New Day Community Church and the president of the United Ministerial Alliance.