What is the Meaning of LifeQUESTION: What is the meaning of life?ANSWER:
No one today can avoid asking the question: What is the meaning of life?
We look for it everywhere: In books, in sports, in love, in sex, in drugs, and in fame and fortune. We compare ourselves to others and find it doesn't matter how high we climb among our peers. We collect material assets and always want more. We may even climb spiritual ladders without finding the answer, because we are asking the wrong question.
It's not a question of what life means to US; it's all about what WE mean to God.
King Solomon, who was granted unsurpassed wisdom by God, lamented after years of experimentation: "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind" (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
Solomon concludes, in Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."
The Bible tells us that all of creation revolves around God's will. He created the heavens and the earth and He created each of us. We reside in a universe that to us seems bounded by time and space, but which to God is totally accessible. All of the Bible either lays the groundwork for our worship of God and our salvation through Jesus Christ or details how we are to respond to Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
So the meaning of life becomes: How do we get in that game?
For the unbeliever, it can start with a simple, honest prayer: "God, if you are there, please help me. I don't know what to believe. I'm not happy with my life and the things I've achieved. Please help me have the faith to start walking with you."
God, in His faithfulness, will use even this tiny overture to begin working in our lives.
Jesus himself said in Matthew 17:20, "…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'" Once we have decided to pursue God, there are many tools that will help us. We may read and interpret His word in Scripture. We may pray for His continued guidance. We may try to do His work in our daily lives.
As we lift up our circumstances - good and bad - to God in prayer, we will find things improving. Some problems God will simply take away from us - anxieties about things we cannot control, desires for things we should not want (addictions) are good examples. Some things God will send back for us to work on - broken relationships where we are partly at fault, missions God has given us that we have tried to ignore. Some things God will fix - healing sickness, removing evil influences from our lives, redirecting us away from situations we thought we would never resolve.
The more we listen to God, the better we will know His voice. We can get plenty of practice by reading scripture and paying special attention to those passages we don't understand - or don't like. These passages offer huge signposts to the areas of our lives that are not in accordance with God's will.
Sooner or later, we will be moved by Scripture and prayer to give our lives to Jesus, who died to redeem us from our sins and to allow us to approach God clothed in Christ's righteousness. With our acceptance of Jesus, we also receive the Holy Spirit, which will gradually help us become more like Christ.
During this lifelong process of sanctification, we find our sins gradually being replaced by what the Apostle Paul calls the "fruit of the spirit."
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
Equipped with these gifts, we are ready to pursue the purpose God has planned for us since before we were born. This purpose will be different for each person, but will result in two common goals: Glorifying God the creator and helping to build His kingdom on earth.
What more could we ask for the meaning of life?