Last Updated: March 18, 2022
Growing up in church, I always knew that God had a plan for my life, but I was told that I had to find it. I struggled with doubt and inaction because I wasn’t sure of God’s purpose for me. For anyone like me who has felt a lot of pressure to find God’s will, there is some really good news in this Bible verse.
Psalm 138:8 (ESV) says: “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” This verse tells us that God has a purpose for our lives, and He will accomplish it. Because His love endures forever, we can trust that He will never abandon His work in our lives.
For years I worried that I might be missing God’s plan for my life. I struggled with anxious thoughts like, “What if I’m heading in the wrong direction? How do I know I’m in God’s will?”
But when I finally started to understand His love and faithfulness, I learned that He is working to accomplish His purpose in my life. The pressure is off, because it’s His plan. My role is simply to trust Him and allow Him to work in my life.
Let’s take a closer look at Psalm 138:8 and other Bible verses that show that we can trust God to fulfill His purpose.
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It’s God’s Purpose, Not Ours
The first thing we should take away from Psalm 138:8 is the simple truth that God has a purpose.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”
God is orchestrating the events in our lives according to His good plan. In fact, even before we were born, He knew all the days of our lives:
Your eyes saw me before I was put together. And all the days of my life were written in Your book before any of them came to be. ~ Psalm 139:16 NLV
God has a purpose for us that reaches beyond what we can imagine. Even if we dream up great things we can do in life, His purpose is greater. That’s because it’s His purpose, not ours, that will be accomplished. His purpose is bigger than ours, and it will stand firm no matter what happens to us (Source).
Everything Is For His Glory
We get a glimpse of the all-encompassing purpose of God in these verses:
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we … might be for the praise of his glory. ~ Ephesians 1:11-12 NIV
Ultimately, His purpose is bigger than ours because it’s not about us, it’s about Him! He has chosen us to be a people to bring Him glory. Everything we do is ultimately for His glory.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV
God Fulfills His Purpose, Not Us
God knows how each of our individual lives will bring Him glory. Going back to Psalm 138:8, we see that He fulfills this purpose, not us.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”
God is intimately involved in our daily lives to accomplish His purpose. If every day is in His book, then His purpose must be very detailed! We don’t know everything that He has planned for us. But, we do know that He works out every little detail according to His plan, for His glory.
And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. ~ Romans 8:28 BSB
Also, there is another verse in the Psalms that says something similar to Psalm 138:8. Allow me to draw your attention to several different translations of this verse, Psalm 57:2:
I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. (ESV)
I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. (KJV)
I call to God Most High, to God, who completes his plans for me. (EHV)
I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me. (NASB)
I cry out to God Most High, to the God who does everything for me. (NCV)
Isn’t it amazing? He completes his plans… He does everything… He accomplishes all things for me. Everything I have. Everything I am. Everything I’ve ever done—it’s all from God! He is the one who sustains me and gives me every moment’s breath.
He Will Finish What He Started
What a good reason to give Him the praise, honor, and glory! His detailed involvement in our lives demonstrates His grace, love, and goodness.
He started a good work in us when, by His Spirit, He enabled us to say “yes” to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And even after we’ve accepted the gift of salvation, it is still God who continues to work in our lives:
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. ~ Philippians 2:13 NIV
It’s very freeing to realize that the Lord’s purpose doesn’t depend on us, but on Him. We might make a mistake, make a bad choice, or lose focus, but God is faithful, and He is even working through our mistakes to bring about His purpose. No matter what happens, we can trust that He will finish what He started:
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ~ Philippians 1:6 ESV
Nothing Can Stop His Purpose
Some Christians worry that they’ve missed God’s will. I’ve struggled with this before, wondering if my decisions had taken me a different direction than God intended. Did I choose the wrong profession? Did I miss a better opportunity?
Maybe you’re afraid you’ve gone astray from God’s purpose for your life because of your past decisions. Maybe you think your mistakes have taken you too far off course. Can I encourage you with something I’ve learned?
Your actions are not powerful enough to derail God’s purpose for you!
In fact, nothing is powerful enough to stop His purpose.
I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ~ Job 42:2 ESV
God’s Promise of Faithfulness
Remember Psalm 138:8: “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”
We know that God’s love endures forever. There is absolutely nothing in the universe that can separate us from His love (see Romans 8:38-39)!
