What’s the point of life anyway? If you’ve never felt low enough to ask yourself that question, you’re very lucky. Or perhaps you don’t have to be feeling down to ask such a question – you may have just asked it out of curiosity. After having a conversation on the meaning in life with a good friend of mine recently, I was prompted to gather my thoughts on the subject again – not that they are ever very far away from my consciousness.
There are times for some of us, or perhaps most of us, when life seems to be almost meaningless. In truth, the world can be a pretty empty, lonely, dark place. Depression is a common problem. As always, it’s vital to consult the Bible in order to get our bearings in life, and to put things into their correct perspective. “For best results, follow the maker’s instructions”. So here’s what I see as the Biblical explanation for the meaning of life, the reason that we exist.
THE MEANING OF LIFE
“By him all things were created…” (Colossians 1:16). Paul is here speaking of Jesus Christ. We also know that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Christ was far more than a man, and attempting to squeeze our understanding of Christ into human nature only will not work. That both God the Father and the Son created the earth speaks of the trinity and of Christ’s deity.
Further, Paul goes on to give the reason that the heavens and the earth were created:
“…all things were created by him and for him”.
We, as the pinnacle of His creation, were made for His pleasure.
You may recall what Jesus said when asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22: 36-37).
I once had an unbeliever ask me to acknowledge that it was very selfish of God to expect us to worship him. On the contrary, God made us in the first place: he has every right to expect something of us. it’s not as though He’s forcing us to worship against our will. He is a loving God, who very much wants to be loved in return. And what’s not to love? He is, in the true sense of the word, “awesome”. His power is without limit. His creation is astonishing even to the most hardened evolutionist.
I’ve heard people mockingly ask “if God really made the world why would the universe be so vast in comparison?” The simple answer to that one is that God is so vast, and “even the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him” (1 Kings 8: 27). Is such a God likely to make a little universe? If He did, people would be complaining that a real God would not have made such a small universe. The relative smallness of our world reflects the boundaries he has set for us-for now. It’s plenty big enough. The size of the universe reflects his unspeakable power and majesty. Perhaps for eternity to come we will indeed be able to explore and colonize the depths of space.
God’s love and patience are without equal: so much so that he condescended to become a man and to die at the hands of his own creation. He went to such lengths in order to provide a way for us to live with Him, if we choose to, in an indescribably sublime union of love.
We often see God as our servant. We expect Him to wait on us, to provide for all our needs and wants, to fix all our problems, and then to mind his own business and let us get on with our lives and build our own little empires. The reality is very different. We are His servants, and He our master. We are here to serve Him and to love Him.
So how does that relate to us in the “real world”? Speaking “horizontally”, we are here to bring hope and light to a lost world wracked with sickness, fear, evil, sin and death. We are the light and the salt of the world. It is our honorable duty to bring love, light, help and hope to those around us. The extent of our love for our creator is expressed in how we treat other people-all people-not just those we think are important or “cool”.
Our worship is expressed in thought, word, deed, music and the arts, work obedience, prayer, and in direct praise of our God – verbally, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.
Why are we here? We are here for our creator’s pleasure. If we can be true to that, our own pleasure will follow, because that’s how we are designed to function properly.