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I have had a rough time recently and tried reading the bible. I do not know where to start, it is in a difficult language and doesn't make much sense.
Thank you so much for this sincere question. I am very sorry to learn that you have had a hard time lately, but you are in a great place now – beginning a search for the reality of God. You can be sure that this is a search that will be rewarded and will lead you into a richer and better life than you have ever known before.
You ask where to start. It makes sense to start by asking Almighty God to show you the truth. Be ready for Him to speak in quiet ways that you may not expect. There’s a story in the Old Testament of the Bible about a great man of God called Elijah. He was desperate and was looking for answers from God. After he prayed, there was a storm and then an earthquake and then there was a fire, all quite impressive, but God didn’t speak through those. Instead, He spoke in a still, small voice to Elijah and set him on the path again. This story can be found in 1 Kings 19:11-13. In the same way, God may speak to you quietly, in your conscience and inmost heart, through someone speaking to you or through reading the Bible, though sometimes He does speak in other ways.
It is great that you are reading the Bible, which contains all the truth you need. It isn’t always an easy book to study, because it is actually a collection of 66 books written at different times and in different circumstances. Anything worth studying for a lifetime is not going to be that easy. However, you can soon learn enough great truths from it to begin a relationship with God in a way that can change your life.
The Bible was written in different languages and so the Bibles we use are all translations. As a result some translations sacrifice being easy to read to the sake of being more accurate, and some can be difficult to read simply because they are older translations. If you're finding the language of the Bible difficult it might be worth trying another translation.
I wonder whether you were given a Gideon New Testament when you were in school? If so, you will find in the back of it a list of Bible verses to help you in various circumstances and also a prayer that you can pray to invite Jesus into your life, turn from your sin and follow him.
Christians believe that the way to know God is through Jesus. He is God in human flesh, someone who lived on earth whom we can understand and learn from. So your second prayer might be to ask Jesus to reveal God to you. Through Jesus, you can learn some important things. First of all, you can learn that God loves you, personally. In the Bible Jesus says,
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
But it also says of those who look for God,
"You did not choose me, but I chose you." (John 15:16)
I am glad you are looking for God, but the best news is that He is also looking for you!
The real barrier between us and God is not just our ignorance of Him but our sin and wrongdoing.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23). We need God’s forgiveness above all else. We can have it freely because Jesus Christ died for us and rose again.
Jesus our Lord...was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:24-25)
Sometimes the word ‘trespasses’ is used to mean ‘sins.’ This verse of the Bible means that Jesus was handed over to death to pay for our sins and then rose again so that, through believing in Him, we could be regarded by God as justified - or made just; completely forgiven and changed because Jesus is our Saviour.
I hope that you will pray and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and make you God’s child. God has given this right to those who believe.
To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:11-13)
It would also help you if you were to find a good church and talk to the pastor or some other trustworthy person there. They would answer your questions and could also help with advice about translations and guide you to some good Bible Study helps.
To sum up, you can speak to God and ask Him to show you the truth as well as reading the Bible and receiving Jesus as your Saviour. I am praying for you.
I do hope my answer will help 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 again to get more involved with your local church. I know the leaders there would be delighted to help you as well as to 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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