Sense of Purpose Uplifts Society
Australia’s young adults are setting themselves up for major depression and social upheaval. Here’s why.
A sense of purpose and meaning in life, often derived from sincere faith in a loving and good Creator, produces measurable health benefits. But what does lack of faith produce?
The God of small things (James Cook University, Australia). The purpose-filled life doesn’t just look at the big picture for evidence of God. According to Jonathan Ramsay, a lecturer at JCU’s Singapore campus, the faith that improves health in people sees the hand of God in small things, too.
Dr Ramsay said the results show that all people, but especially religious people, regularly assign significance to unremarkable events—such as discussing hobbies with a work colleague, receiving a small but unexpected gift, or spending time with a family member.
“We found the more people gave meaning, purpose, and significance to such events the more they experienced positive emotions such as gratitude and contentment,” he said.
Friending God increases purpose in life in the socially disconnected (Michigan State). Some psychologists assume that community is vital for developing a sense of purpose in life. That helps, but an MSU doctoral student found that even the socially disconnected find a sense of purpose in life when they can look to God as a friend. While not discounting the importance of friendship with other people for mental health, Todd Chan looked at the responses of 19,775 people, and concluded that even lonely souls can benefit from a sense of purpose when God is central in their lives.
Chan and colleagues say that having a belief system that adequately “substitutes” for some of the functions of human relationships, like having a God that values and supports them, may allow socially disconnected people to restore some of this purpose.
“For the socially disconnected, God may serve as a substitutive relationship that compensates for some of the purpose that human relationships would normally provide,” Chan said.
Steep decline in student belief that God created humans, 32-year Australian study reveals (Science Daily). The title says it all: more and more Australians are walking away from belief that God created mankind.
Every year since 1986, the researchers polled first-year biology students at UNSW Sydney about their views on evolution and creationism. In 1986, 60% of students believed a god had something to do with the origin of humans, while only 29% held this view in 2017. In contrast, the percentage of students convinced that a god had nothing to do with the origin of humans increased from 25% in 1986 to 62% in 2017.
The findings — published today in Evolution: Education and Outreach – are the longest continuous annual survey of opinions about creationism versus evolution among first-year university students world-wide.
Putting it All Together
These findings can be summarized as follows:
- Purpose in life is important for positive emotions such as gratitude and contentment.
- Friendship with God, and belief in Him as our Creator, brings a strong sense of purpose in life.
- Lack of belief that God had anything to do with the origin of humans is on the rise among students and young adults.
- Conclusion: Australia is setting itself up for a major societal crisis: meaninglessness, hopelessness, and despair.
- Corollary: America, with its Darwin-only teaching policy, is heading down the same path.
Evolutionists, quick! You must do something about this. Your students are becoming depressed, leading lives where everything seems pointless, as if they are wandering through a world that shows blind, pitiless indifference toward them and everybody else. Natural selection must have selected for humans who find purpose in life by believing in God. If so, they must be the fittest. Then help the fittest: you need to teach less Darwinism, and more Bible. This is vital for the health of society!
But wait; that would imply that natural selection teaches people to believe in lies. Maybe belief in natural selection is a lie, too; would you have any way of knowing? And by choosing to do something about the crisis of purposelessness in your society, wouldn’t you be assuming that you are a free moral agent with a conscience? Wouldn’t making an effort to solve the crisis amount to your own purpose in life? [Cue sound of short circuit.]
Let’s get back to the wisdom of God’s word. Purpose—the intelligent plan of God—permeates the Bible from first verse to last. In a magnificent passage, Paul tells the former pagans in Ephesus about the purposes of God. Look at all the purpose words in this one passage, that relate to our ability to have a sense of purpose individually in a purposeful, created universe:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1)
Paul said to the Romans, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). He is indeed the God of small things! He works His purposes in us every day, for judgment on sinners, but for goodness and joy to those who trust Him. Think of how richly meaningful it can be to walk with God as your closest Friend. (See Site Map.)
Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” [John 10:9-10; read whole chapter.] God the Son—the Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for us—purposes good for us: abundant life. Who is the thief, but the one who steals away people’s hope in God? Who is a worse thief than Charles Darwin and his disciples, who preach that there is no God at all, but just a material universe of blind, pitiless indifference? We need to see Darwinians as not just wrong, but evil, merciless thieves!
To learn to love God and appreciate His purposes for us, go to TheJohn1010Project.com, which takes its name from the passage above about abundant life. Watch the 50+ free videos that will build your confidence in God, answer hard questions, and enrich your life with the joy our Creator intended for us.
Exercise: Compare the purposelessness of an atheist astronomer in this short film, “God and the Astronomer,” with the confidence of Joni Eareckson Tada, who had to struggle with God’s purposes when she became paralyzed in an accident. Watch her abundant life come to light in “Can God Bring Good From Suffering?“
After watching these two episodes, you will likely want to watch many others. They’re easy to share on social media, and they are all free. If you are blessed by the films, subscribe to the page and support what Illustra Media is doing. This will increase your joy in having a sense of purpose, too.
The sponsoring organization for Creation-Evolution Headlines, incidentally, has a purposeful name: Master Plan Association.