It’s 5:30 am. Your alarm clock is blaring as your mind asks, “Is it really Monday?”, as if it’s subconsciously trying to convince you that it’s actually Saturday. But you remember that it’s time to get ready for work. You dread it. You hate getting up early, commuting, working. Mondays you are grumpy. You are snappier with clients. You lose your patience more easily. Tuesday is a little better. Thursday you start to smile. And boy, by Friday, you’re the nicest person in the world. I’m exaggerating a bit, of course, but does this sound familiar?
Does Genesis 3 sound familiar to you? If it doesn’t, I suggest reading it for yourself (start at Genesis 1 and work your way over there. It’s not too hard. If you can sit down for hours to read the latest spy novel, surely you can read about how the universe was created and how we were made and why things are the way they are…) To give a brief synopsis, God creates the world, creates all the life in it, including humans. He gives humans authority over the other creatures. He tells them specifically not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam disobeys (sins) and in chapter 3, God lays out this curse upon man:
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18″Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
Hmm…still wondering why people hate work?
But really, there’s a deeper issue here. It really comes down to this question: where do you get your joy and satisfaction from? Honestly. Where? Ask yourself that question.
For most people, it comes from making lots of money, having lots of friends, buying lots of toys, doing fun things. It’s a pursuit of being fulfilled. It’s innate. It’s deep within each human being. There’s a longing for satisfaction. There’s a hole within each of us that needs to be filled.
I googled “Purpose of life” and got 114 million sites, each claiming to tell you the meaning of life. So many opinions, so many voices telling us how to live.
The problem is, the things we try to do/use to fill that void are merely temporal. As the verse above points out, we’re all going to die someday, and all of this stuff we did, all of the things we accumulated over the years (the things we thought were so absolutely essential to our happiness), will just evaporate and dissappear, rendering them, and our lives, as useless, and utterly pointless. Sad, right?
Well, this article was written not to depress you, but to impress upon each person that there is an answer. There is hope. But it’s not found in your career, your marriage, your kids. It’s not in your education, success or even in good deeds. It’s found in a person. One person to be exact. Jesus Christ.
See, the reason why you feel this unending need to fulfill ourselves (and we all do this by the way…every thing we do and say, there is an attempt to satisfy that hole within you) is that God created us with a purpose in mind. He made us for His own glory, to live for Him. He is the Creator, and the source of joy and satisfaction, so the only way to have true joy and satisfaction, is to go to the source of JOY and SATISFACTION and have a right relationship with Him.
But we have another, more pressing problem. There’s a deep chasm between us and God. We are all innately sinful, rebellious creatures. We have denied, rejected and replaced God with ourselves. We have made ourselves to be the final arbiter of truth. In doing so, we have cut ourselves off from the only source of blessing.
Here is where Christ comes into the picture. You see, all of the other voices and opinions are man-made, and thus, man-centered. They tell you that you hold the key to your own happiness, that you can achieve self-fulfillment, that you are the answer. As someone who has tried that for more than 20 years of my life, I’ve experienced first hand the futility of trying to work to solve this ultimate problem of sin. What can wash away my sin?
Christ is the only solution. He’s the only One who lived a perfect life of obedience. Someone has to pay for the penalty of sin. What’s the penalty for sinning against a perfectly holy and eternal God? Eternal pain and suffering. Romans 6:23 – for the wages of sin is death. So we deserve to die. We deserve eternal punishment. But God, in His rich mercy, sent Christ to die for us. Christ died in your place and mine. Christ, perfect, blameless, sinless, pays for sins He did not commit. That’s called amazing grace.
Once that chasm is bridged (through repentance and faith in Christ alone), your soul is regenerated and made alive (truly alive…whereas before, you were just a dead man walking through life, waiting to die), and you have true meaning and purpose in life, and you are connected to the source of ALL JOY and SATISFACTION.
Now, I’m not saying that as Christians we walk around with a dopey smile on our faces always. Not at all. There are of course difficult times, even times of sadness and suffering. But there is now a deep-seated joy within us because we know Christ, and we know that someday, our Lord and Savior will return and we will be rejoicing for all eternity with our God. That kind of joy can never be taken away. That kind of joy is not dependent on what day of the week it is, or whether a girl/guy likes you, or how much money you made, or what kind of car/house you have. These things are all temporary. Christ is permanent. His joy and satisfaction is never-ending. Stop settling for temporary pleasures and get the real deal.