Life is precious and if there is any word that symbolizes all that is Godly - that word is life. The Bible is flooded with words of life and avenues to resuscitate the dying …and its pages are full of nuggets of hope. If you are reading this blog, it means you can change, your life can change and your circumstance can change. The living erring can find correction … the living prodigal can turn a different leaf … the living fallen can rise up … dreams on pause can still come true….sicknesses will be healed and roses will bloom again. Nothing is impossible with God …there are absolutely no incurable cases in the Bible. Unfortunately the value of life is dismissed by a wicked worldview that presents life as an experiment to be flushed down the laboratory drain if outcomes are unsatisfactory or we discern mistakes in procedure. The accuser and thief of joy finds expression in so many voices in the world view to bring about so much tensions and paths of depression that ultimately trivializes life … and in one of its most cruel deceptions, mankind is persuaded to take his or her own life. Never forget there is always hope …no matter how low you may have come.
Ecc 9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
Mental illness is no doubt a sad state in which reasoning is so distorted, that a new reality creates different pictures …but by this definition … all are ill …as all have some extent of mind distortion …only the pictures are different. The suicidal is far more deceived to picture death as better than the status quo.
I heard the story of a lady who went to church …but she suddenly left … so depressed that she could not remain in the service … as she walked out …the “righteous” in the pews concluded some demon must have entered her … the preacher increased the fervor of his fiery preaching convinced his message was serving its purpose … everyone had a theory about this lady who suddenly left. The only voice that followed this lady out of the sanctuary was the enemy of her soul …massaging her with false palliatives. The next morning they found she had committed suicide. No one knew exactly what happened but everyone had their suspicions and all were suddenly anxious to say nice things about her. They arrived at her home where her body was lain … the doors creaked as visitors came in one after the other … even the door seemed to be wondering what is happening here …as there had never been so many visitors in the house before. Only a neighbor, a poor squatter who lived next door seemed to know his way around …the deceased was still single … relatives were few …
The Bible presents that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him will not perish but have eternal life…The holy God recommends Himself to the world by demonstrating undeniable evidence of His unconditional love before asking man to believe Him. I learnt from prison evangelism visits that people will respond to love even if they do not understand your theology …they will still believe you when they suspect in their heart that you love them. God gave His best, His all, His only begotten …when we were the worst of sinners … what interest or joy can he get in the fall of any. Forgiveness and love is easy for God because our salvation cost Him too much to be thrown away like an empty can. Men even the best – comparatively do not value the importance of forgiveness and loving others because salvation cost them nothing. Remember – it is Christ that died for you and God that gave His son …so look up to Him and deliver yourself from people.
If indeed all are ill to some extent, then illness becomes even more enigmatic as we may not always know what we are responsible for or what we inherited or was self or externally inflicted. Raking old wounds of self and others attracts a horde of flies … demons that feed on guilt and shame. Excessive sin consciousness can be ruinously depressing … and the devil loves the repeated confessions … but hates the truth that Christ has died for our sins …hating also the Easter message that our portion is a hope in Christ who brought grace and truth and a resurrection life of victory over sin. If Christ is not risen then our faith is futile and we are still in our sins. But when Christ is risen we are awake to His righteousness and resurrection power to overcome.
Indeed, the ultimate healing is death … but there is an eternal hope that there is resurrection in a heavenly body. Also, God gives life and has the right to take it away when He determines. Death for the saint is a glorious transition. Satan also preaches that the ultimate healing is death but he manipulates our thoughts and deceives us to take control out of the hands of God and to accelerate entry into an imagined rest. The false teaching that death by suicide is like death by cancer - is dangerously seductive. To take life that does not belong to us is and has always been murder …whether it is that of an unborn, the sickly or even ours.
Suicide is Satan’s “Mona Lisa” … his masterpiece … valued in hell …the special assignment commissioned to the most wicked of demons … few of God’s servants are spared his attack. Martin Luther groaned under this onslaught for so many years ... and constantly advised the reading and memorizing of scriptures – particularly comforting verses like the Psalms, singing the many hymns of hope … and developing a stronger word life to respond to all the tricks and threats of this monster. May God help us to develop a greater consciousness of his righteousness, victory and finished work of grace and mercy. May mighty men not withdraw from us …as iron sharpens iron … may our fellowships be real and not theatrical performances. God rekindle your love – practical love that gives and gives and does not seek its own.
My heart bleeds for the Saddleback Church Senior Pastor Rick Warren at this time as he mourns the suicide of his son after years of battling mental illness … and can only pray for more grace and strength.
“Only by grace can we enter…only by grace can we stand …not by our human endeavor, but by the blood of the Lamb, into your presence you called us …you called us too come …into your presence you called us …Lord by your grace – we all come.” chorus