How many people do you know who are really happy? Maybe not very many. People everywhere are struggling with a gnawing feeling of emptiness deep inside. They can’t seem to get rid of past regrets that haunt them. They are disheartened with their life and disappointed with the people in it, from their parents to their spouses. They don’t like their work and feel resentful most of the time. When they are alone, they don’t like the disappointing thoughts they have about themselves, so they find ways to deal with the disappointment. The things they try only leave them even more disillusioned. As they grow older, they become more and more cynical.
Many unhappy people find themselves crushed between two overwhelming burdens: a regretful past and a bleak future. The past offers few comforting memories and delightful remembrances since it is overcast with a sense of failure. These people have little hope the future will ever be any different than the past. Consequently, they don’t live in the present, and they don’t enjoy life. Their life has little meaning and purpose.
What we really want is Jesus, but we don’t know it. He made us, and when our lives are aligned with his purpose for us, we live in the present. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He is the way, not one of many ways, but the only way. He is the truth, not someone’s perception of truth, but the embodiment of truth. When we find Jesus and commit our lives to him, we have life, not a life free of problems, but a life that is full of meaning, even if we are suffering. When Jesus comes, the emptiness goes away. Our perspective of the past and future will change, and the present comes alive.
Jesus does for us what we cannot do for us, ourselves. He forgives us. Forgiveness is God’s gift to the world. When Jesus says to us as he did to the woman caught in the act of adultery, “…neither do I condemn you…Go now and leave your life of sin," he frees us. He frees us from our past failures and future fears. He sets life within our reach. That is what he said he came to do, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:10). We all know the thief and have experienced the loss, the disappointment and the devastation. It’s time to get to know the author of life.
Once a year at our church we have a Missions Convention. It is a time when we remind ourselves about our mission in life. Jesus stated the mission of the church in these words: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20).
Every committed Christian takes these words to heart, and we believe it is our privilege to share the story of Jesus with people all over the world. We do not believe the message should be forced on anyone, but it should be shared, giving each person an opportunity to decide for themselves whether they would like to know and accept Jesus as their savior.