To a Christian the purpose of this temporary life of ours is to be willing to go where we don’t want to go, because that’s what life was all about for Jesus. That’s how Paul phrased it in Philippians 2:5-11, that Jesus came as a human to do what God wanted and “God exalted him to the highest place” for doing so. And as Paul says in verse 5, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ,” and if it is then God will exalt us too.
We have our purpose clearly spelled out for us, therefore, as to why we’re alive in this temporary, finite, stressed out body of ours that one day dies. Simply put, it’s doing what God wants and he will exalt us. And that sounds great until you realize God also took Jesus in directions during his human lifetime that stretched him way beyond his comfort zone (Matthew 26:38, Hebrews 5:7).
But why did God do that to him? Because the test God put to us humans from the very beginning in the book of Genesis was: Would we go in the direction he wanted us to go?
If the answer was “Yes,” then God could proceed with the glorious and highly exalted purpose he had for humans as rulers and guardians of this planet.
If the answer was “No,” then that was the end of humans – unless and until a human existed who was willing to go in the direction God wanted, come what may.
And Jesus was the first to volunteer. He lived a life of going exactly in the direction God wanted, regardless of what happened to himself. As a result, God opened the door to anyone else willing to follow Jesus’ example, and to those who said, “Yes, I understand your purpose for this temporary existence of mine, and I’m going for it,” God promised he would provide all the help they needed to keep going, no matter how stressful life became, just as he provided that help for Jesus (Hebrews 5:7).
And as a Dad I understand how God must feel toward a child who is willing to go in directions he or she would rather not go. I believe there is nothing God is more proud of than a human who accepts that this is what this temporary, finite, stressed-out human life is for, and throws his lot in with God’s purpose, trusting God every step of the way to keep his head above water and keep on serving others as Jesus did, no matter how this life turns out, because he totally believes God will exalt him to a new, unending, thrilling life next.