There is a Biblical answer to deep yearnings of the heart. Questions like: Who Am I? Does my life have value? Meaning? And how do I live a purposeful life? And maintain a sense of balance?
Science can’t answer these questions. Searching within yourself doesn’t either. Because you inherently know there is something wrong in the human experience. An essential flaw in every human. And if we are flawed, answers from within are flawed too.
The Bible however, claims to be the word of an absolute God. The creator and sustainer of life. And if this is true then it provides a source of reliable answers. Here are three Biblical answers to deep yearnings in the human heart.
The Biblical Answer to Deep Yearnings Of The Heart About Human Identity Is Divinely Determined
Who am I? What’s my purpose. Where do I find my value?
The Bible clears the confusion with a simple proclamation. Your identity is not FOUND. It is GIVEN. Your value is ascribed, not achieved. Assigned by God. Who created you, loves you and has your best interest in mind.
The Bible teaches that every person is uniquely made by a God that loves you unconditionally.
So you don’t need to search within, accomplish or accumulate anything. These are all things YOU DO. The Bible says simply, it is already DONE. And you don’t need to be anything other than yourself. God says that alone is enough.
By accepting and embracing your individual worth as determined by a God who loves and values you takes the pressure off.
You can be yourself. Exactly as you are. Because you can’t do anything to make God love you more or or anything that makes him love you less. You need only respond to and return His love.
As you live in relationship with an absolute, yet personal God, you understand the truth, and experience freedom.
The Biblical Answer To Deep Yearnings Of The Heart For Purpose is Found In The Kingdom Of God
The Kingdom of God is partly in this world and partly in the next. It begins in this world through a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what uniquely distinguishes Christ followers. Who are citizens of the spiritual Kingdom of God. Although the Bible teaches a final, physical Kingdom is still ahead.
That’s why followers of Jesus are told to be “in” this world, but not “of” this world. In others words, our purpose is to live as kingdom residents in this world. To serve and make this world a better place. To feed the poor, tend the sick and love our neighbors as ourselves. But to keep in mind it’s not the end game. To realize our purpose is to represent God’s Kingdom on earth, to the best of our ability, but with the knowledge that ultimately, God will establish a permanent Kingdom.
People that don’t claim Jesus can participate in serving and bettering humanity too. And therefore, share in this sense of purpose. Christ-followers do so specifically in the name of Jesus and for the glory of God.
The Biblical Answer For Achieving Balance Is By Establishing Priorities Rather Than Managing Your Time
Aren’t they one and the same? No. Not really. Most discussions on balance involve time management. Ordering your time will not always order your priorities. But ordering your priorities will always manage your time. If you prioritize spending time with family, you will automatically manage your time to create that margin in your life. And while time management is important in achieving balance, it should not be the main driver.
Want a great template for maintaining a balanced life? Consider this.
Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man (Luke 2:52)
In other words, Jesus developed intellectually, physically, spiritually and socially. He studied the law thoroughly, enjoyed relating to people in social settings, spent time alone in prayer and worked as a carpenter. Oh, and he also walked everywhere he went.
People that live out of balance usually need to address one or two of these areas. I know people that are superbly physical fit, but completely lack a spiritual life. And people that are very spiritual but their physical body is a wreck. And others that invest nothing in their minds outside of work.
I doubt anyone is completely balanced in all four areas. I’m not. But evaluating and adjusting the attention you give to these four areas will head you in the right direction.
There’s one more component not found in that verse, but very much demonstrated in the life of Christ.
What Are You Doing For Others?
Jesus focused on others rather than himself. A life and death of sacrifice. When you live a self-centered life that pursues only self-satisfaction. Your deepest yearnings will never be satisfied. Purpose and meaning will elude you. And so will the Kingdom of God. It’s the key to purpose, meaning, value. And something you can’t buy with all the money in the world. Joy.
What does an Easter Pivot have in common with March Madness Road to the Final Four? Both present unexpected surprises. And both involve changes in direction. In the case of Easter, however, those pivots have eternal significance. Here are four pivots that explain the Easter Story.
The First Easter Pivot Is When Mankind Broke The Relationship With God
Some people claim God is an Almighty, ill-tempered Being. Like a petty child, looking to zap us all with thunderbolts. And you can build a sour image of God if you collect enough Old Testament passages taken out of context. Although, you have to completely ignore all the ones that speak of God’s love and care for His creation.
But here’s the point. Early on in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were good with God. The Garden of Eden was an environmentally friendly place to live. Adam, Eve and God hung out together. Only one restriction. Don’t eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. Which they did. In disobedience to God.
It did not change God or his heart for mankind. He was and is the same. But it did change the relationship. Because now, sin messed it up. And rather than walk with God, they pivoted and walked away from God. And today, walking away from God is our natural tendency.
The Second Easter Pivot Is When God Sent His Son To Mend The Relationship
If God was the ill-tempered Being people claim, He would have walked away too. But He didn’t. He didn’t shrug and let us all die in our sin. Or completely wiped us out and start over. Instead, God pivoted and sent His son Jesus Christ as a perfect sacrifice. Because only a perfect sacrifice payed the penalty for sin. And only Jesus qualified as perfect.
