For the past three days, I have been writing about the meaning of life. Today, I will be taking a look at question number 4. I hope you find this topic, Meaning of Life, as important as I do. Thank you for taking the time to consider these kind of questions.
Q4/10: Where should we begin in order to understand the meaning of life from a biblical perspective? If the goal in life is to have perfect happiness, where does one begin? In order to know and delight in the Lord our God, how does one begin that process? Is it ever too late to begin?
It might seem obvious to a Christian where one would begin in order to understand the meaning of life from a biblical perspective. We need to refer to the Bible in order to gain an understanding from a biblical perspective. Let me point out that the Bible is not just a historical document consisting of numerous books. It has been written over a thousand years, written by over forty authors, and preserved so accurately, that the copies we have today match the earliest copies that exist. For example, the Dead Sea Scroll discovery proves that the Old Testament we have today matches exactly as to what was written before the life of Christ. By carefully using textual criticism, we can be certain the New Testament we have today also matches the earliest Greek manuscripts. Our Bible today is not corrupt. It has not been changed over time. The authors were holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The theme of redemption runs throughout the entire book, a love story where God demonstrated his love and grace from the beginning of time. Holy men of God preserved and protected the scrolls decade after decade. Copies were carefully made, word for word, in a publishing process so foreign to us in this day and age. When we refer to the Bible to get a biblical perspective, we are looking to verses and passages that have been given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we look to the Author of Life for the meaning of life, we will begin with knowing the divine plan. This is also called knowing God’s will.
Over the past three days, we have discovered that the ultimate goal in life is to have perfect happiness. Many people go about it the wrong way, though. Even though some people think that happiness is only something that comes and goes, it was Aquinas who clarified the misconception by explaining out that pleasures come and go, but perfect happiness can be here to stay. Psalm 146:5 says, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God.”Aquinas goes on to describe the nature of perfect happiness. He stated that perfect happiness is in knowing and delighting in the divine essence of His presence. In order to do begin that process, we need to begin knowing the divine essence. The study of how we know what we know is called epistemology. In Proverbs 3:13, it says, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.”
Jesus said that His purpose is to give us life and for us to have life more abundantly (John 10:10). This abundant life is found when a person looks to the Lord for daily guidance. Jesus said that we will have troubles in this world, but He also encouraged us to put our confidence in Him since He overcame the world. He meets us right where we are at and helps us every step of the way (John 6:33). We hear stories every now and then of famous people who feel lonely, drunk people who hit rock bottom, inmates who admit they followed their own way, rich people who feel empty, and high achievers who feel unsatisfied. In order to be perfectly happy, there must be some way to find it. Jesus described it like this. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
Since the Lord our God wants us to know and delight ourselves in Him, it makes sense to make it a priority to know His nature, His character, and His work. Our next step will be to take a closer look at the work of His will. Tomorrow, we will begin to unfold the mystery of knowing God’s will and how it really makes all the difference in knowing the meaning of life.