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Happiness is the Pursuit of Purpose in Our Lives

Don Mackintosh
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Don Mackintosh

Chaplain/Pastor - Weimar Institute

Director - Newstart Global/the HEALTH Program (Health, Evangelism, & Leadership Training)


  • March 31, 2021
    7:00 PM
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I was reading a book this week who said Happiness is the pursuit of purpose in our lives happiness is what. The pursuit of purpose and a lot of us praying will talk about his father in heaven blesses today as we talk about individual collective purpose in Christ's name Amen so Happiness is a pursuit of purpose in our lives if we live with moral purpose even death becomes less painful you know King never going to rest those. 3 That would not bow down to his statue said you know who's going to deliver you you know don't you know I can throw you in it says look we know we know our God is able to deliver us but it's not we will not worship your idol which you've set up right in other words we have a higher purpose and even dying will not take us away from that purpose they had this collective sense of purpose and this is what kind of led them forward you know Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself he had a purpose Victor Frankl who's a guy that went through the Holocaust a long time ago said whoa to him ooh saw no more sense in his life no way no purpose and therefore no point in carrying I'm serious in the concentration camp and he was watching people die all around him and he said the reason that what killed them was not the guards not the cruelty but they ended up not having any more purpose. So no purpose therefore no point to carrying on he was soon lost we had to learn ourselves and for the wrong we had to teach despairing man the then that really matter what we expected from life but rather what life expected from us. What was our purpose and so he began writing is my purpose in this concentration camp is the tell people how to get through concentration camps with purpose my purpose is to use everything that happens to write about how keep keeping my my my meaning Central is the central thing so he wrote a very fascinating book according to a 14 year London to do a study from the Years ago of Charlton in Canada those reporting strong purpose in life at the onset of the study were 15 percent more likely to be alive at the end of the study than those of the nuns and the statistics held true for every single aids group so this whole idea of having a sense of purpose why am I taking this chemistry class Why am I taking this biology class Why am I taking this mathematics class how does that relate to healing or hurting world how does that relate to leading someone to eternal life. How is how are all those things related right. This last Sabbath we had a guy who was a nuclear physicist and he did he find a way to share science in a purposeful way maybe not an understandable way but a purposeful way. I think it was understandable as well I mean I asked my son James the youngest child there is that what would you think have is I don't know God was very confusing to me a civil What do you think bottom line was on the rocks the rock they were in they were created instantly as some kind of balloons or little polonium things in them and that destroys that they're created instantly That's it I mean that's a big message but I don't know all the stuff he said I don't know I'm here that's good enough that's basically elderly man you could give men talk a lot quicker. Then than he did but he he he liked that sense of meaning sense of purpose right. Now I got it I was looking at a post from one of my friends who is dying of stage 4 cancer well hoping not to die but really struggling and I thought I'd read this to you because here this person is finding purpose while it looks like they're dying and here I am she writes exhausted but still alive after enduring some of the most wretched days I've ever experienced since my last update I became extremely sick with a sop to gyde is brought on by the chemo I was so sick I couldn't keep food down for 4 days and I want you to think about this when you're thinking of complaining about your lot how many already know the FIs is the this is a lot better than Lyme to say a lot worse than what I'm going through right during the last 2 days of that time I was unable to even keep down sips of water one night this week I was in bed feeling very ill and was a struggle just to swallow the saliva in my mouth without gagging and rising I was determined I must get control of this horrible process the saliva collects into my mouth and I pray God please help me asking for strength to swallow the saliva it kept on for a while my esophagus would go into spasms make me feel even sicker and I would plead with God to help me my mouth would start filling again God give me strength I pray and I'd swallow again I leaned back and propped up I am pillows trying to keep the pressure on my esophagus tray swallow rest pray swallow rest. As is when I suddenly realize that I was totally and completely dependent on God for every swallow if I didn't want to vomit there was no time to focus on anything else just the next Prayer followed by the next swallow life doesn't get much more moment by moment than this I thought depending totally on God and helpless to handle myself like the life of the Christian should be total dependence total trust walking with God every moment unable to survive without his constant graces strength this will be especially true of troubles increase in the future of my life I thought quietly a thought formed in my mind almost as if someone spoke this is