Did the title grab your attention? Is that what you are after? Have your tried and failed? You thought you found it and had success for a while but then something – or someone – ruined your bliss? I understand – I have been there too. Yet I am right now having a fulfilling life.
No, I do not have the most perfect of health (my expanding waistline attests to that fact). I still have bad eyesight. My hairline is still in retreat – from what I don’t know! I also notice a very odd thing about my body as it is now pressing the mid-40s threshold: it’s starting to make some very odd noises! Bones creak; tendons snap; my back sometimes seizes up as if informing me by a secretive type of Morse code, “Don’t do that!”
No, I am not wealthy…well, at least by western standards. I am currently unemployed while studying for my theology degree. With the reduction in income, my family has had to down size to a much smaller apartment than the larger one we had before. I still have the same car, with all the dents and scratches. When I purchased it several years ago, I was single and it was large enough. Now with spouse and cute munchkin in tow, it can be a bit tight. Especially when trying to lug around tables, chairs and food (oh my) to have a fantastic picnic to a park with half of the Filipino population on the island (I jest of course…I think).
No, I have not induced myself with a fictitious joy by ingesting, licking, smoking or snorting some illicit narcotic. After all, what would be the sense in that? You will eventually have to wake up to reality. Your problems will still be there staring at your face like some precocious three year old you have tried to ignore but then looks into your eyes and sings, “I’m still here!” You may also awaken to some new problems too – like having your brain shriveled, body wasted or incarceration.
So what’s the secret? The secret is not a “what” but a “who”: Jesus Christ. Jesus made some amazing claims about Himself. For example, He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus is essentially saying that He is “the life”; not how to find life, but life personified. The apostle John wrote about Jesus, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us…These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete” (1 John 1:1-2, 4). In the second verse, John says that life was made manifest, and that eternal life was with the Father. In other words, Jesus is eternal life. Not what you can get from Him; not even if He makes your life easier; just Him.
The apostle John goes a step further in his gospel:In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (John 1:1-3).The Greek word for “Word” in this text is “logos”. Greek philosophers at the time of John kept questioning, “What is our ‘logos’ i.e. what is our reason for life? What is our reason for existence? What are we made for?” Funny thing is, centuries later, men and women are still debating this very question. John’s answer to the philosophers, doubters, and existentialists for all time is this: Jesus is the “logos” of all these things! John was saying that the “logos’” was not an abstract thought, but a Person! Jesus is the reason for life! Jesus is the reason for your very existence! Thus, joy and life are found by the very Creator of these things!
John was also saying something in those three power-packed verses that his first century Jewish readers would have picked up immediately. The wording that he was using was pointing the reader back to Genesis 1. Essentially, John was saying that when you read Genesis, realize that it was Jesus bringing everything into existence. In other words, Jesus is life.
So how does a Christian have this fulfilling life? Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” In other words, stop trying to live your own life; give up! Die to yourself and live for Jesus. Then, and only then, will life be so fulfilling and rewarding that nothing can destroy it! This is something I am still learning as each day goes by.
Want to find meaning and fulfillment in life? Then give up YOUR life to have THE Life, Jesus Christ. He will have it no other way. Everything else is just cheap garbage.
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:7-8).