Jesus was a game changer. He amazed everyone with his miracles. Taught with a level of spiritual insight and wisdom unlike anyone before or since. And created a global following that has flourished for 2,000 years.
The Third Easter Pivot Is When Jesus Was Resurrected
Jesus willingly died the horrible death of Roman crucifixion. Not a humanly rational decision by most standards. But humanly possible.
The resurrection, however, is something only God can do. You know, the Almighty Being that some accuse of being petty and ill-tempered?
The resurrection was an Easter pivot away from certain death. It gives you and me an opportunity to renew a relationship with God.
The Fourth Pivot Is Up To You And Me
Although my natural tendency is to reject God, I can choose instead, an Easter pivot. To change directions. And move towards God in a new relationship. God forgives my sin. But I have to ask for it. And receive the gift Jesus sacrificed himself to give me. But I must choose to follow him.
And when I do, it puts me on a new road. With a final outcome full of joy and hope. And represents the Easter Story.
Most people will probably agree it includes one or all of them.
But where do they come from? Blessings randomly sprinkled from heaven? A successful enterprise? An enlighten state of being?
Or maybe something you do? Like giving back to the community or pampering yourself with a soothing hot tub after the kids are in bed?
Because if these words spoken by Jesus Christ are true, then why are so many people miserable? Why is Christmas saturated with sentimental feelings, and yet, the highest point of suicides during the year?
It’s often a time we turn to faith for answers. So as you reflect on life’s deeper meanings during this Christmas season and perhaps your own quest for the abundant life, here are some thoughts to consider.
To Find An Abundant Life Seek a Reliable Source of Faith
I believe happiness and joy are universal gifts from God that are available to everyone regardless of your belief system. Purpose you discover. Contentment you learn.
And we’re all turning to something in our search for them.
What is it for you? Is it proven? Reliable? Authentic? This is where you start.
And as you search, keep this principle in mind: Intangible rewards come from an intangible source. I think this is where many people go wrong.
They pursue the tangible—like money—to gain the intangible—like happiness. But it only leads to what king Solomon calls chasing after the wind. You can’t get there because the two run on parallel tracks.
Of course, there are many intangible paths to choose from. Which is the right one? And how can you know?
I’ve chosen Christianity as the most unique among all religions, paths to enlightenment and sources of happiness, peace, contentment and purpose. I talk more specifically about what makes it unique in my e-book, Christianity for the Average Joe. Check it out for a conversational explanation of what the Christian faith is all about.
Jesus Christ, its founder, claims to be God and the source of abundant life. Something only he offers. An exclusive claim and a big one at that.
Was he egotistical or self-delusional? And does he deliver?
Well, his path is not all that attractive to a contemporary mindset. It features denying yourself, following him and obeying his commands. So not only is he crazy, you’re a little crazy to follow him.
Which maybe explains why there’s not a bigger crowd following him today.
Even though I don’t think happiness, peace, joy, contentment and purpose are exclusive to following Jesus, he enhances them. Drives them deeper into my life. And builds in a resiliency that flourishes even through life’s ups and downs.
To Find An Abundant Life Embrace a Life Long Faith Journey
If you prefer something rational, materially rewarding or more inward and mystical, forget Jesus. Following him is the opposite of all that.
It’s a faith journey that’s outward focused—an approach radically different than every other religion and spiritual teaching. A formula that lives out his practical instructions in a community of believers.
Rather than a short-term fix, it’s a long term solution. And that’s what you should look for. Something that endures for a lifetime in the realities of a confusing world.
Contrary to some opinions, Christianity doesn’t have all the answers. There’s a daily struggle with doubts and your own, imperfect humanity. But there’s also an unexplainable, redemptive and personal presence that empowers and transforms you from the inside out.
And along with the other intangibles of happiness, joy, contentment and purpose, you find the most elusive, yet powerful expression on earth…hope. In this, Christianity stands alone.
To Find An Abundant Life Pursue a Faith that Keeps Pleasure in Proper Perspective
Ever watched a TV or movie scene where someone stumbles across the desert, dying of thirst and sees an oasis in the distance, but when they get there it’s a mirage?
That’s how pleasure is.
Like happiness and joy, I believe it’s a universal gift from God for our enjoyment. And when exercised and moderated within its design enhances joy, happiness, peace and contentment.
But ignore the instructions on proper use and what is intended as wholesome and sweet quickly turns unwholesome and sour. Followed by emptiness…longing…even bondage.
Pleasure seduces and allures with its charm. But when experienced only for its own sake, is a mirage. Another dead-end path to happiness and joy that leaves you feeling cheated and empty.
It contributes to and is part of an abundant life. But is unsatisfying by itself.
I guess, when you get down to it, the abundant life is so much of what so few of us want to pursue. And therefore, find it elusive. Always beckoning…and just out of reach. When it’s right in front of us all the time.
I wish you the best in your search. And hope you enjoy an abundant life and meaningful experience this Christmas season.
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