How Scripture Can Help you Discover your Purpose in Life

How to Find Purpose and Meaning in your Life-Pay Attention to His Word and His Way

Have you ever wished God would tell you what you should do? Maybe you need to make an important decision, and you are frozen in fear of making the wrong choice. Perhaps you tried something new, fell flat on your face, and now you feel defeated and lost. 

If you wish God would give you the answers to your most difficult questions, the good news is that you are already halfway there! Because you already trust Him and recognize that He is all-knowing. 

Scripture's Role in Discovering More Meaning and Purpose in your Life

So how do you get from wanting His help in making important decisions to actually getting the answers you are seeking from Him? I believe Scripture is one piece of that puzzle.

When you are in His word, reading and meditating on Scripture, you begin to understand who He is and the type of life He wants for you. The great gift of Scripture is that you can trust it. Because it was true yesterday, it is true today, and Scripture remains true forever.

Previous Steps to Discover More Meaning and Purpose in your Life

This is the third part of a five  part series to discover your purpose. In case you didn’t read the previous two weeks, below is a quick summary and links to them.

  • Build a friendship with Jesus. The more you seek Him and invite Him into your day, the more you’ll know Him and be able to recognize when He is shining a light on the path He has planned for you. You can learn practical ways to build a friendship with Jesus here.
  • Pay attention to your WOW (Witness of Wonder) moments. These are times in your life that something is so clearly happening from God. It’s like He is saying, Hey, I'm here. I hear you. But don’t just search for these moments, write them down, so you’ll never forget how God is there for you. You can learn more about WOW moments here.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS 5 PART SERIES- FINDING PURPOSE AND MEANING IN YOUR LIFE.

I have some practical suggestions for how to go about this, but first, I want you to know what two things you can expect each day of this series.

  • At the end of each day, there will be journal prompts to discover how the topic relates to your life. 
    • This week is about what role Scripture plays in your life.
  • There will also be a suggested activity related to the topic of the day. I love how James encourages us to be a doer of the word.

James 1:22 - but be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourself. 

  • This week’s activity will help you hide His word in your heart.

The Value Placed on Scripture

White-bible-next-to-white-lace-and-dried-flowers-resting-on-the-cover

I don't know about you, but I never really thought about the time and love that went into creating the Bible. I took it for granted because Bibles are so readily available. When I was growing up, and we went on vacation; there was a Bible in every nightstand hotel room.

  • But that was obviously not the case when the collection of stories in the Bible were first written. There weren't computers, or for that matter, there wasn’t even a typewriter back then. That left them handwriting out each and every sentence. I can’t even imagine what a time-consuming process that must have been!

  • Another sign of Scripture's value is that it has been passed down from generation to generation. All of those stories that speak to who God is and the way He wants us to live our lives have been recorded, read, and reread from one generation to the next. 

Scripture is something to treasure. But not just treasure and put on a shelf somewhere to never be read, but a treasure that we get to open up each day and learn something new, something loving and something true about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 40:8, the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God endures forever. 

The Benefits of Scripture

Sheep-in-front-of-tree-in-field

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

  • You learn practical things about how to live your life. I used to view the Bible as a historical book, not so much as a learning opportunity. It wasn’t until I started discussing my faith with others that I learned more about what was in the Bible-(never underestimate the value of being in a community of believers). 
    • Slowly, I started to see that the Bible was so much more than a collection of events that happened centuries ago. In it were important reminders of all the miraculous things God and Jesus did. And even more awe-inspiring than the miracles are the depths of their love for you and me. 
  • You can find comfort. There are so many comforting thoughts in the Bible. Stories of Jesus’ love. Examples of kind and generous moments from God. One of my favorite Scriptures that I take comfort from is:

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

  • You can find encouragement. Have you ever felt defeated in your life? Like all your efforts are futile because what you want to accomplish seems impossible. The Bible is filled with impossible stories like how the Jericho walls came down.
    • Joshua 6:3-5 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.  March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.  Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.  When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

If you feel like Jesus is inviting you to work on something amazing, trust Him, talk with Him, and read His words so you can be reminded of how powerful and loving He is. 

  • Scripture gives us hope. How does Scripture give us hope? Over and over again, you see God and Jesus fulfill their promises. They continue to show up for those that believe in them. Their Word is true and everlasting. So when you read of the beautiful life of the world to come, you can believe that is true. 

Psalm 119:114-You are my shelter and my shield. I put my hope in your word. 

  • You see where you can fit in. The more you read scripture, the more you really start to see who Jesus is and what He wants you to do with your time here.

How Does Scripture Help You Find your Purpose

purple-night-sky-with-light-shining-on-a-winding-road

Psalm 119:105. Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. 

  • By diving into Scripture, you begin to recognize who God is and the life He has created you for. The more you are in the Word of God, the clearer it is to recognize what is His way and not the way of this broken world.  
  • When we are focused on earthly things, it's easy to get distracted by how the world measures success. We compare ourselves to others and become envious of what they have. But when we stay in the Word, we see how God measures success, and we start to see one another as children of God.
  • By staying in His Word, you'll read stories of all the different times He created and equipped someone for a very specific purpose. By reading and reflecting on those Scriptures, you'll start to see that he has also created you for a purpose and has given you specific talents that uniquely qualify you to work with Him to achieve His purpose. 
  • You'll see that he wants you to use your time and talent not just to serve yourself but also to serve those around you.

    Scripture is true, and that is so different from what our broken world gives us. How much easier would our life be if everything spoken and written were true? Imagine the time and energy we would save!

