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Question: I would like to know why I was put on this planet because I'm fed up with my life.

—S.H., Leicester, England

Answer: We have all at one time or another felt a degree of frustration with our particular circumstances. You are certainly not alone in that respect.

While we do not know the precise situations that are causing you to be very distressed with your life, we do offer you our empathy and our prayers that your circumstances will improve.

Sometimes we may be the victims of "time and chance" (Ecclesiastes 9:11 Ecclesiastes 9:11I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.
American King James Version×
), while at other times we may suffer at the hands of others or because of things that are our own fault because of our own choices or actions. Whatever the cause, we are easily burdened with the stress of the situation and the resultant feelings of hopelessness.

The question of why we were put on this planet contains within it an underlying question: Who put us here? The answer points us to the purpose of life itself.

Many people have wondered if there really is a God or whether we, this planet and the universe itself, are merely a chance occurrence—without purpose and thus without hope beyond any fleeting pleasures. But if God exists and the human race is His creation, that knowledge has important implications. It allows us to view our personal circumstances from a more positive perspective. You may wish to request or download our free booklet Life's Ultimate Question: Does God Exist?

Yet there is another underlying question to consider: If an all-powerful, holy and kind God—who takes a personal interest in His whole human family—really exists, then why does He allow circumstances that cause some in His human family to become so distressed with life itself?

There may be several reasons, but it is not because our Creator is disinterested in His human family or malevolent towards it. Nor is it because He is capricious. Our free booklet Why Does God Allow Suffering? provides rational and insightful answers.

On a personal level, what can we learn from being distressed with our lives? Our frustrations should encourage us to seriously address some fundamental questions: Does God exist? And if so, what is our relationship with Him and what does He want it to be?

King David, ancient Israel's hero-king, was a paragon of faith. Yet even he asked: "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?" (Psalms 13:1-2 Psalms 13:1-2 [1] How long will you forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long will you hide your face from me? [2] How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
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, New International Version throughout).

At that point in his life David was very distressed and dealing with many problems. Yet he continued to look to God to provide him with hope. He still relied on God for the solution: "Look on me and answer, O Lord my God . . . I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me" (verses 3-6).

In realistically reviewing our lives, we are likely to see that not everything has been negative. In any case, we need not be void of all hope. The Scriptures contain the records of many individuals whose lives changed for the better through divine help.

The biblical story of Ruth is but one encouraging example. She was the wife of one of two Jewish brothers who had come with their mother and father to live in the land of Moab. After a few years, the father and then the two brothers died and their widowed mother Naomi prepared to return to Israel.

Ruth, now a widow herself, chose to accompany her mother-in-law to what was for her a foreign land and culture. Her reason for doing so is striking. She told her mother-in-law: "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God" (Ruth 1:16 Ruth 1:16And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people, and your God my God:
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In the midst of difficult circumstances, Ruth and Naomi had hope through their belief in the God of Israel. Ruth, although not a native-born Israelite herself, found fulfillment and joy and ultimately became a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ through her marriage to Boaz. God the Father and Christ provide us with additional perspective regarding our personal sufferings, promising us the hope of future glory in the family of God.

The apostle Paul writes: "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, [which] he has given us" (Romans 5:1-5 Romans 5:1-5 [1] Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: [2] By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. [3] And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; [4] And patience, experience; and experience, hope: [5] And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout).

You may find our free booklet What Is Your Destiny? very helpful. It covers in greater detail the subject of life's greater purpose and meaning.

As Paul wrote to the Colossians: "And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light" (Colossians 1:10-12 Colossians 1:10-12 [10] That you might walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; [11] Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, to all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; [12] Giving thanks to the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
American King James Version×

Paul's aptly written words provide us with great encouragement for the present along with the hope of a glorious future destiny beyond the present constraints and trials of our human lives.