• Jenna

Witnessing Part 5 - Lacking Peace & Purpose

Updated: May 22

"Meaningless! Meaningless!”says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” Ecclesiastes 1:2



What I Am Missing?


The people who are open to hearing about our testimonies of Jesus are often coming from a a place of feeling an emptiness in their hearts or a void in their lives. Most people don’t realize they are lost, but what they do realize is that they are missing something. In witnessing, we will approach many people who feel a lack of peace, fulfillment, and purpose in their lives, and they won’t be able to pinpoint exactly why.


They Appear to Have it All


Many of these people may even come from successful or esteemed backgrounds. They may have earned degrees, accomplished great things, or made a noticeable difference in the world. They may be well-known at their school or in their community and admired and loved by many. They may hold high-up positions in good companies or even own a flourishing business that they started from the ground up. They may be talented or skilled and recognized or even praised for their natural abilities. They may hold a reputable position of power in which people follow, respect, and trust them. They may be financially successful and secure with a happy and healthy family. They may be loved dearly by their own husbands, wives, kids, or grandkids. They may even be people who are philanthropic and spend their time helping others and giving back to the community. However, for some reason that is beyond them, they feel a lack of fulfillment and purpose with an angst that is carried along with it. They feel incomplete and simply don’t know why. They may feel anxious, lonesome, or even depressed at times, despite all the things they have accomplished, grown, or possess in life.


Tirelessly Chasing


See, this is essentially where humanity is at. The whole world is searching for real purpose and true fulfillment. People are striving in vain to fill themselves up with money, houses, cars, possessions, careers, degrees, accomplishments, admiration and recognition, travel and adventures, and yet, they still come up empty every time they chase after the next catch on life's journey.


People are also desperately looking for true love and trying to fill themselves up with relationships and other people, and they’re not finding that level of satisfaction there either. See, this is why so many people lose themselves in the thrills, quick fixes, cheap pleasures, empty entertainment, endless binges of mindless TV shows, expensive vacations and extravagant world travels, crazy health trends and obsessive fitness routines, and all the temporary, fleeting things of life. It’s because people are looking for their purpose, peace, joy, and fulfillment in all the wrong places. Nothing is wrong with these things inherently or when enjoyed in moderation, but when these things are turned into idols and a means to an end, all these things are only smoke and mirrors; mere illusions. These are things that look good, sound good, feel good temporarily, but elude us every single time and leave us just where we started; lacking. People are still coming up empty, driving themselves deeper into all the wrong places, where eventually they become hardened and drift even further from the Truth; the only source of real joy and peace: Jesus.


Life is a Big Appetite


Life is a big appetite that can never be satisfied. There are so many things that would appear to fill us up, fix our problems and anxieties, make us feel heard, seen, and loved, bring us clarity, peace, and rest to our weary souls. However, these are only illusions, coming out of the kingdom of darkness. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).


Once I buy my dream home, I will finally be happy.

One I sell my home, I will finally be able to relax.

Once I get my PhD, I will finally feel respected for my intelligence.

Once I buy that Mercedes, I will finally feel like I fit in to this neighborhood.

Once I go on this vacation, I will finally be able to let loose so that I can be productive at work again.

Once I cross off skydiving from my bucket list, I will have conquered my fear of heights and finally have control over fear.

Once I get over a million likes on my picture, I will feel confident and accepted.

Once I become Instafamous, I’ll finally feel like I have a voice in this world and can make a difference.


If I just get pregnant, it will fix things in my marriage.

If I just lose weight, I will finally feel beautiful.

If I just get a mini face lift, I will look so much younger and be noticed by men again.

If I just have another drink, I will feel relaxed and more confident.

If I just have a self-care day, I will be able to take care of my kids better.

If I just focus on myself and put myself first, I will be more helpful to other people.

If I just love myself, other people will love me too.

Only when I love myself will I be able to love others.


What lies from hell. None of this is what Jesus ever taught in the Scriptures. The world says, "Love yourself. Put yourself first." Jesus says, "Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me." “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."(Luke 9:23). The world is diametrically opposed to being true disciples of Jesus.


"Life is Meaningless!"


"Meaningless! Meaningless!”says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).


“If you have been trying to unscramble your life by filling it up with relationships, there isn’t a relationship with a person on the face of this earth who can deal with the deep longings of your heart and soul.


If you’ve been trying to satisfy it by intellectual pursuits, there isn’t a theorem that you can ponder that will ultimately satisfy your intellectual curiosity.


If you’ve been looking for true contentment and satisfaction along the lines of an emotional trip, there is not a journey you can take that will answer the insatiable longing that is built into the very core of you as a human being.