what you always prayed for I was startled but it was true for years I did ask God to prepare me for heaven to transform my character to help me be faithful in all things to make me like Jesus this is how God is answering your prayer explain the strong and present my eyes open wide and I stare into the darkness suddenly everything was so very clear this cancer this dark path I've been traveling the fear the uncertainty that has forced me to cling to God and learn lessons of submission dependence and trust that I never thought possible and now this intense sickness from Asop agendas that has tormented me so all of it has been permitted by God to purify and refine my character to prepare me for heaven I'm having the opportunity to practice a life of total dependence on God right now and that's what she always wanted that was what she thought her purpose was. Oh no I don't I was for 1st rather So I was trying to. Toss me so much I felt humbled as I thought of my dissatisfaction of my complaints and my question is that I've often been the part of my reaction to this cancer journey who am I to complain of God's methods of answering my prayers I prayed then and again surrendered my life my future my all into his hands and asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit so he can do what he wants with done in my life and then I asked please God send the Holy Spirit to fill this room please send the angels to surround us and like John says prayers on the Angels at that moment lying in bed I sense their presence in the room. Beside my bed at the foot of my bed all around the room I close my eyes and had such a feeling of security that comes from knowing that I'm being watched over such peace I relaxed I couldn't see them but I could sense their presence I continued praying pondering precious thoughts of God His love the sacrifice of Jesus for us the beauty of his way haven't found such things I thought of what it would be light to meet Jesus some day he's been with me every step of my air of the journey he understands all I've been through because he's born all my grief and carried all my sorrows. Will have much to talk to him about when I finally get to see him face to face will be like long time friends joyfully reunited my heart thrilled at these thoughts and then came an experience that I can't find words to describe. This happened this week but I'll try joy sheer joy flooded over me I smiled into the darkness peace and happiness that I had never experienced before filled my soul it was like an unstoppable fallen welling up in me and it kept flowing over me wrapping my arms around myself I hug myself and kept smiling joy peace love compered all kept flowing over me and I continued smiling. And then same with the other an hour came a thought I'm valuable I'm not worthless I'm of infinite worth because Jesus the creator of the universe paid an infinite tries to save me and he gave his own into my life for me it seemed that every burden every pain every sorrow every anxiety every fear everything negative that ever weigh me down was lifted from me I felt light free and also happy a total sense of well being this is emotional healing I thought what I've been praying for I continue to smile thank you God I rejoiced the creator of the universe constant of the come to earth to suffer and die to save a poor wretched simple emotionally damaged baggage laden basket case with stage 4 cancer praise God unimaginable yet true he cares for me I matter I have value I'm not worth it what precious thoughts no more need for self loathing self condemnation I'm loved I imagine Jesus reaching out and touching me with his healing power the joy continue to flow and I reveled in the sweetness this must be what heaven is like I've got and I imagine myself running and dancing arms are stress free and happy through fields of light and heaven meeting embracing others just as joyful as myself I don't know how long this blissful experience left the but eventually it passed. I lay in bed thinking and thinking I didn't want to ever forget the preciousness of these moments so I wrote them out as my symptoms returned the swallowing the praying following the spasms I thought about how faith must not be confused with feelings God and mercy had given me a taste of joy and a precious insight in his love for me the lies ahead of my life whatever lies and I know he loves me will be there with me to strengthen and help me I know they'll be rough days ahead but they have this press is experience with God remember and I'm so thankful Usually I must choose to have faith and believe in God's goodness mercy and love without having any feeling to go with it but this time God love me spares the feelings do how marvelous is grace to wars were enough for Grace I'd be lost but because of God's grace my heart is full of hope I know that's just me that touch you just not even a of the Swallow I thought of my friend and the last time I saw our running joyful with her husband in not a care in the world but now going through this trial but this thing it test me most about is she did not lose her sense of purpose. She began to look at everything through the lens of I prayed that God would give me dependence moment by moment and he's answering my prayer the negative now becomes what positive because he has that sense of meaning and purpose maybe you're struggling tonight individually don't give up don't give a god has a purpose and plan for your life. So there are 4 things that make up a purpose individual moral purpose this comes from knowing were made in God's image and in His likeness this is a powerful text in the Bible other religions other worldviews don't have any of that God is not involved in the lives of some one in various