Bach · Glorify God · Happiness · Purpose

Finding Purpose in Life Through Tragedy

When I was a kid I played piano, including music by Bach. We have all heard his music at one time or another. Hundreds of years later, it still feeds our souls.

What is tragically interesting, is that Bach had lost his first wife. Then he lost seven children at birth or infancy, and then three more later on. He did have twenty children between his two wives, but his life was riddled with personal pain.

Yet Bach would often sign his music SDG at the end. This was shorthand for Soli Dei Gloria, which means “Glory to God Alone” in Latin. This statement reflected I Corinthians 10:31 which says, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Bach realized something we can learn from. The ultimate purpose in life is to glorify God. I often say this means to make God known and famous. Bach did not believe that his ultimate happiness was found in having the perfect life, but serving a perfect God. 

Imagine how hard it must have been for Bach to move on in life. To keep creating, and at an extremely high level. Or to even just get out of bed in the morning. How could he? He could because he realized that his purpose was bigger than himself. It was bigger than his pain, his comfort, his happiness. It involved serving the God of the universe. 

The ultimate purpose in life is to glorify God.

Because of this, we have music that has lasted for hundreds of years. We have pleasure from his music. We have music so creative and beautiful, it reflects (or glorifies) on the creativeness and beauty of our God.

Think About It

So the question is, do we see our lives in terms of our own supreme happiness?

Or do we see it as a life that helps make God known and famous.

Can people look at us like we look at Bach and think, “These people suffer, but they still move on, what kind of God must they serve?”

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