Daily Devotional for Friday May 13, 2016
Suicide is an Epidemic
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: ***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, give me your strength to stand for your Truth no matter what the cost. It is easy to call myself a follower of Jesus, but when confronted, when challenged, when faced with persecution, will I still say I am a follower of Jesus? I love you Lord and ask for your strength so no matter what I have to endure for my faith, I will stand firm. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!
Suicide is an epidemic amongst the military and white males between 40-60! Sadly, we deal with this tragedy daily. Suicides from the military have been largely due to those who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and never received the proper care upon returning back to the states. The figure being used is 22 per day, though I have not been able to get a good confirmation on that. However, if it is 2 a day that is 2 too many! The VA and other care givers for our military MUST become more proactive and cognizant of the challenges our returning heroes are facing!
The other group that has seen an surge in suicides is white males between 40-60. This has been largely due to the economic downturn in the past 8 years. Men who spent 10, 20, 25 years in a company, had a decent salary, owned a home, kids in college, living a comfortable middle to upper middle class life. All of a sudden their job is gone, and where does a 55 year old man go to get another $130,000 year job? Those with little or no faith foundation become depressed, abuse drugs or alcohol, and their lives begin to spiral out of control. Sadly, most have life insurance policies and satan the liar tells them they are a failure, their family shouldn’t have to suffer for their failure, just kill yourself and your family will at least have the insurance money. I wish I could tell you how many of these situations we have been dealing with in the past few years. It is truly sad!
One of the saddest things that I have to deal with every single day is the tragedy of someone taking their own life. The fact is, right now there are people reading these words who are actually contemplating killing themselves. If this is you, or if you have had thoughts of killing yourself, know that it is no accident you are reading these words today. God is trying to speak to you, so please, LISTEN TO HIM!
You see my friend, God not only loves you very much, but He is the one who gave you your life and wants you to live. It is satan who wants you dead! Never forget that satan has come to what, KILL, steal, and destroy! Satan wants you dead! The thoughts you have of killing yourself don't come from God, they come from satan. He is the one telling you that you would be better off dead. He is the one who is telling you that you should just give up and kill yourself. He is the one who is telling you that the best answer to your problems is to take your life. He is the one who is telling you that everyone else will be better off if you were dead. He is the one who is telling you that your life is meaningless and it is not worth living any longer.
SATAN IS A LIAR! In John 8:44, Jesus tells us that he is the "father of lies," that when he speaks, he "speaks his native language," LYING! The thoughts you have of killing yourself are coming directly from the pits of hell, from the very lips of that liar satan!
God on the other hand wants you to LIVE! God is Truth! It is God who is telling you to live. It is God who loved you so much He sent His very Son to die for your sins. It is God who is telling you to cast your cares on Him and let Him see you through those difficult times. It is God who says you are not alone, that He will never leave you nor forsake you. It is God who is telling you that your life has meaning and purpose. It is God who is telling you that He has given you life and life abundantly. It is God who is telling you to trust Him and LIVE!
So what this really boils down to is who do you listen to, satan, who is a liar, or God, who speaks Truth? Seriously, if you are having thoughts of killing yourself or if you have ever had thoughts of killing yourself, you have got to understand where those thoughts are coming from and ultimately make the choice who you are going to listen to. If you are having thoughts of killing yourself today, or if you have ever had those thoughts, make sure you take a moment to ask yourself the critical question of who you are going to listen to, satan, a liar who wants you dead, or God, who represents Truth and wants you to live.
Now let me answer one of the most asked questions I get each day. Killing yourself does NOT keep you from Heaven, the only thing that keeps you from Heaven is rejecting Christ as your Savior. *THIS DOES NOT MEAN IT IS OK TO KILL YOURSELF OR A PASS TO COMMIT SUICIDE!!! Make no mistake, killing yourself IS a sin. To even think of suicide is rebelling against God. However, the ONLY sin that will send you to hell is rejecting Christ. If you have truly accepted by faith Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and you commit suicide, you will spend eternity with God your Creator.
