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SURVIVING HOPELESSNESS

    For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

    Life is hopeless without the love of God, money can't buy happiness and nothing the world can give can cure hopelessness. In light of the recent high profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, just days apart, suicide has come into the spotlight.

    Suicide is not a mental disorder as the world's experts tell you, but a spiritual condition of the heart. For one to become hopeless, the love of God is absent and the person, if a believer usually is isolated and spiritually desolate, becoming depressed and listening to the voice that we have all heard at sometime in our life, whispering in our ear, telling us that suicide is a way out of our problems to take our life and end our suffering.

    Years ago, a friend I went to high school with and his wife got involved in our ministry and were interested in being trained for staff. His wife, much younger than he had a lot of emotional baggage and it didn't work out, but several years latter they separated and I remember seeing her at the grocery store she was working at. It was a Thursday and after she checked me out I asked her how she was doing and she told me everything was fine in a very peaceful tone with a smile on her face. Friday night when her husband came to leave their son with her she ran into the bedroom took a gun, pressed it to her heart and pulled the trigger! She had been lied to!

    "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

WALKING THROUGH THE VALLEY OF DEATH

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me. Psalm 23:4

    There is an old saying, "the devil is in the details" but the truth is, "the devil is in the darkness." This is where he resides along with the powers of darkness. Everyone at some time or other has experienced the valley, that place of darkness we walk through, seemingly alone, but as believers we are not alone because the great Shepherd is watching over us!

    The 23rd Psalm is about the care and feeding of the sheep of His pasture. Jesus calls us sheep because they are the only animals that require the care and oversight of a shepherd. Sheep are helpless animals by themselves, unable to right themselves when wet and heavy with wool , they are plagued by insects, they will not drink from rushing water and have to be led to still water. At night they have to be protected from predators and the shepherd has to lead them into green pastures less they eat the grass down to nothing!

    Can we just say that sheep are a full time job! For the world, sadly, there is no hope, but for the believer we have the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, Deliverer, and Friend, always there to help us even though at times it seems we are alone!

    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:5,6

CONFIDENT EXPECTATION

    To them (us) God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: (and the world) which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

    Christ in us is the answer to all of our problems, ailments, diseases and maladies that plague society. The word hope means, confident expectation, although we often times liken it to a crap shoot. I hope I get healed, or I hope I get a raise, or I hope this or that, when in actuality we should be confident that our hope will be rewarded.

    If you are suffering from depression, fear, doubt or thoughts of suicide then find a brother or a sister to pray with you and be honest about your condition and the God who said He would never leave you nor forsake you will come to your aid! This is why God puts us in flocks, so that we can help one another, be honest and transparent with one another and with God so that we can be healed!

    We as believers don't need a "Suicide Hot-line" because we have a "Hot-line to Heaven," open 24 hours a day and available to meet all of our needs! When one in the body suffers, all the body suffers until that member is restored and healed. So, abide in the faith, hope and love that God has so abundantly supplied you and the grace that is always sufficient for us to be overcomers! May God have mercy on us all!

    Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith (confident expectation) will save (deliver) the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective fervent (supplication) prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:13-16

Your servant in Christ, Timothy Laughlin