And the sooner someone faces up to this, the sooner they can make sense of their lives and why they can’t seem to fill that empty hole in their hearts.


Only found in the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer to all the deepest heartaches, longings, and aberrations of the human condition." – Alistair Begg from his series on the book of Ecclesiastes


Finding Rest, Relief, and Meaning


God made us for Himself. Our hearts are restless, and our days are burdensome until we find our rest and relief in Him. Life is meaningless without Him; full of relentless work, aches and pains, and aimless cycles; full of endless chasing after temporal pleasures only to come up empty every time. Satisfaction in sin and in serving self is an illusion and a downright lie that only leads to a deeper craving of sin, a deeper focus on self, further dissatisfaction, and greater anguish. Ultimately, it just leads to hell, which is a place that is far worse than "hell on earth." Because unlike here, there is no relief, ever.


God has created us for a purpose, and unless we discover and fulfill that divine purpose, we will always be chasing, and our thirst will never be quenched with anything else that is offered along the long and winding road of life. There is not a relationship with a spouse, child, parent, mother, father, brother, sister, or best friend that is able to satisfy the issue that is deeply engraved into our hearts and souls. There is no experience of psychology, philosophy, or religion that can fulfill this great longing. This is the burden that God has laid on every single person since He made us for His pleasure, and He created us in His image. We will all be forever dissatisfied until we truly come to know God and build a relationship with Him and find true fellowship with Him. God gives everyone this heavy burden for the sole reason that we cry out to Him and find our true purpose in Him - which is to give Him glory in everything we say, think, and do. This life is not about us. This life is about God. This is His story, and by His grace we are a part of it.


God is the Burden Maker and the Burden Taker


1. First He gives me the burden as the Burden Maker

2. Then I have an awareness of the burden

3. Then I make a cry for help

4. Then He gives me the solution as the Burden Taker

If there is no cry for help, there is no relieving of the burden. (Notes taken from Alistair Begg's Ecclesiastes Series)


The burden we carry in life is supposed to drive us towards God, not away from Him, which only deepens the burden and makes it heavier to carry as time goes on.


Only in Jesus


Only in Jesus are we able to satisfy the deepest recesses of our heart and longings of our soul because He made us for the sole purpose of giving glory to Him in everything we think, say, and do. This life is not about us. It's about the glory of God. He is the One who should be the center focus of our lives, not ourselves. Only in Jesus can we discover our real purpose and calling and find true joy and peace in this fallen world. That's because He made us to know Him, and He stamped eternity on our hearts so that we would live with Him forever by grace through faith. We know this life is but a vapor, a midst, a tiny speck, compared to the eternal glory that awaits those of us who love and trust the Lord Jesus Christ. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).


"What the Bible says is that you and I, creatures of time, were actually made for eternity. That you and I who live out the life that is ours were actually made for His presence. Therefore it’s no surprise that our lives would be marked by frustration, by confusion when we turn away from Him. It shouldn’t surprise us that if we choose to live in the dark, we can’t see." - Alistair Begg


Looking For an Escape


Basically, people are endlessly searching for fulfillment and contentment, and they are wanting to be freed from their guilt. Guilt is a very difficult and heavy thing to deal with. Many people can’t seem to escape their guilt, which just compounds more anxiety and fear of the unknown. Another category that people are coming from is having an utter sense of purposelessness. People who are lost don’t understand the meaning of life, let alone why they are here and what their purpose is. They feel aimless, which is completely understandable. We all have felt aimless without God before we came to know Him. In another category are those who are slaves to their own fleshly desires, passions, vices, addictions, and they just can’t seem to tear away from them, no matter what they’ve tried, no matter how many therapy sessions they went to over the years, no matter how many Tony Robbin Youtube videos they’ve listened to, and no matter how many self-help books they’ve read. They are still in bondage. These are the common categories which so many people in the world find themselves trapped in; all centered around meaninglessness.


The Answer


When we witness to someone about the power of Jesus Christ, we can gently come at them and simply say, “Are you looking for peace in your life? Are you searching for purpose in your life? This is found in Jesus." This can be the simple introduction to sharing our personal testimony and the gospel with them. It just can’t be the only thing we say if we truly want to witness to them. And it's not a "want" to witness, but a command to witness.


Love,

Jenna


Continue reading part 6 here.

 

Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." John 6:35


“I am the light of the world.He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12


“I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” John 10:7-9


“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd; and I know my sheep, and am known by My own.” John 10:11,14


“ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6


"I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser… I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” John 15:1-5


So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1


"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8

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