3 Reasons Life is More Than Just Having a Great Life
Three main truths we must realize in order to answer this questions. 1. Truth is indispensable (meaning it's there whether you like it or not). 2. Suffering is inevitable (you will suffer at some point whether you like it or not) 3. Happiness is not enough. We think it is, but it fades quickly, we chase it endlessly, and ultimately we crave something more. Something that will last. With those three things in mind, we can understand better that just because you have a great life right now, doesn't mean your world will always stay that way and that there isn't more to life than what surrounds you.
This is one of the biggest questions people in America face. When we see how prosperous we are or even how content we are with the lives we live and we think about following a God that seems to want to control us and change our lives, we get defensive and rejective.
If I’m happy and my life is great, why would I need to follow God? Why would I need Jesus? Sure they say that eternal life is at stake or that I’m a sinner but I just don’t resonate with those things. I don’t really care what the next life has as long as I’m comfortable here. I think I’m a pretty good person so this whole “sin” thing doesn’t sit with me when I regularly give to charities, friends, and do selfless things.
Those and so many other thoughts are very real and relatable to most Americans and others in prosperous countries. It seems like those who have nothing use religion to feel better or get help.
This could be a whole book but I can sum up a few answers that can help guide thoughts on this ultimate question. In fact, I can lay out three for us.
1. Truth is Indispensable
We all are seeking for truth whether we know it or not. Some even claim that there is no such thing as absolute truth. That sounds good accept for the fact that it’s completely ironic as they claim a truth about no truth. It doesn’t go. Truth exists, we just don’t know where to find it. We can both agree that we seek for consistency, something to trust, something we know can always come through. Because the pain of pulling through the drive thru at McDonald’s only for them to tell you their ice cream machine is down is something we can’t stand. I question God when that happens (jk). So the bottom line: Truth exists, and it matters. Why? It’s unavoidable. If the truth is that Jesus is King and that only through him can one attain eternal life, it’s still going to happen. Doesn’t matter how good your life is, there are truths in this world that can’t be avoided. Like suffering, like death, pain, consequences to sin and poor choices, and so much more. If you are just like me and the rest of the world, we want truth. We want to be able to trust something and always rely on that. This world, science, and culture, is constantly changing and it makes it even harder for us to trust it. Everything in this world will fail us, so we are left at the feet of Jesus. In John 14:6 Jesus says “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” He is the Truth, one way or another the Truth will be revealed in the end times (whether our end time, or the world’s, whichever comes first), no matter how great our lives are.
2. Suffering is Inevitable
If there is any promise the world could make to you that it could actually uphold, it would be that there will be suffering in this world. Recently I lost a very close friend of mine to a seizure that restricted oxygen to his brain for over an hour before medics could arrive and life flight him to the nearest hospital. He remained in a coma and after several days of little to no brain activity, had to pull the plug. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. I miss him a lot. Maybe you have experienced loss like this. Or maybe you've lost a job, had a life crippling injury, struggle with finances, flunked school, got hit by someone else in a car accident, was/is bullied by people, or even just see the ones you love around you suffer. This world is promised to have suffering whether it is right now or later. No one can avoid it. If we think we have the pride to be able to avoid it or not let it get to us, just wait for the good ol reliable friend Death to step in. With suffering being inevitable, why not have Jesus on your side? Jesus gives us hope like no other. My friend, who passed away, was a big time follower of Christ. And you know what’s so cool? I get to see him again one day. My last goodbye to him was merely a “see you later.” Jesus doesn’t promise problems to go away, He just promises to be by our side and help us through it. So much can come from suffering with Christ just like he did for us. He understands it, he feels with us, empathizes, and never leaves our side through it. So maybe life is good right now, but the times will come with suffering, and trying to carry that weight on ourselves, will only bring more pain and suffering.
3. Happiness is Not Enough
Are you fully aware of how happiness work? When we experience things or think about things that are happening outside of ourselves, our brain fires neurons releasing chemicals like dopamine and serotonin which create that happiness. It’s awesome, only that it doesn’t last long at all… Think back to the last time you were happy. How long were you happy for? A few minutes? A couple hours? Maybe even a day or two? And then what? Life changes, the events move on, the hype dies down, things normalize again. You can get temporary happiness out of getting coffee in the morning or your favorite dessert after dinner. But the chemical party in your brain always ends after some time. Don’t get me wrong, happiness is awesome, but it’s not the pinnacle of humanity and what we seek for. Isn’t it fascinating that so many people in life simply seek to be happy yet happiness is a rollercoaster we experience every day? I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a miserable life to solely depend on this undependable feeling to be the highest form of enlightenment in this world.
- I believe what we ultimately seek for is purpose, and meaning in this world. And along with that, comes things like joy and happiness that are sensational experiences, but not the climax of the story. Interestingly enough, Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Every single human deep down knows that there is more to life than the here and now. We seek to understand Truth, but without the right guidance, can fall short of the revelation given to us by God through His Word. We settle for worldly ideologies or other religions that sound nice, might have some cool parts, but leave out some of the most crucial truths to this world.
To Sum it Up:
Life can be so great, and for a long time. I go on mission trips to Zambia every summer to evangelize to people who have little to nothing. The most powerful testimony to them, is that us coming from America, where it seems like we have everything (and really do), shows that the Truth of this world doesn’t come from success, money, happiness, love, materials, or anything else. We know spiritually deep down that there is more to this world than what meets the eye. The Truth, is indispensable, it cannot be denied, merely avoided. Suffering is inevitable, we are bound to face it, so why not have Jesus alongside us? And happiness isn’t enough… We crave more, we crave joy, purpose, meaning, a calling, community, love, attention, security, saving, forgiveness, patience, and comfort. All things that only Jesus, can truly bring.