The reason suicide is a sin is because it is God who gives us life for the purpose of serving and glorifying Him, and it is ONLY God who can say when our work here on earth is finished. Remember, if you accept Him into your heart it is NOT your life any longer, it belongs to Him. That means it is NOT your right to end your life. That right only belongs to God. Suicide is an act of rebellion towards God!.
I know there are some people who erroneously believe that if you kill yourself you can't go to Heaven since you died without repenting of that sin. According to that erroneous theology, if you commit a sin, have a massive heart attack and die instantly without confessing that sin you committed prior to dying you would be lost for all eternity. Sorry, but that is simply not what the Bible teaches.
Some may ask, what are the consequences of the sin of suicide since it ends your life? One of the consequences of all sin is it keeps us from enjoying our relationship with the Lord. Sin keeps us from being all God wants us to be. Sin keeps us from knowing the joy, the peace, the abundance the Lord promised to us in this life. Those who commit suicide have already allowed the enemy to blind them to God's love, otherwise, they would never make such a horrible choice. Someone who commits this act misses the fulfillment of God's perfect plan for their life. It is a very sad way to end this wonderful journey, and a way God never intended!
Suicide is really nothing more than an act of cowardice and is one of the most selfish things anyone can ever do. Despite all the reasons that satan the liar gives you to kill yourself, it really boils down to the fact that only a coward chooses this course of action. Rather than deal with the problems of life, fight through them, work towards victory in the power God can give you, you chose instead to simply stop living altogether. That my friend is a coward's answer to their problems.
Suicide is also one of the most selfish acts a person can commit. One of the great lies satan feeds a person thinking about killing themselves is that their family and friends would be better off if they were dead. The truth is, a person who kills themself leaves behind family and friends, who in many cases, spend the rest of their life carrying around unnecessary guilt over what role they may have played in causing the person to kill themselves. I deal daily with family members and friends of a person who has committed suicide and they experience tremendous guilt over what they may have done to force their loved one or friend into taking their life.
*To you family members and friends of someone who has committed suicide, YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY CHOSE TO DO! They, not you, made this sad and tragic choice. So please, don't put yourself under the unnecessary burden of carrying around guilt from something you didn't cause and didn't do.
Let me speak directly to anyone who may be contemplating suicide this very moment. It is God who gives us this precious gift we call life. Dealing daily with some of the most incredible human situations you can ever imagine, I understand the pain, the difficulty, the hopelessness so many live with each day. It is always at the lowest points in our life when the enemy attacks us. Like with everything, there are always scenarios, always circumstances we can point to, but sin is sin, and no amount of justification changes that. THERE IS ALWAYS AN ANSWER OTHER THAN SIN!!!!
I love you, and I care about you more than you will ever know. The pain I feel daily as I walk with you in your time of need is sometimes overwhelming. But I keep the truth and promise of God's Word in my heart, and the hope and love we have in Christ in my every thought. I will be praying today for you, that you will never even consider suicide as an option. IT IS NOT AN OPTION BECAUSE YOUR LIFE BELONGS TO GOD. Only God can say when it is over.
Instead of focusing on the lies of the enemy, on the pain and the circumstances in your life, look instead to the Truth we find in God's Word, the promises and hope we have in Christ and the fact God will ALWAYS give us a path of escape. God has a wonderful and perfect plan for your life. The key is you have to be alive for that plan to unfold. Don't ever take this wonderful gift of life for granted, because it will be over soon enough. In the meantime, we need to be focused on what it is God wants from our life, what it is God wants us to accomplish each day for Him.
Let me leave with you two powerful truths from God's Word. The first is, He loves you so very much. The second is, He is a God of answers. Embrace His love for you today, and let Him help you find the answers to those questions you have. There is only one option if you know Christ as your savior and that is to LIVE for Him.
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,