“God made you alive with Christ.” (Col 2:13b).
In my pastoral and chaplaincy ministries I have heard it over and over again from people utterly discouraged with their circumstances, “I hate my life” or even “I hate life!” Life is a pain, life is a burden, life seems meaningless, life is hard, life is filled with too many sorrows and suffering.
I agree. With a caveat, of course!
Outside of a relationship with God through Christ, life is all of those things listed above. Without understanding that God has a purpose for each and every person ever created, we will live in a state of discouragement. When we fail to see that true life can only be lived through a personal and abiding relationship with Christ, we will be continually frustrated, have angst, or worse, be suicidal.
Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full!” (John 10:10b). Jesus through His atoning sacrifice on the cross, His resurrection, and His continued ministry through the Holy Spirit gives us true meaning and joy in our lives. He is the author of life, and represents what true humanity can be. He is the very embodiment of true life.
Until we come into a saving relationship with Jesus we cannot experience this joy filled life: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…” (Eph. 2:4-5a). Each of us was born with a spirit, but that spirit was dead in its sin until we come to Christ (Col 2:13; 1 Cor 15:22). It is God who brings us back to life, real life, meaningful life through Christ. God wants to regenerate our lifeless spirits through His Son, so that we can experience what life is meant to be.
“Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Christ…” (Col. 2:6). When we make that decision to allow Jesus to be the Lord and controller of our lives, we will no longer continue in the frustrating and anxiety filled pursuit of meaning and purpose. We will be able to understand that even in the midst of tragedy, suffering, and deep pain, we can still have joy and peace. For it is in Jesus alone, who is the resurrection and the life, that we will find and have true life (John 11:25).
When we come to Christ, we realize that He is alive in us and that we are in a right relationship God. And nothing or no one can change that fact, because “Christ lives within you… the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God” (Romans 8:10).
© Paul Dordal, 2012