a great reason to liveIn USA Today I read that while the death of Robin Williams has sparked an outpouring of grief around the world, mental health advocates say they hope it will also renew efforts to prevent suicide.

America’s suicide rate has been stubbornly high for decades with more than 39,000 deaths annually. Suicide kills twice as many people than murders. Suicide also kills more people than car accidents or AIDS or prostate cancer. And yet, it only gets a fraction of the attention that those other causes of death receive either in the media or through public discussion, government involvement or even in the church.

Often times we see an amazing outpouring of love and appreciation for those who have committed suicide. I wonder if that person would have done it in the first place if they had perceived or heard from all these same people about how much they were loved? Certainly it can be said that sometimes a person who is emotionally not well lacks the ability to be able to hear the affirmation or love coming from others. Many times though, thoughts of suicide can be interrupted or diverted through loving intervention. That intervention can take on different forms from counseling, medical help and most importantly through a relationship with God through Faith in Jesus Christ.

According the American Journal of Psychiatry suicide rates are considerably higher for atheists than for people who are religiously affiliated. That sense of the eternal and the right perspective by knowing what Christ offers can touch the most troubled of souls.

Author and founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, said

“There is a throne, a control center at the intersection of one’s intellect, emotions, and will in every life.”

If we place ourselves on that throne there will always be reason to give up. Sooner or later my determination or will shall fail. Sooner or later my intellect will fail. And eventually my emotions will fail me. Unless we place Christ on that throne we will be confronted with the need to replace or remove ourselves from that throne.

The Bible mentions six specific people who committed suicide. Abimelek (Judges 9:54), Saul & his armor bearer (1 Samuel 31:4-6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5). Abimelek had been in a battle but got hit over his head by a woman and feared more the embarrassment of being defeated in battle by a woman and so he took his own life. King Saul also was defeated in battle and decided to take his own life rather than have people laugh at him for failure. His armor bearer then took his own life because suddenly he was confronted with failure at not being able to protect his master and employer. A kind of “failure of my purpose for living.” When his deceptive counsel, as a leader was not followed, Ahithophel, took his own life.  Zimri also, when realizing he was surrounded and would lose his position burned himself to death. And then, we all know how through a feeling of betrayal and failure Judas judged himself and took his own life.

Mother Teresa said,

“If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise or disgrace, because you know what you are.”

Do you know what and who you are? When you are on your own throne sooner or later you will fail and will feel like there is no alternative but to escape by one means or another. When Christ is on the throne of your life then your perspective will change. Neither the praise of others or the disgrace will matter nearly as much. It will be Christ living in you instead of you being at the center. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear… The Lord of Hosts is with us” Psalm 46

Jesus is the reason for living and when you hide your life in Him you will have a different perspective on life and it’s great value that is both holy and beautiful. A Great Reason To Live. Go In Peace Go In Love Go In Victory.

Pastor Norman Howell/ August 2014