Monday, April 11, 2016
I read the heartbreaking account this morning of the indigenous community in northern Canada where 28 of it’s people tried to commit suicide in March of this year, 11 in one dayalone. From the visual images I saw, they appear to be very similar to our Native American people. What do you think of when you hear of people who have committed suicide or have at least attempted it? I suspect we all see hopelessness as one major contributing factor and while we’ve all heard of professing Christians who have taken or have tried to take their own lives, I sincerely believe than any child of God who is grounded in the faith will never be in that number.
Assuming that hopelessness is the major cause of most suicidal attempts, is there anything you and I can do about it? I believe we can. I was reading recently in the 15th Chapter of Romans. In the very first verse, Paul offered this sound word of advice: “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” The he added in verse 4: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” I take these two verses this way: (1) If we are strong in our faith, we should try to share it with those whose faith is either weak or non-existent. (2) The gospel of Christ, besides being the message of salvation, is the message of hope which leads to and ends with the hope of Heaven. The life of anyone who has this living hope, becomes a life of purpose, and those who have purpose in their lives will rarely reach any level of despair because they have something to live for.
In many cases, the deaths by suicide of certain people or celebrities come as a complete shock and surprise to many. Because that is a fact, there may be people in your life today who may be seriously contemplating it and you probably don’t suspect it. That is why it is especially important for us to share our faith and hope with others. That, of course, begins with Jesus who is our “living hope.” (See 1 Peter 1:3) Here is one good way for us to begin each new day: Our first prayer to God upon arising can be: “Lord, give me an opportunity today to share the love of Christ with somebody or to offer someone a word of encouragement.” When you do, you just may be saving someone’s life and not know it.
Memory verse for the week: (1 Peter 3:15) “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”