    How Memorizing Scripture Equips You to Weather the Storm

    It is such a wonderful thing to be able to turn to Scripture when you need comfort, but if you ever find yourself in troubled times, without a Bible, what do you do? Scripture memorization is the perfect solution for carrying His word wherever you go. I love how Psalm 119:11 says: 

    I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

    Memorizing Scripture is like being tethered to Jesus throughout your day. You have Him guiding you not only when you are in the Bible but wherever you go.

    I love how Scripture memorization keeps me rooted in His Word and His way because I know that he wants the very best for me. And I know that He wants the very best for you, too!

    Scripture memorization isn’t just about repeating the words back. It’s about meditating on them, so you can understand what the Word is saying to you. Then when you find yourself scared or anxious, about something you will find that your mind defaults to His encouraging words that you have written on your heart. 

    Tips to Make Scripture Memorization Easier

    So it's only been very recently that I've attempted to start memorizing scripture, and there are some things that have helped me that may help you, too. 

    I like to do a couple of different approaches to memorization. I think they both work well together.

    The first step is to pick out the Scripture that you want to memorize. I suggest that you start with the one that you find the most comforting, so that it's there when you need it the most. 

    Picture Scripture Journal-An Aid for Scripture Memorization

    I've found that adding definitions and visual reminders to the written Word help me with Scripture memorization. It is very similar to Bible Mapping. I've taken the pieces of Bible Mapping that were helpful to me and use the modified approach below. 

    1. Gather your favorite crafty things-markers, stickers, colored pencils, etc. But if all you have is a pencil and paper, that will work just fine. And don't worry if you aren't artistic, I'm definitely not an artist! His Word is beautiful enough, so don't worry about your artistic abilities.
    2. Read over the Scripture verse a couple of times.
    3. Then, close your eyes and think of the picture the Scripture paints in your mind.  
    4. Then write out the Scripture either on paper or in a journal.
      1. I like keeping my Scripture memorization verses in a notebook. I love having a collection of all my favorite verses.  
    5. After you write out the Scripture, read over the verses, and see what words jump out at you, I think the beautiful quality of Scripture is that it is living and active, so the same passage may take on a different meaning for you depending on your current circumstances.
      1. Take a few minutes and look up those Word's definitions. 
        1. Besides determining their English origin, try to see what the words mean in Hebrew and/or Greek. 
    6. Add those definitions to the page you wrote the lines of your Scripture.
      1. I like to draw arrows off in different directions to give the page some visual interest.
    7. It is now time for the fun part! Use your crafty things to tell the story of the Scripture. Below are some examples of what I have done in my Scripture journal.  
    When you're finished, you'll end up with this beautiful collection of Scripture that will comfort, encourage, and inspire you.
    Then when you practice memorizing Scripture your mind will see the picture you created, and it will help jog your memory of the words.
           Journal-page-drawn-with-Psalm-23-words-wind-around-to-look-like-a-valley                  Picture-of-colored-pencils-next-to-journal-that-is-open-to-Psalm-23-with-pictures-of-hearts-sun-and-green-grass

    Scripture Memorization Flashcards

    Much of my high school and college years were spent making flashcards. And the reason for that is- because they work! And, I've discovered that they are the perfect way to memorize Scripture. 

    How to Make and Use Scripture flashcards. 

    • Write out or use your computer to type out your Scripture verse.
      • Write each verse of the Scripture you chose on separate index cards. Or print out your verses on cardstock.
        • I create my flashcards in CANVA and then print and cut them out. 
        • Punch a hole in the corner of each one, so you can add them to a ring. That way, they stay together and in the correct order.
        • If you have a laminator, you could also laminate the flashcards.
    • Keep them somewhere you'll see them as you go about your day.
      • You could stick them in your purse or a pocket so you can flip through them while you are waiting in line.
      • You could place them on your nightstand and, instead of grabbing for your phone when you wake up you can flip through your flashcards instead.

    Scripture-flash-cards-on-ring-sitting-on-torquoise-journal     Psalm-23-flashcards

    Recently I've been memorizing the verses in Psalm 23. If you are interested in this Scripture, you can download the free printable flashcards below.
     

    JOURNAL PROMPTS INSPIRED BY SCRIPTURE:

    • Think of something challenging you're facing and journal about what you find difficult about it. 
    • Journal about how you think God sees that problem. 
      • Do you think he sees it as temporary?
      • A way for you to work on a particular characteristic? 
        • Maybe that's patience, humility, or trust.
      •  Is it something that he wants you to use his strength for so that you can lean on him? 
      • Find a Bible scripture that's based on what's challenging you. Then journal about how that Scripture makes you feel. And If you're not sure of scripture for that challenge, you might find the following helpful.
          • Do a Google search. Type in scripture verse, and then put in whatever you are feeling from that challenge—for example, Scripture verses for when I feel scared.
          • Use a Topical Index or Concordance. Topical indexes and concordances reference Scripture by topic. Check the table of contents in your Bible for these resources. 

        INVITATION TO BE A DOER OF THE WORD

        James 1:22, NIV: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." 

        This activity is inspired by Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

        This idea of hiding His Word in your heart is such a great way to access what Jesus wants for you and how to go about it. 

        For this week's activity:

        • First, pick a scripture that gives you hope and encouragement.
        • Then, grab some index cards to create flashcards.
        • Next, write each verse on a different index card.
        • Throughout the week, work on memorizing that Scripture. 
          • Then you will have forever hidden it in your heart.
          • Now, where ever you are, if you start to feel discouraged or overwhelmed, you can find encouragement from Him. 

        Next week's topic is on the role themes have in discovering your purpose. Themes connect the dots in your life to discover your purpose. 

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