LIFE. What does it mean?

That is an age-old question that is being answered in many different ways still today, though not always in expected ways. Some people think life is simply a “dash between two dates” and nothing more. Some think it’s an opportunity to work hard and create something worth passing on to our children. There are unspoken numbers of people, though, who will forever be somewhere between the two.

Does life seem like a battle?

For some, life might be a battlefield where they fight a war against drug addiction. It might be something they try to escape from, trapped in a never-ending cycle of abuse. Others, born on the “wrong side of the tracks,” will simply never be in a position to do anything more than live in rentals and hope for better for their children. I’ve been there in all of those situations. This list, of people and their stories, could go on forever, I know. The point is, FOR TOO MANY, life is something they want to GET OUT OF.

What’s Going On?

Really tough stuff…

There’s no doubt suicide rates have risen exponentially over the last few decades. Even more so this year, in 2020. I don’t have statistics in front of me for that, but do we really need them? Don’t we ALL know people who have committed suicide? If OUR lives aren’t affected, then surely someone we know has been affected. Sadder still, many of those numbers are CHILDREN! You know, our world has really changed when that is something we’re having to face. We wonder what happened. Where did we go wrong? What in the world can we do to stop it?

Laws aren’t fixing it…

We’ve passed laws on everything from bullying to gender laws, and still no sign of relief from this unseen yet impending oppression. Eventually, one has to come to the thought process that, maybe laws won’t really protect our kids. Maybe there really is more going on and we either don’t see it or won’t see it.

Lack of hope in life?

One thing that seems apparent, is the more people I speak with concerning the topic. There is a complete and utter lack of HOPE. It got me thinking… what DO we hope in? It seems like we are “directed” to hope for what turns out to be an ongoing set of accomplishments… but what then?

Over-whelming pressures?

When we’re in school, we CAN’T WAIT to get out. From middle school to high school, and then on to college, one door closes and another opens. At some point in there, we’re expected to marry, have children, and buy a home and a vehicle. We’re expected to pay into a 401k, set up a nice vacation spot, and start college funds for the children. Once we get all that done, we’re just pressing on towards retirement, but what then? We are supposed to then enjoy the grandchildren, maybe take up a new hobby, or make sure our “end of life” plans are taken care of so our children won’t be burdened.

Accomplishing it all may leave you empty UNLESS…

The “hope” seems to rest in benchmarks that, once reached, leave us little to do but set up a new benchmark. In reality, the only HOPE that really matters is our hope in God! God’s Word reminds us that HE KNOWS life is just a vapor (James 4:14)! James goes even further in saying what would probably be considered bad manners in the world we live in today (outside of our Christian circles, of course): “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:14-17)

The Giver of our Hope gives a mandate

I think it’s a HEART CHANGE that we need. Maybe not US in particular… But if we are Christians, Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, then we have a mandate from Jesus that we let our light shine in the darkness! THIS darkness! This darkness that is TAKING our children and loved ones!

Be LIGHT in the darkness

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Don’t STOP!

I know it’s getting harder and harder in our society to share the Gospel, that GOOD NEWS that needs to be shouted from the rooftops… but please, don’t stop! Jesus told us plainly that we would be hated for His Name’s sake, and we are. Parts of our nation even seek to ban the Holy Bible as hate speech. Christian counselors are being banned from practicing methods that are “damaging to children.” Pastors are even being told what to preach from their pulpits if they’re even allowed to preach at all. But the fact is, no matter how volatile society gets under the oppression of the enemy, if we STOP shining our light, then we remove all possibility that it will ever chase away the darkness!

Know that there is HOPE

There’s a lot at stake! If you are without hope, PLEASE, consider turning to Jesus! He gives hope and so much more! If you HAVE hope, PLEASE, don’t be afraid to give a little away! It could be that the coworker right beside you, someone in the grocery store, or even someone under your own roof that NEEDS that light, that hope! And if we KNOW to do good, but DON’T DO IT… it is sin.

What is life? I cannot help but think, at the very core of my being, that LIFE is an opportunity to bring LIGHT into darkness, praise God.

If You No Longer WANT Your Life…

If you are reading this and you are in a position where you no longer want to live this life, please consider this: when you’re finished trying if things are too hard if you see no REASON to press on, why not try Jesus? When you are in a place where hope seems to be the last thing you’ll ever see or experience, I assure you there’s nothing to lose by allowing Jesus into your heart. Learn what He wants, and give it a try. You might be surprised at the outcome! There truly IS a peace that passes all understanding, my friend. There IS a life out there for you, and it looks nothing like what they told you it would look like. There’s no describing the change that will come over your heart, nor the peace that will overtake your emotions, but I promise you, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt before. And this man named JESUS died and was resurrected so that YOU could have LIFE… more abundant life than anything you ever imagined. He wasn’t just a prophet or a good man. He was God in flesh, who laid aside diety to become the only worthy sacrifice for the sins HE KNEW we would commit! THAT is atonement we could never create for ourselves. And it’s waiting for you. Along with LIFE as you never dreamed it possible. “The theif cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

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