I read with great sadness just a few weeks ago that a young and promising Associate Pastor of a mega-church in Riverside, California made the decision to kill himself on the evening of Suicide prevention day. This is a very sad thing to realize that depression doesn’t care who you are or what you do. Much has been written in the Christian press about how tragic this unexpected death was. This was a pastor who had committed his life to help people who were struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. He left a wife and two small sons and he was only 30 years old.
I’ve had some battles with depression but never anything that would cause me to take my own life. This guy had so much to live for and because of this darkness that overcame him he decided he couldn’t live anymore. The problem with suicide is that it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. While it ends the immediate suffering for that one person, their family and friends will live with that fatal decision for the rest of their lives.
The question that keeps going through my mind is “why would somebody take their own life?” There are many who are the ones that are left to pick up the pieces, even clean up the mess because their loved one just couldn’t take it any more… If you truly love those who you live with as well as those who love you then you wouldn’t want to put them through such trauma dealing with such a difficult departure of someone that they love.
I’m convinced that the number one reason people resort to this type of action is that they have lost all hope. They may have lost hope in a relationship, someone they thought loved them no longer does. They may have such a great financial need, like a gambling debt where they are in over their heads and they can’t find their way out. At times it could be because of a medical condition that they don’t believe will get any better.
Let me encourage you if you are depressed and having suicidal thoughts, find someone you can talk with, your parents, your siblings, a counselor who is trained in dealing with those who find themselves in a hopeless situation. Let me challenge you to consider that there is much to live for. If you know Jesus as your Savior & Lord then you have a reason to live in telling other people about Jesus. As long as we have Jesus, we have hope.
The greatest reason to live is to live your life spending time helping somebody else. If we live like our creator God told us to live then life won’t be for us. In his letter to the church at Phillipi, the Apostle Paul wrote, “My earnest expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” These words were spoken in the context of Paul serving God in a hostile situation where Christian martyrdom was a strong possibility. He was saying whatever happens I want to magnify the Lord. His aim and purpose in life was to let others know about the grace of God that was available through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let me encourage you if you are experiencing sadness or depression, in most cases you will get through this difficult time. Trials and tribulations generally only for a season. God has promised to be with us always. In the Old Testament book of Isaiah he promised in chapter 46:3-4 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you and I will rescue you.” No matter what happens when you have faith in the Lord you can be certain God will carry you through. Life and love are worth living to the glory of God. If you need to talk with someone and remain anonymous you can call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8355.
Pastor Don shares from his heart in the "Calvary Connection"