worldviews doesn't even know about them but this God says I will make you in my image while we have a purpose that comes from the fact that we're created and we can have a relationship with God Voltaire the famous 8 the atheist once said I want my lawyer I want my tailor I want my servants even my wife to believe in God because it means that I should be cheated and Rob much less. If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. So even the most die hard a this is a look I'd like to be surrounded by believers hopefully that won't be like me number 2 number one was individual more purpose number 2 capacity to pursue that purpose in order for us to be happy we must believe that we can pursue that happiness with some degree of success some degree of success. I'm of you wish you could you could study and do things much more easily and didn't have to study that hard how do you as men I I wish I'd just head photographic memory I had I had some friends I mean in school these people this make you sick you know. My friend Bill he's a brilliant guy said next me every day I said it's a part I just want to osmotically. Pass I would put my head next to his because he was so smart to do you mind if I discount link up. So your head goes you're just weird but then he he would say stuff to me like he would say stuff like that you know don't don't don't memorize down don't memorize just recognize oh man I hated that what do you mean because this isn't Don't try and memorize it you're stressing yourself out don't memorize just recognize So how do you do that you just do it when you do it you'll know you're doing it because you're doing it but don't think too much about it down and he didn't he didn't he didn't even look at the he would just look at the book once because all I ask God is help me to recognize I mean I was beat the guy up he said to me so many times let's go I'm go if you say it again I'm going to beat you up and don't memorize it just recognize it when I do beat you up. Because some people just seem to have you know maybe an affinity for test taking and really that's kind of what it is sort of some people are just good at taking tests but that has really nothing to do with life like when you go in you know you go to the hospital is going to be a multiple multiple choice question that you see in the 1st room now it's going to be Mr Robinson right that's who is going to be and Anyway Frankel talked about this every day every hour offered an opportunity make a decision and this isn't what determined whether you would would or would not submit to those powers which led to rob you of your very self your freedom your to and determine whether or not you would become a plaything of circumstance renounce in freedom and dignity to become molded into some form of a typical inmate. And he wouldn't allow it to happen says that I am going to believe even though I have no indication I going to believe that these barriers the barbed wire is going to come down there are going to be people that come and deliver us we are going to be successful and I am going to write this book that I'm writing right here on scraps of paper and Heinie under my my bed and I'm trying to write a book and it's going to be published so having this idea that even though things might be rough. I'm going to continue just like my friend I'm I can't even swallow saliva God help me the next breath so number one they say it's individual moral purpose number 2 individual capacity to pursue that then comes communal moral purpose. Chris Stern soldier marching all along. No that's not the song but is a song soldiers so part of the reason we come together for these worship's and all these different things is because there's a sense of yes your moral purpose and that you can do things yourself but there's a sense that when you come together that you've got to give this idea like. We're we're making it we're going together we're going to make it I remember all the people in my nursing class pretty much all of them I remember the people at work and there's a sense of collective you know maybe a member of the people in your t.c. I group and you're doing things together communal moral purpose also Bible say to are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor when they fall the one will lift up his fellow. And middle Durkheim said we can measure suicide rate by social connection. The devil tries to get you to isolate icily by the way social media is a form of isolation the more time you spend spend on Facebook and the more friends you have on Facebook the less that aside you are with life according to all the studies. People have fewer friends than they did 10 years ago 15 years ago it's those organic I ball to eyeball interactions kind of like maybe have on c.c.i.. If you want to predict how happy someone is or how long they're going to live you should find out about their social relationships having strong social relationships strengthens the immune system extends life speeds recovery from surgery and reduces the risk of depression and anxiety Harvard the best single predictor of lifelong happiness with the presence of close relationships and satisfaction with relationships at age 50 was actually more predictive of long term health then cholesterol levels. So the new Star program of see how many close friends again more predictive than your cholesterol level. So what builds communities a sense of Bisan what the community's moral purpose is what's our purpose we have these meetings what does it all mean we're trying to help people understand what their purpose is what God is trying to do in their lives and we're working together and we put out flyers today we're letting people know because we're that's our collective sense of