I’m not doing so hot. Could God possibly help?
You might be just looking for some answers to some problems. Or you might be desperate.
No matter what your situation is, God wants to help.
We invite you to listen to how He’s changed the lives of others in similar situations. In their own words and with their own voices, the people below share the hope that God can and will intervene when you turn to Him in faith.
When life starts to spin out of control, you start to wonder if it’s you, don’t you? You start to worry that there’s something wrong with you. You start to entertain the thought that you’re the problem, that “someone upstairs” has a grudge against you.
Wouldn’t it be nice, even when things are going badly for you, to know that you’re a child of God? Wouldn’t it be nice, even in the midst of trouble and turmoil, to know that your Father in heaven is very fond of you? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you are a friend of God, a favorite son or daughter, a prize in God’s eyes?
That is one of the deep-down and far-reaching things a relationship with God can do for you. Sure, you may have plenty of problems, and you may make plenty of mistakes, but if you’ve entered into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, you can know—whatever may go wrong—who you really are and how God really feels about you, because only by his presence and work in your life can you fulfill your true identity.
Your identity was established by God’s creative power; you are a priceless human being, made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). You were created to be a spiritual being, intended to live in relationship with God.
In addition, because God sent his Son to die for you (John 3:16), you can know that you—even in your sin—are a priceless soul, who is literally worth Jesus to him (the Bible says that “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8, NLT)). When Jesus submitted himself to death on a cross, he revealed that you were worth more to him than his own life! In other words, your identity was not only established by God’s creative power; it was emphasized by God’s redemptive power, showing that you are a priceless human being made in God’s image and a precious soul for whom Christ died.
George Herbert once said, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” It might not change your circumstances, but it sure can change your ability to stand strong even in the stiffest winds when you know who you are—and whose you are. And you can make that happen right now, by simply getting to know God, through his Son, Jesus Christ. You have nothing to lose, and a much stronger sense of identity to gain.
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When life starts to unravel, and we feel like we’re losing our grip, it’s only natural—perfectly understandable—to slip into survival mode. In survival mode, we’re lucky just to be able to get through each day. We do what we can. We make it through. And sometimes we don’t even do that, to be honest.
Nearly everyone goes through times like that, at least for short periods. But there’s a problem with survival mode. If it goes on very long, it will deepen our discouragement and depression, and even lead to despair. And with every step down that spiral staircase, it becomes harder and harder to turn things around and climb out. That’s because life is no fun when we’re struggling to survive. As human beings, we need much more than the will to survive. We need a reason to hope. We need a purpose, and we just long to know what that purpose is.
The prophet Jeremiah asked this same question roughly 2,600 years ago:
“Why was I born? Was it only to have trouble and sorrow, to end my life in disgrace?” (Jeremiah 20:18, TEV). There have probably been times in your life when you felt that way too: Was I born for THIS? You may well be feeling that way right now. You may agree with humorist Jack Handy who says, “I hope life isn’t a joke, because I don’t get it.”
God planted within you the desire to live a meaningful, purposeful, abundant life, and he alone can satisfy that desire. He created you to live for a purpose much greater than yourself. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment. It’s far greater than your own happiness. Even your own peace of mind. You were made by God, and you were made for God, and you were put here for a purpose. And until you understand that, and begin living that, life just isn’t going to make a whole lot of sense.
The Bible says, “Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding” (Proverbs 9:10, TLB). You’re not going to learn your purpose from some talk show. You’re not going to learn it in a séance. You’re not going to learn it reading tea leaves. You’re not going to learn it from a seminar. The only way you’re going to learn the meaning of life and your purpose in life is to get to know God.
So what is that purpose?
The Bible says, “Long before He laid down the earth’s foundation, He had us in His mind and settled on us as the focus of His love to be made whole and holy by His love” (Ephesians 1:4, The Message). He settled on us as the focus of his love. He settled on you as the focus of his love. God is love, and he wanted to create something to love, so he created you. He didn’t need you. He wasn’t lonely. But he wanted you. And he made you in order to love you.
You were created to be loved by God, to return his love, and to live to please the One who loves you. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ will infuse your life with purpose, as you begin living for a calling and purpose higher—much higher—than yourself. When you respond to Christ’s love by loving him back and agreeing to follow him, his eternal purpose becomes your mission. Have you committed yourself to fulfilling God’s purpose? Take an important first step toward a life that is lived on purpose— the purpose God had in mind when he created you.
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No doubt about it, we live in a cruel world. Smiles at some point turn to frowns, and laughter gives way to crying. Happiness and joy are eventually replaced with pain and suffering. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but even men and women who follow Jesus Christ experience anguish, sickness, disappointment, loss, and death.
Yet, as often as life serves up pain and heartache, we are rarely willing to accept it. Something inside us says, “This makes no sense,” and we hope that life will be better tomorrow. But, even if tomorrow is better, it won’t mean much because eventually someday, all that we have and hold will fade from our grasp, and we will die.
In the midst of any measure of suffering and sorrow, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ will make a huge difference in our lives. Paul of Tarsus once said, “Even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering” (Romans 8:23, NLT). There’s no denying our present pain. Paul went on to say that “the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress…And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:26-28, NLT). A relationship with God does make a difference because the Holy Spirit (who lives inside each individual Christ-follower) causes everything—even bad things—to work together for our eventual and ultimate good.
Now, don’t misunderstand: that’s not saying that everything that happens on this planet is good. Sickness is not good. Pain is not good. Sorrow, sadness, and suffering are not good. But a relationship with God vaults us beyond a human perspective to an eternal perspective. That eternal perspective equipped Paul—just as it can equip you—to face life with courage and optimism, even in the most difficult of times:
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going…we know that the same God who raised our Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself along with you. All of these things are for your benefit… That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 14-15, 16-18, NLT).
You may be enduring pain, grief, and suffering right now, but those troubles don’t have to be meaningless, and they don’t have to make you feel hopeless. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ can give you a sense of destiny. You can know where you are going in life and after this life. You can gain the assurance that your struggles, suffering, and death will one day be transformed into blessings, joy, and eternal life.
In just a few moments, you can gain eternal life and gain a new perspective for the rest of this life in the bargain. That’s what a relationship with God through Jesus Christ can do for you.
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