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My friends have a better life than me. I have prayed for God to make things better but he doesn't reply. What should I do?
Thank you for asking your question regarding other people seeming to have a better life than you. We will answer your question using the bible and from a Christian perspective.
In the world of social media that we now live, people's lives are more on display for each other than ever before. What we have to be careful of though is looking at the bits people allow us to see and convincing ourselves that life goes by a lot more easily for others than it does for ourselves.
Whether on social media or face to face in real life we generally only see what others want us to see and it can leave us with the impression that it's just us who face these constant struggles.
It's true that we don't all face the same trials in life or at the same time but what you can be sure of is that every person whether rich or poor, young or old will face on a daily basis troubles of their own. It's very often the case that the things we struggle with most, are the things we keep most hidden.
The bible is clear that we all will face trials and tribulation. Our struggles are something that we have to deal with as a reality of life in this fallen world, if we see them as something that should never happen we only make it harder for ourselves to deal with when they do. For the Christian though, we should deal with these troubles in a very different way to which the outside world will deal with them. These verses hold a central truth to the Christian life:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
The trials we face build us up as disciples of Christ; although we would rather avoid them, there is value in them. We often learn little from what we already know but our mistakes and trials are what teach us the most about life. It's often in our times of trail that our false idols are smashed and we see that Christ our redeemer is the only solid foundation we can build our lives and our hopes on. That's why Paul writes:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Paul also encourages when he writes, rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
How can we rejoice in our times of trial? Paul gives us the most extraordinary explanation: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)
We rejoice in hope and live with joy even through the inevitable struggles of this life because we know that this life is not the end but just the beginning. It is into an eternity with Christ our Saviour that we are going where there is no pain and no suffering and all pure desires are fulfilled.
John paints the most vivid picture of what is to come: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3)
This world and this life can never truly be what we want it to be because the corruption of sin has entered and tainted creation. That's why C.S. Lewis so profoundly wrote "If I find within myself desires that nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical conclusion is that I was made for another world."
Christ says to every believer "I am a king, but my Kingdom is not of this world." That is our solid hope and our firm foundation. Heaven is the restoration of God's perfect creation for those who are his people, those who have been born again and are new by faith in the one who died to save them, Jesus Christ.
Paul mirrors this truth for us when he says not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-5)
It is our sufferings in this life that give depth and weight to this hope of eternity with God to which we cling. That is not to say though that we should not come before God in our times of need. Prayer is essential to the Christian life and we absolutely should bring our troubles before God seeking his peace and provision and deliverance.
When we pray God knows first hand how we feel in all the struggles of life, for he himself suffered and died at the hands of the very people he endured the cross to save. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
We should rejoice when we see answer to prayer in our lives but we also have to be prepared for the fact that God's ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:8), his solutions are not always our solutions and whether the answer to our prayer is what we were hoping for, we trust in God because of who he is and not because of what he will do for us.
Jesus gave us this promise and we should build or lives on it.
"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:7-8)
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?' or ‘What shall we drink?' or ‘What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:25-34)
So what should you do in terms of this prayer that God has not yet answered? Do what Jesus tells us to do in Matthew 6:33, "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness." Seek God, seek the life Christ calls us to and trust in the one who came down to save you. Remember our prayers should end with "not my will, Lord, but Yours, be done." (Luke 22:42). Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6).
If his grace is sufficient to save you, it will be sufficient to lead you through every trial and tribulation and temptation. And that is why Paul calls us to rest in that truth saying And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey:
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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