The despair of modern man takes many forms. It is despair in depth in that it tends to use formulations and forms which seem to give hope and yet in the nature of the case lead to more profound depths of despair.
This type of despair comes from lack of belief or lack of objective knowledge of the God Who Is There.
There is a real tension in being a modern man because no one can live at ease in the area of despair.
A Christian knows that this is because man has been made in the image of God and though man is fallen, separated from God by his true guilt, he has not become a machine. The fallenness of man does not lead to machineness, but to fallen-manness.
Man is a finite created being who is hard-wired by design to know The God Who Is There. And, because of this design, he has a natural inclination to seek for meaning and purpose and cause and source.
Modern man in seeking answers to meaning and purpose for his existence can easily be enticed to look to naturalistic and mystical belief systems in order to provide some sense of meaning and purpose.
If God exists and we are made in His image we can have real meaning, and we can have real knowledge through what He has communicated to us. If God does not exist, then we are left only with man and his finite self-expression. At this point all one has is the expression of the individual man.
God is the cause and source and gives meaning and purpose to our existence. We were ‘made’ to know Him. The Apostle John records a prayer Jesus was praying to his Father…”And this is eternal life, that they can know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3 ESV). Life…fullness of life…now and into eternity.. is to have a personal relationship with the God Who Is There. All other paths can only lead to eventual despair.
Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There