I have suffered enough

I was browsing the web when I happened to come upon your site. I'm not really a religious God fearing person nevertheless I felt compelled to read what you had posted. I guess the reason I'm writing is because I feel extremely at a loss. Lately I have been in a deep depression and have even considered killing myself. Honestly I have no idea why I'm telling you this. Possibly I'm wishing for someone to come along who will give me a reason to go on. Hope you can help me.

My response is in Green:

Thanks for writing me. I want to let you know right up front that I can't help you, but I know who can. You said you were not really a religious God fearing person, well I am. I guess you could tell that by my site. You probably already know from my site that I have not always been what I am today. I saw so much death and mayhem while I was a Police Officer that I often thought of death as an escape. Suicide is the highest killer of Police Officers and it is for exactly the same reason that you mentioned, extreme feelings of loss and depression.

I said all of that to let you know that I do understand at least in general terms where you are coming from; been there done that... My life was hopeless, I had obtained everything I wanted out of life (to become a Police Officer) and realized it meant nothing. There was a deep emptiness inside of me. I believe that is what you are feeling too.

Please hang in there with me while I give you a little background on what I believe. First I believe that God made us and that through rebellion we were separated from God by sin. Everyone is born in sin. Look at a child, you don't have to teach a child to lie, it comes natural, you have to teach them to tell the truth. That is because of the sinful nature we are born with. Next I believe that God's judgment for sin (every time) is death to the sinner. There is nothing we can do about it, we are doomed to die and be separated from God for eternity. Now if that was where it ended we would be in a mess and heaven would be a very lonely place.

But the good news (that is what 'gospel' means) is that God loved us and knew that we could never pay for our sin ourselves. His holy nature does not allow Him to just forgive and forget about sin. So He did the unthinkable, He paid the price for us. It is like a prisoner being sentenced to death by a judge. The very night that he is to die the judge that sentenced him shows up at his cell and unlocks the door. The judge tells him if he will just ask the judge will open the door and let the prisoner go and he (the judge) will lock himself in the cell and die in the place of the criminal. That is what God did, He tells us that He can't and won't change the death sentence but He will serve it for us. Jesus Christ has always been God and will always be God, yet He came to earth as a human to die for our sins.

All we have to do is believe that He is who He said He is, that He did die for our sins and then ask Him to forgive us. At the point that we believe and do that, we come out of our death row cell into freedom. Or as the Bible says: we have passed from death to life...

God loves you and He wants to have a relationship with you, but He will not force Himself on you. That emptiness that you feel is the place that God should be. I won't try to tell you that all of your worldly troubles will disappear when you accept Christ as your savior, because they probably won't. But I will tell you that you will no longer be alone facing them, the King of the Universe will walk with you.

(Hebrews 9:27-28 NIV) Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, {28} so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Well I am sorry this has gotten so long, but I thought it was important for you to understand the whole story. I will pray for you and ask some of my friends to join me in prayer for you. Just remember there are no magic words or acts that you have to do, just believe that Jesus died for your sins and ask Him to forgive you. If you do that the next step is to get a Bible and start reading, so you can understand God's word.

Please feel free to write back. I would love to talk to you more. Ask whatever questions you have. I don't have all the answers but I know Who does. Take care and remember God loves you.

Ralph,
Thanks for the quick response. You certainly have given me lots to think about. The line about you knowing a person who could help caught my attention. I actually thought you were going to give me the name of a live human being. I had to read your letter several times before It dawned on me: You meant God.

There was a time in my life when I did have faith in God. I started losing my faith in him when certain aspects in my life started unraveling. All my 20 something years that I have been around has been an immense struggle. I remember when I was growing up I would pray on a daily basis for relief from the quality of life I was living. Did he help? Absolutely not!! Even recently I found myself praying for some direction but as usual to no avail. How could such a wonderful person allow another to suffer needlessly? Or why? I have suffered enough heartbreak. I do not need anymore.

Ralph I really enjoyed your response. Like I said I have been thinking about my faith but It seems like I have no reason to change. It's funny that you mentioned that the emptiness I am feeling is due to not having a personal relationship with God. My neighbor also says the same thing. I stay away from her because I do not believe this to be true. My sadness is due to the fact that I am a failure and I do not deserve to be around.

Well Ralph thanks for listening. Feels good to be able to tell an absolute stranger. By the way thanks for the prayers, I guess.

