A reason to live – by Joe

“If this is all there is, then what’s the point?”

That describes how I felt about life as a young adult. My life lacked purpose and fulfillment. I just existed. I grew up in a good home with parents who were moral people. They wanted to raise us right, so they brought us to church. But, I never really understood what was going on at church and I certainly didn’t see how it could make any difference in my life. As I got older my parents stopped going to church and I did too.

Looking for acceptance and trying to fit in during my high school years, I began to run with the wrong crowd and developed some bad habits. However, drugs and alcohol only brought about a temporary peace and escape from life. After high school, I busied my life with work. I thought that would provide meaning in life. I was a hard worker and became successful in a food wholesale business in Florida, rising up the ranks from the warehouse to a top sales job. I was single, had a great job, lots of money, a beautiful girlfriend, everything seemed perfect. But, inside I was miserable and full of pain. Sin had a grip on me. I was drinking too much and suffered bouts of depression and just felt alienated. I didn’t care if I lived or not. I felt like “If this is all there is, then what’s the point?”

It was around this time when I felt completely discouraged and depressed that some friends of mine had become Christians and I noticed a great change in their lives. I would visit them occasionally and I couldn’t help but notice that they were truly happy and had a sense of purpose. Whatever they had, I desperately wanted. They told me how Jesus changed their lives. He would change my life too if I would open my heart and ask Him.

Over a period of months I continued this conversation about Jesus with my friends and I read a good deal of Christian literature that explained who Jesus was and what He did on the cross. One book that really impacted me contained the stories of how Jesus had changed some famous people who had pursued what they thought was the “good life,” only to realize that it too was empty. I found I could relate to these stories. One night in my apartment after reading the Bible and thinking about all that I was reading and hearing, I prayed and asked Jesus to take my sins, and to give me what I was missing in my life. After I prayed, I immediately knew that something was different. I didn’t see or hear fireworks, but I knew the heavy burden of my sin and guilt I had carried around for years had been lifted. That day I knew God forgave me and I would never be the same again.

God continues to give me peace and assurance that I belong to Him. Jesus fills my life with purpose and I now have a reason to live, to please God and make my life count for Him. I still mess up and fall short of what God wants for me, I still struggle as all of us do, but the difference now is I know the Lord is in control and He will give me His power to live each day. I now have someone I can trust in. I don’t have to go it alone. I know that I can bring every care and every problem that I have to Jesus because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). I know that what God did for me, He will do for you. You too can ask Jesus to take away your sins and to give you a reason for living.



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