Life’s Big Questions: What is the meaning of life?

The Question

Think of the world’s greatest philosophers and you might have the same mental picture as I do – an old guy with a long grey beard sitting on a boulder in a wood with a quill and some parchment, pondering the Meaning of Life.  It’s a question that the human race has been fascinated with for a long time, because the more you look at the world, the less it seems to make sense. Unlike animals, this lack of obvious purpose bothers humans.

What is the point in life if it ends up just being a cycle of non-existence, followed by complete dependence on our parents, then adulthood, dependence again when we are old, and finally death?  What did we actually achieve, and will it last beyond our death anyway?

The Answers

It’s questions like these that the Bible had already posed and answered long ago.  The whole book of Ecclesiastes was written by someone observing the way life runs and thinking “it’s just emptiness and grasping after the wind” (paraphrasing Ecclesiastes 1:14).  The book works through several different scenarios explored in order to find happiness and purpose, and finds none except the conclusion of the whole matter: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Isaiah also weighs in on the discussion.  In his prophecy, God makes it very clear that He created the Earth, and that “He did not create it empty, He formed it to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18).  God is declaring that there is a purpose to our existence, and the “earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).

The World Makes Sense!

You see, a belief in a God explains things that don’t make sense about our world.  Once we put God and eternity into the picture, we can see a purpose beyond our otherwise short, pointless life cycles.  We can understand that this life isn’t ‘it’; it’s just our probationary time.

It’s our time to pick a path and try our best to serve God, so that we might be part of filling the world with God’s glory in the future.  Because of this hope, we can be comforted that even if our life doesn’t work out as we wish, there’s something greater worth hoping for.

Want to hear more on this topic? Listen to the podcast below.

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