Take care!

Thanks for writing back. I am glad at least you were willing to respond to me. Believe it or not I get a lot of messages like yours. Many people say that they used to believe or trust in God until they decided He was not doing what they wanted or had asked Him to do. I hope you don't mind me being blunt here, but the problem with that is that everything is directed at what the person wants and thinks is best, not what God wants and thinks is best.

I am not saying you are like this but a lot of people treat God like a genie in the sky. Give me this and give me that and change this and change that because I don't like them. They miss the point that they were born sinners and sentenced to death and yet God paid that for them. Remember the death row prisoner I talked about in my first message? It is like that guy complaining to the judge that he did not bring him any new clothes when he took his place in the cell. Or complaining that even though the judge let him go free and he did not deserve it he has a complaint about how bad the food was while he were there.

My point is that we look at everything through selfish human eyes but God looks at everything through pure loving eyes. Maybe He did not answer your prayers, or it could be that the answer was no. I don't know. I will tell you one thing. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior; admitted that you were a sinner and needed forgiveness and then asked Him for it, then God has never even heard your prayers. There is only one prayer that God will listen to from a sinner and that is the prayer of confession and asking for forgiveness. Until you are part of the family (a son or daughter of God) you have no right to ask God for anything. That might sound strong but think about it. If you are a parent and your child comes and asks you for something you feel that they have the right to ask. Even if you don't give it to them, they have the right to ask because they are your child. On the other hand if kids from down the street came up and asked for new cloths, or to use the car or whatever I am sure you would tell them to go talk to their parents, because they are not your children. Salvation, is being adopted into the family of God.

When Jesus taught us to pray He taught us to say Our Father.... Our Father (God) listens to us because we are His children. It is a two way street too, we love Him and want to make Him happy because He is our Father. I hope you see the point I am making. Once we are adopted into God's family we have the right to ask, but He still has the right to say no. He knows what is ultimately good for us and what is not. He sees our lives as just a short blimp in eternity, but we see them as everything. To us, here and now is the most important thing there is, but that is not how God sees things. He wants us to grow so that we can enjoy eternity with Him.

You said your emptiness is due to being a failure. I don't think so. You may be a failure, but so what? That is the pass as long as you have breath in your lungs you have the ability to make a difference in God's kingdom. If you have given your life to Jesus or if you do, I will guarantee you something; God has a purpose for your life. You can take that to the bank.

Let me give you a couple of examples. In the book of Matthew there is a list of the genealogy of Jesus. There are four women listed in that genealogy. So what you say, well in those days women were like cattle, they were not as highly thought of as men. Now take a look at who these women were. The first one is Tamar. Do you know anything about her? She was the wife one of Judah's son who died. She did not have any children and she wanted one, so she dressed up and pretended to be a prostitute and got pregnant by Judah. Then there was Rahab, who was a prostitute in the town of Jericho, but she was saved because she believed in God and helped the Israilites. Next is Ruth, she was a Moabite, which means she was not a Jew. Not only was she a woman but a Gentile woman. Gentiles were considered no more than dogs. And the fourth was Bathsheba, who committed adultery with King David. Now King David was a real winner too, he not only committed adultery but he had Uriah, Bathsheba's husband killed to cover his tracks.

God could have picked anyone in human history to be in Jesus' genealogy, but yet He picked these bunch of losers. Think about that. Do you think maybe He is trying to show us something? Like it is never too late if you will trust Him?

You also said you don't deserve to be around. Well think about this, you won't be around one second past the time God has allotted for you. When He says it is time, you are out of here. Now you can kill yourself and shorten the time He has given you but you can't extend it one instant. So God thinks there is a reason for you to be on this earth or you would not take another breath. Have you ever heard of D.L. Moody? He was one of the great preachers last century, but he never finished school and was working as a shoe salesman when he accepted Jesus as his savior. After that he quit the shoe business and started preaching. Many hundreds of people will be in heaven because of him. I wonder if during those years as a shoe salesman he ever thought he was a failure with no reason to live? He would have been wrong if he did and you are wrong if you feel that way too.

Well I did it again, I got long winded. I will keep praying for you. Let me ask you a pointed question, have you ever believed that you were a sinner and needed to be saved from Hell? If so did you ever ask Jesus to forgive you? If not that has to be your first step, nothing else really matters. Just food for thought.

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