Whether you’re just getting started on your own or you’re facing a mid career change or you’e looking at the great shift that comes at retirement, there’s value in thinking about the direction and purpose in your life.
Here are 9 encouraging scripture verses to help inspire you, strengthen you, guide you, and remind you that you are not alone.
1-3 Verses about God’s General Purpose:
Knowing God’s specific purpose for your life starts with knowing God’s general purpose for humanity. It’s never too late to start a study of scripture to learn more about God’s general purposes. If you want more clarity and direction in your life, look to scripture as a treasure chest of riches that will help you abundantly
1. Psalm 1
Psalm 1 talks about the benefits of meditation on God’s word. The idea here is that God’s word is nourishing, strengthening, and satisfying. The key verse is verse 3, which says of the person who delights in God’s word:
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”
2. Proverbs 3:5-12
The book of Proverbs contains basic observations about life, painting in succinct fashion deep and profound truths. The foundation of this wisdom, it teaches in this passage, is a relationship with God. The key verses here are 5 and 6 which assert:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
3. Philippians 4:8-9
Your thoughts shape your perspective, your mood, and your behavior. The words and media you consume shape your thoughts. Scripture teaches us to feed our minds on nourishing fare rather than on junk food:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
4-6 Verses about your gifts and passions
God’s purpose for your life arises from the gifts God has given you and the heart God has shaped in you. Self reflection and discovery are always appropriate at any stage of life.
4. Psalm 139:13-18
God is behind the scenes, shaping all the things that make you distinctively you. When you doubt whether you have anything to contribute, take comfort in the truth that you are His handiwork. The key verse here:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” (verses 14-15)
5. I Corinthians 12:4-11
God has a plan for the gifts He has distributed. While we all have different abilities and capacities, we can trust that God weaves them together to make a harmonious whole. Your gift is to be used as a blessing to others. Have faith that you are a blessing.
“There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the spirit is given for the common good.” (Verses 6-7)
6. Ephesians 2:8-10
God’s grace is not only a saving grace, but also a sending grace. God has good plans for you to use your particular gifts to be a blessing.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (v 10)
7-9 Verses about the providence of your time and place
God’s purpose for you is inextricably tied to the providence of your time and place. You were made for this point in history and for the community in which you find yourself. Whatever the challenges or struggles, have no fear because God will deploy your gifts and skills for His greater purposes.
7. Jeremiah 29:4-9
When God’s people were conquered and sent thousands of miles away into exile, God spoke to them through the prophet Jeremiah, who told them to settle down and be a blessing where they were.
“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (v 7)
8. Esther 4:12-14
Esther had risen from a humble peasant girl to the queen of Persia. Then, a malicious government official made God’s people the targets of a plot. Though Esther was inexperience in palace politics, her Uncle encouraged her to intervene, reminding her that her calling was tied to her place and time:
“…who knows that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (v 14)
9. Colossians 3:23-25
Whether your position is great or small, we are called to focus on the tasks before us, working as serving God.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (v 23)
When we take these scriptures to heart, we find that our lives are filled with purpose already. We don’t need to go on elaborate quests to discover purpose. Rather we attend to the purposes in front of us. As we develop the habits of taking responsibility for the small things in front of us, we find that greater and greater opportunities come our way. As we focus on our gifts, we find that our skill in applying them becomes sharper. As we continually reflect on the teaching of God’s word, we gain better insight about where to focus our best energies – where to say ‘yes’ and where to say ‘no.’
Now go be a blessing!
I hope this has been helpful. If so, please share with your friends. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter – you’ll get a regular dose of inspiration and encouragement in your inbox.