Summary: Life’s true meaning can only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The question we ask this morning is indeed a thought-provoking question. Have you ever really thought where true meaning in life is found? I mean, what do we have to do to find this meaning? Do we have to have a special type of spouse or parents? Do our children have to fit some bill? Do we have to live in a special kind of house or in some special area of the world to find true meaning? Or is true meaning in life found by having the right kind of job? Is it possible to live our entire lives and never find true meaning? That would be sad, to live more than seventy years on this earth and never discover what life was really about.
What complicates this matter is that different people give us different answers to what constitutes true meaning in life. I could ask 10 different people about the true meaning of life and probably get 10 different answers. Who do we believe? Who has the right answer? What if I live my seventy years on earth believing the answer of one individual where it concerns the true meaning of life and find out in the end he had told me incorrectly. It was only his opinion of what constitutes true meaning in life, and he was wrong.
Some believe life has no meaning. Listen to what Shakespeare has Macbeth saying: “Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, Out, brief candle Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury Signifying nothing.”
Viktor Frankl put it this way, “Clinics are crowded with people suffering from a new kind of neurosis, a sense of total and ultimate meaninglessness of life.”
Carl Jung, that great psychologist, said; “The central neurosis of our time is emptiness.”
Great writer, Mark Twain, said shortly before his death, “A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle…they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow;…those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. It (the release) comes at last-the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them—and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence,…a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.”
The entire chapter of which we only read a portion is Jesus’ prayer. From it we learn that the world is a tremendous battleground between the forces under Satan’s power and those under God’s authority. Satan and his forces are motivated by bitter hatred for Christ and his forces and followers. In his prayer, Jesus prays for his disciples and those who would be his followers in the future, which includes us. He prays that God would keep his followers safe from Satan’s power and that he would set them apart and make them pure and holy. Also in this prayer, he tells where true meaning in life is found.
Sometimes it is easier to define something or answer a question by negatives than positives. So we want to begin by telling where true meaning in life is not found.
IT IS NOT FOUND IN GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
By saying this we are not discounting the importance of knowledge. In America and in most parts of the world, we place a great deal of emphasis on knowledge.
This is particularly true in our school systems, and then it transplants into the work world. From time to time we redesign or replace standardized tests to better test the knowledge of our students. We have now gone to the PACT (Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test) test. We administer this test to students in certain grade levels. It is designed to test what they should have learned by this time in the educational process. Then we grade our schools by how well the students score on the tests. Are the majority of students where they need to be, or do the schools need to make some changes to bring them up to par. We are quickly finding out that many of our students are not where they need to be.
Now why is it so important that our students learn this material? Well, we believe they need this information to compete with other students throughout the world, to get into good colleges and to be able to handle the jobs that are currently available for them and the ones that might be developed in the future. We don’t want to graduate students who have no skills to perform in jobs where they can make a good living.