“Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.” Psalm 119:175 (NIV)
Many people muddle through life with no real sense of purpose. So, their human nature tries to replace purpose with happiness. That’s why our culture promotes pleasure, power, and personal achievement—all of which are fleeting. Even believers can get distracted with these self-centered and hollow pursuits. The final stanza of Psalm 119 reminds us that we were created to live for a greater purpose.
In the previous twenty-one stanzas the psalmist has cried out to God for help as well as declare his love for God’s Word. Now, after 174 verses, he states his ultimate purpose—to live is to praise God. The sustaining power of Scripture enabled him to honor and glorify the Lord, regardless of his circumstances. He began to live for a greater purpose, not in spite of his difficulty, but because of it.
If our main goal is to be happy then our faith can grow weak when life gets difficult. We may even question God’s love. So, rather than asking God to give us an explanation we need to ask Him to give us understanding (vv27, 34, 73, 144, 169). Through the Bible the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s character. The more we understand, the more we can pray in harmony with His promises (vv41, 76, 116, 154, 170); and the more our lives overflow with praise (vv171-172).
What do you desire most for yourself and for your family? Whatever came to mind first reveals what drives you, and that determines everything else about you. Thinking, “I just want my family to be happy” is actually wishing them a shallow existence, void of eternal purpose. Remember, living for a greater purpose often begins by drawing closer to God when we’re face-to-face with life’s challenges.
We cannot begin to understand how God is working in our lives until we see ourselves and our circumstances as He sees them. That’s why taking our cares to the Lord must go hand-in-hand with staying in His Word. As we do so, the sustaining power of Scripture enables us to praise God in every circumstance of life. And that unlocks the door to life’s greatest purpose—to honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.