Lets talk about the question of significance, Does my life matter. Isaiah asked this question in Isaiah 49:4a. He said, “My work all seems so useless. I’ve spent my strength for nothing and for no purpose at all.” You were made for meaning, and if you don’t have a meaning and purpose in your life and you don’t know why God put you on this planet, life doesn’t make sense.
During World War II, there were prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp in Hungary, that were processing human sewage in a factory. The allies came along, bombed that factory and blew it apart. So the prisoners had nothing to do. The Nazi soldiers had the prisoners take all the rubble of that factory and move it to another field. The next day, they had them take that same rubble and move it back in reverse. The next day, they had to take that stuff and move it back and day after day they had no meaning, no purpose. It was just work doing the same thing over and over with no meaning and no purpose. Then something strange began to happen. The prisoners began to go crazy. They began to lose their will to live because there was no meaning, no purpose in their work. They were just moving bricks back and forth, back and forth. Many of them began to throw themselves in front of the guards trying to get shot. In essence, trying to commit suicide. Because you and I were made for meaning.
Now you’re going to go through life living at one of three levels: The first and lowest level is the Survival level. The Survival level is really where most live today. They’re just in survival mode. They are just barely getting by. They’re just existing. They’re not living. They are controlled by their circumstances. They put in their time and live for the weekend. They’re just in survival mode.
A step up from that, a better way to live, rather than the Survival level is the Success level. Honestly, this is where many are By the world’s standards, you’ve got it made. You’ve got a comfortable living, compared to the rest of the world; you’re extremely wealthy, compared to the rest of the world. So you have possessions, you have freedom, you have good health and you may have prestige and you may be quite successful. But today there are a lot of books coming out that say things like, “If I’m so successful, how come I don’t feel fulfilled?” The reason is, it takes more than success and it takes more than status to satisfy.
You need to go to the third level of living, which is the Significance level. Not a Survival, not a Success but step up to the level of Significance. How do you live at the Significance level? Well, you get there through three things:
#1: You know the meaning of life – that gives Significance.
#2: You know how much you matter to God – that gives you Significance.
#3: You know God’s purposes for your life and you’re living them out and that
gives you Significance.
If you want to know how much you matter to God, look at the next couple of verses. God says, “I am your Creator. You were in My care, even before you were born.” (Isaiah 44:2) God was caring for you even in His mind, as He thought you up. The next verse says, ”You (talking about God) scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book.” That’s how much you matter to God. He paid so much attention to your life that every detail was recorded in His book, before you even took a breath. That’s how much you matter to God. Do you matter? – Yes. He made you. He made you to love you and the Bible says you do matter.
And God wants you to know how much you matter to Him. God wants you to know the meaning of life. He wants you to know His purposes.
Do you realize the fruit fly only lives one day? Here today- gone tomorrow. What’s its meaning for life? Why is it even here? Why live just a day? Unlike the fruit fly, God has extremely long-range plans for you. Look at the next verse, “His plans endure forever; His purposes last eternally.” Now listen, God’s purpose for you is not just for the rest of your life on earth, they’re for the rest of your life forever and ever, and ever and ever and ever. Because God’s purposes are eternal. This is the warm-up act, this is the kindergarten, this is the preschool, this is where you do the dress rehearsal.
God says I have plans and purposes for your life, but they don’t end at death. Because when you die, your heart is going to stop and that will be the end of your body, but that’s not the end of you. You’re far more than a body. You were made to last forever. The Bible says this, Psalm 33:11 says, “His purposes last eternally. God says, ”I was made to last forever.” I was made to be loved by God, and I was made to last forever. This life is not all there is. One of the biggest ways you can waste your life is thinking all there is, is here and now. You’re going to spend far more time on that side of death, than you do on this side. On this side, you may get to live 60, 70, 80 or 90 years or so. But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to eternity. The time you spend on earth really isn’t that very long.
It’s like if you stretched out a line around the world the first millimeter of that line would not even equal how tiny your life is compared to all the time you’re going to spend in eternity. You were made for eternity and life is preparation for eternity. You’re not going to find that in a self-help book, but it’s the truth. Life is preparation for eternity. God’s purposes for you are eternal. They are forever. This is the key to the meaning of life. Realizing that life is preparation for eternity.
The Bible says this. Notice 2 Cor 5:1, “When this tent we live in – our body here on earth – is torn down. God will have a house in Heaven for us to live in. A home He himself has made, which will last forever.” You want to know how much you matter to God. Well, I’ll tell you – you matter so much to God; He wants to keep you with Him for the rest of eternity. For the rest of eternity – He wants to keep you with Him forever. That gives meaning.
Look at this verse, “Leave your impoverished confusion and live and walk up the street to a life with meaning.” (Proverbs 9:6)
(Adapted from “Why in the world am I here” by Rick Warren)