Transform your life through knowledge
Discover the knowledge that brings purpose, joy, hope, and peace
Did you know that in Uruapan, Mexico, the world’s largest cup of hot chocolate was prepared, and it contained 1,272 gallons of deliciousness? Did you also know that the largest olive salad in the world was prepared in Tacna, Peru, and it weighed 1,739 pounds? Also, did you know that it is very likely that knowing these curious facts will not change your life?
Human beings are curious by nature; we like to learn about the world around us. If you do not believe it, watch small children trying to discover where their own shadow comes from, or listen to them ask why this? or why the other? I think God put that curiosity in us; however, there comes a time in life when we must channel in a conscious and proactive way most of that curiosity towards the things that matter most in life; knowledge can give us life (Hosea 4:6), but not just any kind of knowledge can change us in a positive way.
Some benefits of knowing God
The most important knowledge is the knowledge of God. Knowing God and having a relationship with him gives us the sense of purpose we need and brings us joy, hope, and peace, whether we are going through situations that are intensely difficult or stages in which we feel stuck in our daily routines.
More times than I can remember, I have experienced pain because of family problems, lack of resources, illness, or the loss of a loved one. In those moments, what has helped me to see this life from the perspective of eternity has been the knowledge of God: of his immeasurable love, of his mysterious plans, and of his faithful presence in my life.
At other times—the greater part of my life—what I have needed has been a reminder of the value of doing daily chores. Many times, the routine of getting up, going to work, going home, sleeping, and getting up again, only to repeat the cycle all over again, becomes an overwhelming monotony. The truths of God are what give me the energy while I wash the dishes or while cleaning the bathroom. They also motivate me when I’m at work.
Put it into practice
Now that you know that the knowledge of God can give you purpose, joy, hope, and peace, I will say like James, “Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice” (James 1:22). Take it little by little; every day get to know God more: read the Bible, reflect, pray, attend church regularly, surround yourself with other Christians who help you to know God better. I assure you that this knowledge will change your life much more than knowing that in Uruapan, Mexico, the largest cup of hot chocolate cup in the world was prepared.
The second type of knowledge that I think can have a considerable impact on our lives is knowing ourselves. Knowing our identity helps us discover our destiny. Our purpose will be clearer when we discover who we really are.
To begin, I would like to ask you, which of the following factors determine your identity? Your nationality, your history, your strengths, your mistakes? If you think it is one of these, I invite you to reconsider, put your faith into practice and learn more about yourself.
The task of discovering who we are can be a bit overwhelming, but who better than our creator to tell us who we really are? Our history can tell us how we got to where we are now, but in Christ we know we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and God continues to transform us to be more like Christ (Ephesians 4:12-14). Therefore, our history is not as relevant to defining our identity (or our destiny) as the Word of God is. A very clear example is the life of a persecutor of the church called Saul (Paul), whose story did not end as many would have expected.
We base our identity on God, who says that if we are in him, we are his children, priests, heirs, and co-heirs with Christ (John 1:12, Revelation 1:6, Romans 8:16-17). Isn’t that enough to raise our self-esteem when we’re feeling low? Just imagine for a moment that you are the child of the most powerful and rich person you know. How’s that sound? Well, with God it’s even better! Not only is he the owner of all the gold and silver in the world (Haggai 2:8), he is a loving father with whom we have the privilege of enjoying a personal relationship that transcends time and space.
Discover your identity, find your purpose
Once we have a clearer idea of who we are, it will be easier to appreciate our purpose. If we know that we are God’s beloved children, our history and mistakes become indicators of our purpose on earth, rather than determinants of our identity. In addition to our history and mistakes, our strengths, talents, and passions can be excellent indicators of our purpose.
This does not mean that God cannot call and use someone who has no preparation. As pastor and author Steven Furtick says: “God does not necessarily call those who are prepared, but he prepares those he has called.” God does not need to choose those who have a lot of preparation (1 Corinthians 1:27). That is what Jesus did with his disciples. He chose them and prepared them. God also uses the characteristics we have developed through our diverse experiences, just as he used Paul’s religious preparation and cosmopolitan experience (Philippians 3:5; Acts 22:27) to spread his kingdom among the Jews and around the world.
If God used Paul to expand his kingdom, he can use us too. Let’s reflect on our identity in God and use our faith to believe him.
What name would you like God to give you? If you compare your identity based on your history with your identity based on what God says, what differences would you find? Which of these two identities do you choose? If you consider your history, your personality, the mistakes you have made, your abilities, and the things that motivate and excite you, how do you think God is going to use them for his glory and to extend his kingdom to those who do not yet know him?
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