Sermon by Rev. James Harrison Nixon
Suicide has touched the lives of everyone, there is no way around it. We all have either known someone or have known someone that has known someone that has committed suicide or attempted suicide. This permanent solution to a temporary problem has become one of the biggest problems in the United States and the world, all over many are chosen to take their lives. They give up hope in situations that all they need is an ear or listen. This is not a Christian vs Secular issue either, no this is a human issue. Again everybody has known in some way shape or form a life that has been shaped by suicide.
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
(Proverbs 12:25 ESV)
I personally have lost friends to suicide and it leaves a void in the heart, a void in their shape that is hard to fill. No amount of time truly heals the lost either, though prayer and being with loved ones can make one recover the scars for those left behind will always remain. To those that survive attempts they are left with both physical and emotional scars from their attempt of suicide. Every day many people young to old attempt suicide, and out of them 1 in 3 of them could have been prevented if someone would have spoken positive into their life. I don’t mean the normal everyday talk of hello or even I love you, those have become so common to some they have become a trivial phrase. I am talking about actual words, words to encourage the soul that will reach into the spirit and awaking the soul.
But he himself (Elijah) went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
(1 Kings 19:4 ESV)
We all get depressed at times we all have moments of weakness at times. Elijah had his bout with depression thinking he was no better than his fathers, that he was not a good person. God answered to him was simple in 1 Kings 19:5 and that was arise and eat (Paraphrased). God who knows the heart and knows the mind of the person already knowns the solution to the issue that will solve the problem. We do not have the ability to see the heart or know the mind, we have to speak, that is a piece of God that we have been given. God spoke life and we can speak to continue life, though not powerful enough to give life we can speak the words into someone to give them the encouragement to keep living.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.
(Psalms 69:2-3 ESV)
The first thing one has to remember is that depression is a normal emotion that comes and goes in everyone’s life. A person should never be made to feel like they are alone in their depression or feelings when they are down. Even if you think their emotions are strange you should not make them feel trivial about how they are feeling. Everyone has legitimate emotions and they should be heard, so be that person they can speak with and when they speak with you let them speak. Share with them the hope that God offers even if they are Christians, sometimes a person needs to be reminded. Just remember everything that you do and speak to them do with love and most of all your role is to listen to what they have to say.
Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
(Psalms 147:1-5 ESV)
God is the healer of the world and heals all of the wounds, he heals them in his way. Sometimes God will make the healing occur fast in the form of a miracle or it will be a slow process that is meant to build up your faith. Prayer is the first step in helping a person recover from depression, letting them know that God will fill the void they are missing is very important. Second is to be there for them, as it is good for you to be there to speak with them as well. God will place you in their lives and get you to do the work and you should do the work you are asked to do. It is our calling as Christians to serve not just God but each other.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
(Galatians 6:2 ESV)
We must remember we are of the body of Christ, and of the vine to produce good fruit. We must always pray to stay vigilant to help those that are lost and depressed. We need to remind those sick with chronic illness, or relationship issues that through God it will be okay. Suicide is not the answer and shouldn’t even be considered, as there are other methods to let out the emotions that are clouding the mind. As well sin is not always the reason for depression, though it can be a reason it is not the only reason and should not be the first thing Christians blurt out at people. The biggest killer to getting many turned off from your message is, if you will stop living in sin you will not be depressed. There are ways to speak on sin in a loving way, that touches the heart and does not shut them off. The last thing is remembering in our weakness God works the best.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
(2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)