Purpose and Significance in Life

What precisely do we mean by “Purpose in Life?” Your purpose in life is that which gives you a reason for living, the reason why God put you here on earth, an expression of your personal significance to God, it will be unique to you, based on God’s personalised plan for you.

I heard a friend said at the beginning of the year: “I don’t feel like my life has any purpose. Is there any hope for me?” Yes. You have hope – you were created by the God of hope. In the Bible, God says that He created you with a specific plan for your life. Your life can be filled with hope and purpose when you choose to follow God’s will. “ ‘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 hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11)

The same friend asked, “If I have purpose, will I have any significance in life?”

Our significance means your importance, your personal value, and your individual worth. A sense of significance is one of your three God-given inner needs. Those three inner needs are:

  1. Love: To receive an unchanging, unconditional commitment from another for what is best for you. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
  2. Significance: knowing the meaning and purpose for your life. “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.” (Psalm 57:2)
  3. Security: being grounded with an unshakable sense of belonging and acceptance. “He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress.” (Proverbs 14:26)

Though you might not have been using these exact words, but the following statements express the same desire of your heart: “I want my life to count.” “I want my life to make a difference.” “I want my life to be significant.” “I want my life to have meaning.” “I want my life to have purpose.” “I want to have an impact.” “I want to do something important.”

Somebody asked: “I’ve always felt insignificant. When comparing myself to others who are more gifted and accomplished than I am, how can I not feel insignificant?” You already have God-given significance … not because of anything you have done, but because of what Christ has done for you. You were significant enough for God to create you in His image (Genesis 1:26). You were significant enough for the Lord to design a preplanned future for you (Jeremiah 29:11).        You were significant enough for Jesus to die on the cross for you (John 3:16). Realise that Jesus would not die for anything or anyone insignificant. You, indeed, have God-given worth. “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6–7)