We all have our faults. We all have a past. We all wish that some things would/could turn out differently while doing this thing called life. Although he never fell short, Jesus Christ even desired to do things differently at times (Luke 22:42). It is natural to have regret or wish for a redo after the cards have been dealt and all the more after we played them. (And if you’re like me, you probably played them in the most painful way possible as it looks more like self-sabotage and intentional destruction.) Our struggles and addictions and mistakes can easily be placed in the negative category when we look back on our lives (or, given the season, figure out if we are going to be on the “Naughty List” this year), but if you believe in purpose then you absolutely have to believe that there is a reason for the tough times.
Now I am a Christian and believe in God through and through, but even if you don’t, believing in purpose means that we have all been put on this rock for a reason. Mark Twain, one of my favorite people in ever, said that "the two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why." When it comes to heartache, I believe the two most important days of pain or struggle are the day you overcome your pain and the day you find out why you went through it.
One of the last passages in the book of John is subtitled “that you may believe. (John 20:30-31)” The author explains to us that the life of Christ did even more phenomenal things during his time on Earth that were not accounted for in his writings. But, the things that have been written, are designed to help you (and me) “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” The lives that we live are designed to do the same. You overcame your struggles so that others may believe that they can overcome them too. You went through those tests so your testimony can be proof of success. You had to deal with hardships so those coming after you can see that they can deal with them too. Now I am using spiritual references to tell this tale, but it doesn’t have to just be about Christianity.
We all hear the rags to riches stories; the Oprahs, the Zuckerbergs, and the Cardi Bs. (And no, I don’t like her music and don’t really care for her style looking from the outside, but she did make something out of herself when the odds were against her.)
These people, and many others, did the unthinkable and made the impossible, possible. Stories are meant for you; that you may believe. Believe in your past because it is what got you to where you are. Believe in your present because your efforts will get you where you want to be. Believe in your future because it will help another that they may believe. Suffer. Persevere. Create Character. Share Hope. That we all may believe (Romans 5:3-5).
Phil is the Executive Pastor at New Hope COG and one of the founders of coyl.com He is a published author and speaker that loves anime, throwing weights around, and spending quality time with quality people.