For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. ~ Psalm 100:5 NLT
He has promised to be faithful to us. So we can trust that He will never abandon the work He is doing in us. The way I interpret the Psalmist’s (David’s) request in Psalm 138:8, “Do not forsake the work of your hands,” is as a trusting prayer. David is confident that God will answer this request, because he knows and trusts in God’s character.
For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance. ~ Psalm 94:14 NIV
Be encouraged, friend. God loves you fiercely and He will never abandon you. Nothing you could ever do would be powerful enough to stop His purpose for you.
Maybe you’ve made some mistakes. But if your faith is in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, your sins and mistakes have been forgiven and washed away.
God is so good and so faithful that He even works through our mistakes to accomplish His purpose! He works all things together for good (see Romans 8:28 above). By His grace, He orchestrates every detail of our lives for the ultimate purpose of His glory.
Three Practical Applications of Trust
So if you’re like me, maybe you believe and trust that God will fulfill His purpose, but there’s still a part of you that asks: But what do I do? Here are three practical steps that we can use to apply this to our lives.
1. Don’t Worry About Your Life
I used to be afraid to try new things because I wasn’t sure if they were “God’s will for me.” But that way of thinking did nothing but paralyze me. I was stuck in inaction rather than developing the gifts and skills that God gave me.
So, Psalm 138:8 and Psalm 57:2 teach us to stop worrying so much about finding God’s “perfect” plan for our lives.
If it’s His plan, He will accomplish it. If we believe that He will fulfill His purpose, (not us), it frees us to focus more on walking with Him from day to day. Jesus told us not to worry, but to seek first to live life in God’s way:
I tell you, do not worry about your life… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. ~ Matthew 6:25, 33-34 NIV
In our day-to-day lives, there is freedom in Christ. We have freedom to try new things, explore new directions, and see where we can use our unique gifts, talents, and skills to glorify God. Instead of worrying about our lives, we can simply rest, trust Him, and live for His glory.
2. Get to Know God
It’s hard to trust someone you don’t know, so the next practical application is to get to know God. Do you believe He has a purpose for you? How do you know it’s a good purpose? If you know the nature of God, that’s an easy question to answer: Because He is good.
God has given us the amazing privilege of having a relationship with Him! We have the Holy Spirit living in us. The Bible is a treasure of knowledge about God’s character, and the Spirit uses it to teach us about Him. So get in God’s Word, study it, meditate on it, and learn what it says about who He is. Then spend time in prayer. Build that relationship with Him and learn His attributes.
When you get to know God, you get to know His heart and His ultimate purpose. In His Word, He has shown us His way for living life (see Micah 6:8). Through studying Scripture we learn the guidelines He’s set in place for how we should live. And the more we learn about Him, the more we know for sure that He is powerful and capable of fulfilling His purpose:
I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me? ~ Jeremiah 32:37 NLT
For learning more about the attributes of God and His nature, I highly recommend this book: The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. I also recommend Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund for getting to know the kind and compassionate heart of Jesus.
Bible meditation is also a great way to fill our minds with truths about who God is. For step-by-step guidance on how to meditate as a Christian, these 3 guided meditations on Scripture are the perfect introduction to Christian meditation for beginners:
3. Remember the Big Picture
Finally, remember the big picture. God has made His ultimate purpose known to us: it’s all for His glory! He chose us to be His holy, perfect, and blameless people, and to bring all things together under the headship of Jesus Christ:
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight… He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ … to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. ~ Ephesians 1:4, 9-10 NIV
In eternity we won’t be thinking about all of the things we did for God in life! We will be praising Him for all of the wonderful things He did:
O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them. ~ Isaiah 25:1 NLT
When all is said and done, we will know that everything was for His glory, and He fulfilled His purpose.
Whatever we do in our lives, may it be done to honor Him. May we use the unique skills, gifts, and opportunities that He has given us to bring Him glory.
Further Resources on Finding God’s Purpose
If you want to learn more about what the Bible says about finding God’s purpose and making life decisions with God’s glory in mind, I recommend these books:
Are you seeking to follow God’s purpose for your life? This printable journal will guide you through Scriptures about God’s plan for you, with prayers and devotionals to help you live for His glory. Check out the Walking in Purpose Prayer Journal*:
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I hope this post has been helpful to you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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