At a world-renowned American university, a professor routinely inquired on the first day of class, “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?” Usually, students would flippantly say they’d ask God for money or other material things. But on one particular occasion, a student said, “I’d ask God, ‘What’s the purpose of my life?’”
This was just after the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001, had killed thousands of people in one day. The entire nation was in shock and mourning.
Since that awful day, other horrific events have continued to take place, such as senseless acts of violence everywhere and devastating natural disasters. These dreadful, heartbreaking incidents make us suddenly realize how fragile and precious life is. Faced with the ephemeral nature of human existence, the big question lying dormant within us surfaces, demanding an answer: What’s the meaning of life?
Maybe you haven’t asked yourself this kind of question lately. But if you were to take some time for quiet reflection, how would you answer the questions that really matter? For instance, what’s the point of living? Why are we here? The student who said he’d ask God about the purpose of his life isn’t alone in his perplexity.
Can you find the answer at today’s colleges and universities? With in-depth study, research, and inquiry, surely here you’ll unearth the purpose of your existence. Or will you?
Let’s consider this for a moment. College students today are presented with a mind-boggling array of philosophies, world religions, theories relating to mankind’s origins, and schools of thought concerning human existence. Yet more often than not, God and the Bible are eliminated from the discussion. Many regard God merely as a faulty human construct, and the Bible is routinely scorned as being archaic, fictional, and devoid of value or relevance in today’s society. On campus, it’s commonly either implied or explicitly stated that anyone who reads and believes the words of the Bible must be superstitious, ignorant, or intellectually weak. In such an atmosphere, who would want to be caught reading the Bible, or taking it seriously?
But don’t be fooled, for the Bible actually unlocks the mysteries of God, the universe, and our existence. Why not be daring and find out what it says?
If you read the Bible with an open heart, you’ll discover God loves all of humanity deeply. He’s the Almighty God who created the universe, including mankind, with a specific intention. Longing to share His eternal life with us and live in us, God created us in His own image and likeness to match Him. He also made us with a human spirit, which has the ability to receive Him. By being joined to us and living in us, God would be our very life and everything to us; by being filled with God and living with Him, we would spontaneously express Him. This is God’s purpose for humanity.
A glove is a good illustration of this. It’s made in the shape, or image, of a hand, with four fingers and a thumb. It matches a hand. You might put other things into a glove, but only a hand truly fits. When a hand gets into a glove, it fills the glove. Then as the hand moves, the glove moves, expressing the hand inside. A glove is made to contain a hand; without a hand, it’s meaningless.
Our empty being cries out to be filled. We try to fill ourselves with all kinds of things, but only God truly “fits.” No wonder relationships, studies, entertainment, or even adopting a worthy cause ultimately leave us feeling flat, aimless, and unfulfilled. Blaise Pascal, the famous French mathematician and physicist, said, “The infinite abyss in man can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God Himself.” Until God comes into our human spirit, we’re empty. We’re made to contain God; without Him, our lives are meaningless.
We also need to realize the Bible says all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Without exception, every human being is sinful; this sin is the source of all evil acts, both great and small, committed in the world. As sinners, we’re under God’s judgment, unable to approach Him. So are we doomed to remain empty, without God, and live a pointless existence?
The answer is an emphatic no. God never gave up on His plan for us. To solve the problem of sin, He, the eternal God, became a man, Jesus Christ, to live on earth and reach humanity. He was a person like no other; all His living, deeds, and words were perfect. After living a sinless life, Jesus was crucified, dying in our place to save us from eternal judgment. Because Jesus died for us, we can be forgiven and washed of our sins.
Jesus Christ not only died for us, but He also resurrected from the dead! He is now the life-giving Spirit, who is available everywhere for anyone to receive. He’s done everything to make this possible. If you turn to Him and believe in Him, He will save you, and He will come into you and fill your inner emptiness with Himself. He will be your joy, light, strength, comfort, love, peace, rest, and so much more. In a loving, mutual relationship with one another, He will fill you, and you will express Him. This is the God-designed purpose of human existence and the meaning of your life.
Jesus is waiting for you to open to Him. You can receive Him and thereby know the meaning of your life. Simply pray this prayer with a sincere heart:
“Lord Jesus, I turn to You. I confess I’m an empty sinner. Lord, I believe in You. Thank You for dying for me and for resurrecting from the dead. Lord, forgive me of all my sins. I accept You as my Savior. Lord Jesus, I receive You into my spirit. Come into me and live in me. Lord, fill me with Yourself, and make my life full of meaning. Amen.”