How to Live a Meaningful Life
Many Americans live with two opposite feelings. On one hand, they want to experience meaning and purpose in their lives. On the other hand, they often feel that they are running on empty.
In his classic novel, Les Miserables, Victor Hugo tells us how to eliminate that second feeling. The bishop befriends Jean Valjean and gives him lodging. Valjean repays that kindness by stealing the bishop’s valuable candlesticks. After the bishop reports the theft, the police magistrate questions Valjean in the bishop’s presence. As the interrogation progresses, Valjean seems headed for jail. At that point, the bishop unexpectedly retracts his charges and offers a plausible reason for why the candlesticks are missing. Jean Valjean is amazed. When he and the bishop are alone, he says, “Why did you do that? You know I am guilty.” The bishop replies, “Life is for giving.”
Why do churches receive an offering in their worship services? Some people say, “Because the church needs the money.” That is only part of the answer. Even if a wealthy benefactor fully underwrote our congregation’s expenses, we would still need to provide people with the opportunity to give an offering in our worship services. Weekly giving teaches us—and reminds us because we keep forgetting—that life without unselfish giving is life without meaning and purpose. Victor Hugo is right. Life is for giving.
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And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's ... You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you." 2 Chronicles 20: 15 & 17 (NKJV)
This scripture here is a promise we can hold on to when going through difficult circumstances that seem out of our control and overwhelming. There are some battles that we simply can't fight - and shouldn't fight in our own strength. Sometimes God tells us to take our positions, stand still and see His deliverance. Sometimes we need to take our hands off, stand back and let God fight for us.
We needn't fear what comes against us, but to stand firm in our faith. God knows the whole situation. Though we feel overwhelmed when we look at our circumstances, the Lord sees the whole picture and sees the way out for us. We need to let God have control and fight the battle we're facing. He has promised that He is with us and that He will bring us through. If you are facing a battle today that seems overwhelming, give it over to God and let Him fight for you. He will work it all out, and make a way where it seems there is no way.
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