In February of 2018, a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and shot and killed 17 students and staff members. This is the deadliest high school shooting in United States history. This happened over a year ago, but the reason I mention this is because of what happened in March of 2019. A student who had survived the 2018 shooting, but was left traumatized, took her own life. Six days later, another student who had survived the same shooting, also took his life. Two days later, a father who lost his six-year-old daughter in a separate school shooting six years ago, also took his life. These recent news events highlight that there may be individuals around us who are suffering in silence for an extended period of time and may be struggling to cope. With that in mind, let’s review some helpful information.

Having a useful phrase to repeat to yourself can give your mind something to focus on and remind you why it’s worth it to go on. For example, the phrase, “It ain't over until the fat lady sings” may sound quirky, but it’s packed with wisdom. Wikipedia states that this is “a colloquialism which is often used as a proverb. It means that one should not presume to know the outcome of an event which is still in progress…It cautions against assuming that the current state of an event is irreversible and clearly determines how or when the event will end. When you stop to think about this, it makes total sense. Suicide is rushing ahead, it means you act before waiting to see how things work out and get resolved. With that in mind, I love the scripture of 1 John 3:8 “For this purpose the Son of God was made manifest, to break up the works of the Devil.” What a powerful idea! Anything that has gone wrong in your life, no matter what it is, will be fixed by Jesus Christ. That was his entire purpose in coming to the Earth; to undo, or break up, the damage done by Satan the Devil. That means that any suffering we are going through is temporary, limited only to this world, but when God’s Kingdom comes, everyone’s pain will be healed. Our goal is to get through this old world, Satan’s world, to make it into the New World, Paradise on Earth. “With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3,4)

 

If you’ve lost joy in everyday activities for a long period of time, you may have major depression and need to seek medical help. Some people are reluctant to take medication, feeling that it is a sign of weakness. But think about this: If someone had diabetes, would you tell them to skip their insulin shot and just be positive so they can get better? Of course not! Their physical body needs help. Your brain also has chemicals that may not be working right, and so medication could help readjust and balance them. But this also requires a person to be humble and be willing to accept help when needed. Don’t be too proud to get help.

 

When feeling depressed you may want to stay home or in your room and not interact with other people. But remember what Proverbs 18:1 says, “Whoever isolates himself pursues his own selfish desires; He rejects all practical wisdom.” If you spend all day licking your own wounds, you might develop tunnel vision, thinking that you’re all alone and that no one understands you. But when you reach out to talk to other people who have gone through similar situations, you realize that you’re not alone and that others do understand. “For we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22) When you find others who can relate, you can connect with them and develop a support system. If you don’t know where to start, pray for God to guide you to the right persons. Then start looking through your contacts.

 

When you read the Bible, you discover that many faithful servants went through desperate times and wanted to die. These included:

  1. Job: “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?” (Job 3:11)
  2. Moses: “If this is how you are going to treat me, please kill me right now. If I have found favor in your eyes, do not make me see any more calamity.” (Numbers 11:15)
  3. Elijah: “…and he asked that he might die. He said: “It is enough! Now, O Jehovah, take my life away…” (1 Kings 19:4)
  4. Rebekah: “If this is the way it is, why should I go on living?” (Genesis 25:22)

Romans 15:4 says that these "things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope."  Just as persons of faith in the past struggled with dark thoughts, so do people of faith today. Depression is not a lack of faith. Depression is not a spiritual problem, it’s a mental health problem. Please seek help if you are having a hard time with negative thoughts or negative emotions. Reach out to a friend or counselor. In the United States, the Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

For more information, please click on the following links:

Is Life Worth Living?

Why Go On? – Three Reasons to Keep Living

How Can I Stop Being So Sad?

From Sad to Glad - Video

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