Did you ever have a moment when you wondered if life was worth living? Most of us have probably had such days. They often come after we face great losses, pain, trials or certain problems that make life seem overwhelming at times. Anyone who has lost a loved one or experienced depression and grief surely understands these issues. During such seasons it can even feel like life is too much to handle or face each day. All those feelings and experiences are pretty typical for everyone now and then. It would be nice if life was just "fun" all the time, but these painful realities have a way of reminding us that we live in a fallen world that needs the love of God and His gracious redemption for us in the Lord Jesus Christ.
But no matter how hard life may be at times, our great comfort always comes when we know our lives are valued by someone. If a person knows someone loves them, values them and is willing to be there for them it makes all the difference in the world. Sadly, some people don't always have family and friends around to remind them they are loved and valued. The hope is that everyone can realize that the Lord ultimately values their life. In the end, it is the cross and the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ that establishes the value of our lives in this world and the next. In I Peter 1:18-20 we hear about the foundation of our redemption and value to the Lord,
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
One of the great challenges we are facing today in America is that while the Lord values our lives through the cross in a breathtaking way, we often don't value one another's lives in a meaningful way. That fact and reality is devastating our society in this hour. You see much of the message our culture is sending out is that life is cheap, not valuable and has no meaning. People are expendable and the true value and meaningfulness of life is being thrown away before our eyes each day. Children and adults are bombarded by senseless murders and violence through media "entertainment" and in real life news. People are killed in front of us all the time and our society seems to be losing its ability to grieve and cry over such loses in a healthy way. An entire generation of our young people is currently wrestling with trying to find meaning in such a world and a reason to live.
A good example of the growing despair that is going on today was seen last Monday, February 25 when the United States Senate failed to pass the "Born Alive Bill." This bill was put forward to stop infanticide on a national level after it had recently been passed on January 22 by the New York state legislature. The bill was designed to protect the lives of children that were born alive, after a late term abortion, from being killed by doctors. Critics of the bill said the bill would harm women and their rights to a legal abortion, even though the child was no longer in the mother's body but was living on its own. Sadly, even then, many legislators and powerful spiritual and political forces in our nation still refused to protect the life of such an independently living child.
What people are failing to see today is that when you don't protect and value life you make it meaningless. If a newborn child, living on its own, can be killed by our society who is safe? If a newborn's life is not valuable, then is anyone's life valuable? Is a newborn's life less valuable than a 2-year-old or a teenager? As you begin to ask such troubling and searching questions you find out quickly there are no answers that make any sense. As a result, our society has to either decide that all life is valuable, or no life is valuable. That is the choice before the American public in this hour. And when a society decides that there are no standards to protect the value of life you enter into a form of cultural nihilism. Here is a definition of nihilism according to Wikipedia,
Nihilism is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial or lack of belief towards the reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent morality, and that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived.
Nihilism comes from a root word for "nothing." In other words, what we are seeing in America today through our elected leader's policies, court decisions and our media is that life is a valueless, morality-free thing where nothing really matters. In such a world, life is just a few pleasures and trials and we die. Sadly, it is this exact worldview that is causing an explosion of empty sexuality, gender confusion, drug and alcohol use and the death of untold numbers from depression, anxiety and even suicide. Our unwillingness as a society to protect a newborn child, or any life for that matter, simply cements and illustrates to our society that life has no value and there is no reason for living.
All of these shocking issues are a far departure from the founding of our nation and some of the basic beliefs postulated in the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 where we hear,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
These words from our Declaration of Independence challenge all of us that IF any government will not protect and provide for the "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" of ALL their citizens such a government needs to be changed by the people. That is the challenge facing every American in this hour. Will we as a people sit back and watch our nation's values destroyed or will we speak out, vote and work to bring about a restoration of the value and meaning to the life we all enjoy, newborn or old? The choice is ours.
In the end, only the Lord can truly bring meaning to life and value to our lives as was shared in the beginning. It is only our relationship to the Lord, as a creation bearing His image, that can restore life to its original intention of value and meaning. Only a return to the Lord and the cross can bring the value we all were designed for in life and bring an end to the cultural nihilism we see all around us each day. It is surely a time for every Christian, pastor and church to speak the truth in love and share the Gospel that we all need to find a Savior from sin to find our meaning for life in this hour. It is time to be bold and willing to stand up for the faith once delivered to the saints and let everyone know that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. May it be so for His honor and glory and the advancement of His Kingdom. Amen