As you read these lines, you may feel that you are held in the viselike grip of sin’s confusion. The despair of loneliness has settled down upon your soul, and at this very moment you are struggling with the question, “Is life worth living?”
To scores of people who write to our office every week, life no longer seems to be worth living. For you, I have good news. God did not create you to be a defeated, discouraged, frustrated, wandering soul who seeks in vain for peace. He has bigger plans for you. He has a larger world and a greater life for you. The answer to your problem, however great, is as near as your Bible, as simple as first-grade arithmetic and as real as your heartbeat.
The Bible says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NIV). The Bible also teaches that “everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4, NIV).
Upon the authority of God’s Word, I tell you that Christ is the answer to every baffling perplexity that plagues mankind. In Him is found the cure for care, a balm for bereavement, a healing for our hurts and a sufficiency for our insufficiency.
The Answer to Loneliness
Though you may be in a great city like New York or Los Angeles, you can be lonely in the midst of a crowd. You may be living a life of unbearable loneliness. The world is shut off to you, and you are shut out. Social barriers have prevented you from doing what you wish to do. Or perhaps your companion of many years has suddenly been taken away, and you are left alone.
Many turn to alcohol because of loneliness. Others lose their sanity because of loneliness. Some commit suicide because of the despair of loneliness.
But thousands have found Christ to be the answer for their loneliness:
- Christ said, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, NIV).
- Moses wasn’t alone in the Midian Desert when God came to comfort him and call him to a wider ministry (Exodus 3-4).
- Elijah wasn’t alone at the cave when God came near and spoke with the still, small voice (1 Kings 19).
- Paul and Silas were not alone in the Philippian jail when God came down and gave them a song at midnight (Acts 16).
Whoever you are, Christ can give you comfort and companionship. Whatever color, race or creed, your heart’s desires are the same. The lonely, aching spot can be filled by Christ if you will open your heart and let Him in.
The Answer to Sorrow
When Harry Lauder, the great Scottish comedian, received word that his son had been killed in France, he said: “In a time like this, there are three courses open to a man: He may give way to despair and become bitter. He may endeavor to drown his sorrow in drink or in a life of wickedness. Or he may turn to God.”
In your sorrow, I beg of you–turn to God. The Apostle Paul, who suffered as much as any person who ever lived, wrote, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever” (2 Timothy 4:18, NIV). Diseased, afflicted, scarred, bruised and battered by persecution, Paul held no bitterness but instead found his sufficiency in Christ. Christ is the answer to sorrow.
The Answer to Burdens
I heard the story of a tired man who walked along a road, weary and discouraged. He could hardly put one foot ahead of another. A neighbor overtook him in a wagon and invited him to ride with him. As they rode along together his neighbor noticed that the tired, weary man still carried a heavy sack of grain on his back.
“Put that down,” he said, “you don’t need to carry that.”
The tired man said: “Oh, it’s enough for you to carry me, let alone this sack of grain.”
You may have turned to God, but you are still carrying your burdens. But God says to you: “Cast all your care on Me, for I care for you” (Cf. 1 Peter 5:7).
If you must go through the valley of the shadow of death, if you must say goodbye to those whom you have loved, if you suffer privation and misery, if you are unjustly persecuted for righteousness’ sake–take heart, take courage. Our Christ is more than adequate for sorrow!
I once talked to a man who lost his wife and three children in a fire. No man could have more reason to be bitter or show his sorrow than he. He took my hand with a strong grip and said with a smile, “Tell the world that the grace of God is sufficient for even the worst sufferer.”
The Answer to Suffering
Sickness, sorrow and sin are all the result of the fall of man in the Garden. Sickness is a by-product of transgression, but that does not mean that Christians are never afflicted. The Bible says: “A righteous man may have many troubles” (Psalm 34:19, NIV).
Job was afflicted; Paul had an infirmity; Lazarus was sick. Good people down through the centuries have been promised no immunity from disease and infirmity. Scores of people write every month and ask me, “Why do Christians suffer?” Rest assured, there is a reason for Christian people being afflicted. One reason why God’s people suffer, according to the Bible, is that suffering is a disciplinary, chastening and molding process.
The Bible says, “Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you” (Deuteronomy 8:5, NIV). Again the Bible says, “The Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:12, NIV).
From these Scriptures we learn that the chastening of affliction is a step in the process of our full and complete development. It is a love tap from our heavenly Father to show us that we have wandered from the pathway of duty.
Affliction can also be a means of refining and of purification. Many a life has come forth from the furnace of affliction more beautiful and more useful. We might never have had the songs of Fanny Crosby had she not been afflicted with blindness. George Matheson would never have given the world his immortal song, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” had it not been for his passing through the furnace of affliction. The “Hallelujah Chorus” was written by Handel when he was poverty-stricken and paralyzed on his right side.
Job, who was called upon to suffer as few men have suffered, said, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10, NIV).
Your sick room can become a “spiritual gymnasium” where your soul is exercised and developed. Sickness is one of the “all things” that work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28). Don’t resent it. Don’t be embittered by it. If you are lying on a hospital bed, realize today that it is the touch of a loving heavenly Father who loves you so much He will not pamper you, but will bring all things for your ultimate good.
Christ can take discouragement and despondency out of your life. He can put a spring in your step and give you a thrill in your heart and a purpose in your mind. Optimism and cheerfulness are products of knowing Christ.
The Bible says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22, NIV).
If the heart has been tuned to God through faith in Christ, then its overflow will be joyous optimism and good cheer. But you will never be free from discouragement and despondency until you have been tuned to God. Christ is the Wellspring of happiness. He is the Fountainhead of joy.
Here is the Christian’s secret of joy: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8, NIV).
The Answer to Sin
The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NIV). The Bible indicates that all the troubles of the world stem from the fact that men and women have broken the laws of God. There is a penalty to God’s broken law, and that penalty is eternal death and banishment from His presence.
Christ is the answer to the problem of sin. The Scripture says that in Christ “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7, NIV).
The Bible again says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NIV).
Do you have a conscience that is pounding today because of sin in your life? Have you had that uncomfortable feeling that you are not in tune with God? Has the Holy Spirit been convicting you of the fact that you have broken the laws of God and need a Savior?
Why not open your heart’s door and let Christ come into your life? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).
Whether you are lonely, sorrowful, burdened or suffering, Christ is the answer. As my father has explained, the root cause of all our problems is sin–but once again, Christ is the answer! If you commit your life to Christ, God promises to forgive your sins and give you new life. Will you give your life to Christ? You can do it right now, wherever you are.
First, acknowledge that you are a sinner–that you have sinned and rebelled against God. Renounce your sins, trust Christ to be your Savior and follow Him as Lord. The Holy Spirit will come to dwell in your heart. He will give you new attitudes, new desires, new motives. You can be a new person in Christ.