Purpose in life
I believe in God. I’m a christian. For me, ultimate purpose and meaning in life comes through a relationship with the creator of the universe.
This he [man] tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself
Blaise Pascal - Pensées 425
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You
St. Augustine - Confessions Book I
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Jesus - John’s gospel
Why does God gives life meaning and purpose?
First, if there is a creator, then I’m not the mere accidental by-product of nature, a result of matter plus time plus chance. There is a reason for my existence. If God does not exist, then both man and the universe are inevitably doomed to a meaningless death.
Second, if God exists, then it makes a difference how I live now. I have a reason to live a good life. If life ends at the grave does it really make a difference in the ultimate sense if I’m a good or a bad person? Life ended in the same way for Gandhi and Mussolini. What’s the point then of doing good?
For me a life without God would be utterly meaningless and devoid of purpose. But simply knowing that fact wouldn’t change much if I had no reasons to believe it was true. Well is it? Or is it just wishful thinking?
Is God just a fairy tale?
I can give three lines of argument making the case that God really exists and christianity really is true. I won’t develop any of them but I encourage you to look into it. I’ll provide a starting point.
- The universe had a beginning. It didn’t came from nothing, so there must be a transcendental cause. See this two part video from the christian philosopher William Lane Craig that provides an accessible explanation of this argument
- There exists objective morality, that is some things are wrong regardless of what anyone thinks. The cause of this fact must be outside mankind. John Lennox is a Mathematician but also participates in many debates and lectures about the christian faith. In this video, the topic is “Does Morality Need God?”. There is about 50m of lecture and 30m of Q/A. I have never seen or read anything from Lennox that I didn’t like
- The best explanation for what happened to Jesus is that he really was raised from the dead. Gary Habermas is the world’s top scholar on the resurrection hypothesis. This interview gives a taste of what scholarship says about that.
I could provide many more arguments to make my case but even if they all are sound and plausible we could always dismiss them. The only thing that cannot be easily dismissed is a direct experience of God. If God exists then he is capable of making himself known to you.
God exists. He is interested in you. We can know that because he has entered into creation to seek and to save us.
Search for Him. We weren’t able to reach him, but he made himself know through the person of Jesus.
When you find him, you’ll find the ultimate purpose of your life too!