purpose we're here to learn how to heal or hurting world not to learn how but to be involved in healing not when then but now I guess. Right. And that's why we do t c I and that's why we we do things as we go because if we don't we lose our sense of purpose when I 1st was working here I was the dean I know it's a joke but I was the dean and I also was in charge of Africa Oh I have this ability to be in charge of too much stuff but anyway I was in charge of Africa and I was the dean and we had such a core dispirit I mean we would go a lot on Thursdays and we go out on Sundays and we go out on Wednesdays on outreach and we had all these things we're all working together and when we got through they didn't even want to leave they said look we want to go to college here because that and then they got disappointed because when they went to college we no longer had those same days of outreach and different things like we have t.c. I now because I learned a lesson but we didn't have that and they started with a ring on the vine these people that were just totally on fire because they didn't have a collective sense of yeah we're working on this they just started to die. Which is one of the reasons we're working together on this series of meetings right we've cancelled out all those other things that we can work together on this of seared vision of what the communities moral purposes when I was out on the trail talking to this lady today she goes oh no this was yesterday I mean every day I'm out on the trail I just kind of lurk by one of the rocks. Like if I see someone coming I don't want to be in between rocks you know. You know I kind of just kind of stay by the rock because it's a great conversation starter but this lady she talked to me and she was talking about the rock and I will give you the whole think is you probably get bored of my stories but I'm talking to her and she goes. And I told my son today because he heard me this I guess you know what the thing is I'm out here many times by myself and no one believes that actually happened what I said but you were here did you hear that he goes Yes Dad I heard I heard today and I realize that I bring it with you again it goes No please don't let me just I don't want to come with you all the time. But in a way this lady does what she said to be she says to me she goes. She goes so you had some the do these rocks I said Not really I mean sort of you know not really. Well whoever did you tell you tell whoever has some of do with this what you want to tell keep doing what you're doing keep doing what you're doing. And I thought good because it's meeting in need and that's our purpose to heal or hurting world right when you hate it when your phone goes to sleep every single time you don't have your finger on. You know it's not saying what gives me a sense of purpose is having a big government. Or whatever no government armed with power capable of can to is armed with power cable of contending with human passions unbridled by more morality and religion and avarice ambition and revenge gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through and that our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people it's wholly inadequate to the government of any other so this sense religion is actually the word comes from the word ligament. Ligament it holds us together it's bulk is this on a moral purpose and then finally communal capacity pursue their purpose so not just having individual moral purpose and moral agency the ability to do it but being together in a group and having a group that can pursue a purpose and meet goals has Wiemar pursued purposes and met goals yes or no the you don't know the answer that this place was going down and. That's the only reason I got to be in charge. Because you're going to go down and put down over there it was going down you think the buildings look bad now. This Billy Wright Hill was filled with rats it was condemned. And I propped my class and I said let's clean it up there like we're going to get asbestos we're going to die I said let's die of something then. And we cleaned it out now you're here in this this is a example of purpose. I could give you so many examples right here but Communic a passage must somehow make room for us to pursue our individual moral purposes exerciser in the biz of the past they were providing means to work together and that's what the church is and that's why it's so important the pursuit of individuality and human commune ality. And commonly working together for richer as goals can only be affected when strong social institutions thrive like churches and synagogues and social clubs and charity organizations so that's what we want to service to grow strong in this community but we want other churches to grow strong in other communities we don't want everybody to stay here I want people leave get out of here and take what you learned and do that somewhere else. Right the end of the services which we're going to end here in just a 2nd and we're going to pray together and into services in the early church for the 1st century as soon as they got through giving a talk he said Leave go find someone else and tell me for you for good. So that's what I say tonight but pray before you leave pray for each other and pray for the people you've invited and then we'll go our way tonight so get together with someone and then spending a few minutes in prayer and then you are dismissed at to do it God bless you have a great rest the we can remember that lady swallowed by swallow can be sustained by God you can sustain. This media was brought to you by Adil 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w w w audio verse or.


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