In the UK, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for individuals aged 20-34 years old. Many people tragically come to the point where they believe their lives have no meaning or purpose and that the only solution to end their suffering is to end it. Even for those who do not make such a tragic decision, life can seem empty and purposeless. But is there a reason for our lives? Is there an ultimate purpose in the universe?
Blind, pitiless indifference
Atheism tells us that ultimately, there is no purpose in the universe. Everything came to be by chance through chemical reactions and slow, gradual, purposeless changes. The atheist Richard Dawkins famously said,
“In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
(River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life).
Materialistic, atheistic naturalism has been pushed in schools and mainstream media for decades. Is it any wonder that so many feel they have no ultimate reason for living?
“Be who you are”
Another view says that we should simply generate our own reason for living. We can determine our own identities and live according to our feelings at any particular time. But the problem with this is that our feelings change. Our subjective identities can change. If our purpose for living is constructed by ourselves, we can never be confident that we have found the real reason for why we are here. Deep down inside, we know we have not found the real reason for our existence.
The Bible teaches that we are not the product of random chance.
A meaning given to us
The only way we can know true meaning in life is for it to be given from outside of ourselves. The Bible teaches that we are not the product of random chance. Our meaning is not determined by our own subjective thoughts and feelings. Instead, the Bible teaches that we are created by God. We are made in His image, to know and enjoy Him.
The problem we have is that from the beginning, the first humans God made rejected this purpose for their lives. Instead of trusting in, enjoying, and worshiping their Creator, they rejected Him, and sought a different purpose: to live as their own rulers. This led to the fall of the world into sin, death, and all the misery we see today.
God, in love for fallen humanity, made a way for us to return to Him,
The good news is that we can rediscover the reason we were created. God, in love for fallen humanity, made a way for us to return to Him, to know Him, and enjoy Him. In sending Jesus Christ to live for us and die for us, He made a way for sin to be forgiven, and for us to be reconciled to God.
If you turn from your sin and trust in Jesus Christ, you can begin to know God as your Father – the one who has given you life and the one who loves you eternally. Knowing that you were created by God, to enjoy Him and glorify Him in your life, is the true purpose for which you were made.
Want to find out more? Why not order a free copy of John’s Gospel from the Bible here.