Our church is studying the book of Job found in the Bible over the next several weeks. We had planned this particular Bible study/sermon series over six months ago, but the topics in the book of Job — like suffering and how to think about God while we suffer — are relevant to some news headlines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says American suicide rates have increased over the last 15 years and the World Health Organization says that one out of every 13 people globally suffers from anxiety. The book of Job helps us understand how to deal with suffering.
Ultimately, Job points us to Jesus Christ to be our comfort.
The Bible actually has a lot to say about depression, suicide, and hopelessness. The prophet Elijah battled depression and asked God to take his life (1 Kings 19:4). The prophet Jeremiah cursed the day he was born (Jeremiah 20:14), and even one of God’s appointed kings, Saul, committed suicide (1 Samuel 31).
In the case of Elijah, God provided comfort through a ministering angel, food, and sleep. God gave Jeremiah back his joy and salvation to bring him out of despair.
I would like to point out that God can also help you if you are battling depression or having suicidal thoughts.
This article will not be long enough to go through every intricacy of depression — depression is complex and there is usually not one simple answer to bring a person back to health — but hope still can be found and joy can still be brought back to you.
For the purpose of this article, remember God offers you a place to go if you are depressed.
Scripture points us to the Church and to our friends: “Two are better off than one….If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Proverbs 4:9-12.
If you are battling depression, one place you can turn to for help is a local church. Several churches in Wilmington offer a group of friends to help you through hurts, habits, and hang-ups called Celebrate Recovery.
At Wilmington Church of Christ, CR meets every Friday night with food, childcare, and hope.
Finally, God says, ultimate joy and hope and relief from this world is found in Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Scripture reminds us that God hears our cries and is capable of giving us back our joy. Jesus knew what it was like to be hurt and lonely: “He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” Isaiah 53:3.
Jesus understands what we are going through: “This high priest of our understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:15-16.
For more information about how Jesus can help you, feel free to email me: email@example.com.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please get help immediately. Ask the church office for a counselor recommendation in our area.
You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
Take every threat of suicide seriously.
Dale McCamish is Pastor of Wilmington Church of Christ.
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