SUICIDE: THERE IS HOPE
In a day and age when we regularly hear about things trending either up or down, the sad reality is that when it comes to suicide, it’s been trending up at an alarming rate in recent years. Suicide has now become a public health crisis. The Centers for Disease Control reported recently that suicide rates in the United States have hit a 40-year high. In fact, suicide is currently the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. The odd thing is that we live in a day and age when we seemingly have more and more to offer to enhance and improve the quality of our lives, and yet more and more we are seeing people make the devastating choice to end their life, and it grieves my heart to no end. Suicide doesn’t seem to discriminate either, as there have been many celebrities who seem to have had it all, yet they’ve chosen to take their own life.
There are a variety of reasons for the rising trend of suicide that have been cited by mental health professionals, such as depression, bipolar disorder, relationship difficulties, significant loss in a person’s life, drug/alcohol abuse, physical/emotional abuse, bullying, unbearable emotional or physical pain, etc. All of these situations can be extremely hard to deal with, and they can leave a person with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, feeling like things will never get any better. I’m not a mental health professional, so I’m not qualified to address the issue from a clinical standpoint, other than to site what medical professionals say on the issue. However, as a pastor I primarily address it from a spiritual standpoint, because we are all spiritual beings. In my years of pastoral ministry I have talked to many people who struggle with many of the issues that have been mentioned, and I am convinced that there is one thing that we all need in times of trial and difficulty; one thing that can carry us through to the other side of our present situation and into a place of victory: HOPE! Hope is what we all need, and whether we can see it or not hope is something that we all have, because God there for us all and He will walk with us as the Light of Life (John 8:12) through the darkness of despair. Allow me to share a few verses in the Bible that speak of this hope that we have:
“You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” Psalm 25:5
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5
“Surely, there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18
“You are my lamp O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.” 2 Samuel 22:29
If you find yourself in a dark place in your soul right now, I encourage you to meditate on these verses over and over. Read them, speak them out loud to yourself, and allow them to find their place in your heart and fill it with hope.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is there to help. They can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK. The church I pastor, Mukilteo Foursquare Church, in partnership with Hope Alive 425 and Out of Darkness will also be hosting a free suicide prevention concert/event called ROCK FOR LIFE on Saturday, June 23rd from 4:00-9:00 PM in The Landing. Our address at MFC is 4424 Chennault Beach Rd. here in Mukilteo. I would like to invite you as my personal guest. Our goal is to bring hope to those who are hurting through some great rock music offered by four bands, and there will be some caring people available for anyone who needs someone to talk to.