The Big Question 3: What is the Meaning of Life?
Apr 19, 2018 476
What is the meaning of life?
It’s often when we’re facing a crisis that we ask the questions that matter to understand the meaning of life.
Not long ago, I received a phone call from a person who was dealing with a very serious, life-threatening issue. He needed to talk with someone. As we walked under the trees beside a river, my friend understandably had some big questions, like:
- Have I lived a good life?
- Have I been wrong all along about life? and
- What’s been the purpose of my life?
I believe that our greatest purpose is to understand God’s love for us, accept it, and prepare to spend eternity with him. It’s when we do this that we find true happiness.
It’s often been said that humans are born with a “God-shaped hole”: a restless yearning that can only God can fill. Many people try to find satisfaction in things like money, power, and sex, but ultimately, none of these can satisfy and fill the true meaning of life because we are intended for more.
When we know Jesus, and when we accept the gift of eternal life from him, then we find the ultimate peace and meaning of life.
However, there’s a very practical side to this as well. God’s purpose for us in this life is also that we enjoy fulfilling relationships based on love. Because God is love, he created us to love. And while the love that we experience in this life with other people will always be imperfect, it can help us understand God’s, perfect love.
And while we’re talking about love, it is important to remember that Jesus demonstrated that love by loving and giving service to others. When we serve others selflessly, this contributes to true happiness and fulfillment in this life.
Remember in the gospel books of the Bible, Jesus demonstrated his love by calling his disciples friends and not servants (John 15:15). He even washed his disciples’ feet to set an example of humility even to other people (John 13).
When you make God the center of your life, you can accept yourself; when you accept yourself, you can accept other people. This takes you to what Jesus said was our key duty, to “Love God and love our neighbor as much as you love yourself”.
Right now, we can live with happiness and peace because we trust in God. We know who God is because we have seen him in Jesus Christ. In fact, followers of Jesus know that God can use everything that happens in our lives to help make us just a little bit more like Jesus. And although things might be hard now, we know that God is the great restorer, and so we have hope for the future. He will make everything new.
Ultimately the greatest purpose of God for us was expressed by Jesus when he said,
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
That means the very best of life in every sense: here and now, and in eternity.
And who wouldn’t want that?