A Meaningful Life—Now and Forever
YOU can find real meaning in life even now. How? By following the sound principles found in God’s Word, the Bible. Let us examine just a few of them.
BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “There is nothing better,” wrote King Solomon, than that a man “should eat and indeed drink and cause his soul to see good because of his hard work.”—ECCLESIASTES 2:24.
We were made to find satisfaction in wholesome work. Even in the direst of circumstances, you can enjoy a measure of satisfaction in life right now from working diligently and honestly.
BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—ACTS 20:35.
Many have found that doing things for others—giving of their time and energy to assist others in times of difficulty, for example—has proved to be extremely rewarding and has added real meaning to their lives. “Do not hold back good from those to whom it is owing,” wrote Solomon, “when it happens to be in the power of your hand to do it.”—Proverbs 3:27.
Consider the example of Ralph. After retirement, he joined his wife in the full-time Christian ministry. They each spend a number of hours every month in the ministry, giving of themselves in teaching the Bible to others. “When we get home in the evening, we are tired, not just from getting older, but from giving our all in service to our heavenly Father,” says Ralph. “It’s a good tired!” He and his wife are happy because their life centers on giving.
BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “A true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress.”—PROVERBS 17:17.
Shared troubles can be much easier to bear. English essayist Francis Bacon wrote that for those without true friends, “the world is but a wilderness.” Having true friends—and being a good friend—can make life more bearable for you; it can be beautiful and satisfying.
BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.”—MATTHEW 5:3.
Jesus thus identified a vital requirement if you want to enjoy the fulfillment of God’s promises—recognize and fill your “spiritual need.” Unlike animals, we have an innate need to understand the meaning and purpose of life. Only Jehovah God can fill that need, and he does so through his Word, the Bible. As we saw in the preceding article, the Bible reveals God’s purpose for the earth. It tells us why we are here, why there is so much suffering, and what God expects of us. Understanding such Scriptural truths is essential to our living a meaningful and satisfying life. Those who make time to study the Bible and apply what they learn are happy. Why? Because they thereby build a trusting relationship with our Creator, “the happy God,” Jehovah.—1 Timothy 1:11.
BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “Remember your Creator . . . before the time of trouble comes and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I see no purpose in them.’”—ECCLESIASTES 12:1, THE NEW ENGLISH BIBLE.
King Solomon’s advice to young people, who may for a time fail to recognize the tragedies that life can bring, is relevant for all of us. Make your Creator the focus of your life. That is what will give your life real purpose. Reject the attitude: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.” (1 Corinthians 15:32) If you put God first, things “will turn out well” for you, says Ecclesiastes 8:12.
A girl named Wendi found that to be true. When she was young, she and her sister learned Spanish so that they could move to the Dominican Republic, where there was a greater need for preachers of the Bible’s good news. “We made many sacrifices to serve where there was a need, but we had the time of our lives. I wouldn’t trade those six months for anything! The blessings we received far outweighed the sacrifices involved.”
Loyalty to God Makes Life Meaningful
Building a good relationship with Jehovah can add meaning to your life in a very special way. How? Not only did Satan lead Adam and Eve into rebellion against God’s rule but he also implied that no one would remain loyal to God under test. (Job 1:9-11; 2:4) You can help to prove Satan a liar! How? By remaining loyal to God, by sticking to his principles, and by demonstrating that you recognize Jehovah’s supreme right to determine for us what is good and what is bad.—Revelation 4:11.
We may have to endure challenges if we want to pursue an upright course. Will those challenges rob us of a meaningful life? Well, imagine that a vicious enemy is slandering our beloved friend or family member. If defending that dear person’s name caused us some hardship at the hands of our enemy, would that rob us of a meaningful life? Of course not! We would gladly endure hardship for such a cause. It is the same with remaining loyal to God. Our loyalty under current evil conditions actually makes God’s heart rejoice.—Proverbs 27:11.
A Meaningful Life Forever
Make it your aim, then, to learn all you can about God and his purpose. Jesus Christ himself said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) When God fulfills his original purpose for the earth, faithful humans will enjoy what Jehovah originally intended for them—“everlasting life” on a paradise earth. Then life will truly be meaningful and satisfying.—Psalm 145:16.
Where can you find the knowledge that Jesus talked about? In the pages of God’s inspired Word, the Bible. If you would like assistance in doing this, feel free to write to the publishers of this magazine. They will gladly arrange for someone to help you to learn what the Bible really teaches.