I want to share something that’s very, very close and dear to me, that’s the sensitive topic of suicide.
I am learning that more people than I ever imagined have been confronted with suicidal thoughts. It is extremely important to me because I am one of those people that has had a relationship with suicide.
As a pastor and church leader, and as a Christian I have my ups and downs like many normal people do. Just this morning was a downer to me. I started the morning arguing with my wife. I felt like my kids were driving me crazy. I felt completely overwhelmed. I just woke up like that. Whether it’s lack of sleep or things on my mind, those things do get to us.
Depression is very patient.
It will sleep in your life thirty years from when you were born. It may sneak up on you ten years from now. Depression is tied with the spirit of fear. Maybe that is why Paul told his son in the faith Timothy, “God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind” (1 Timothy 1:7).
The devil will wait for that perfect time to give you a Spirit of fear.
When I was twenty-one I felt overwhelmed with school, with my family, with my finances, with my life choices. I felt overwhelmed and in that moment satan went right into my ear and said, “Hey, there is a way out, give your soul to me.” At that time I listened to his voice.
Then in my time of desperation, when I did contemplate and when I did act that way, when I was going through my death moment, I heard one thing and one thing that was very clear. It wasn’t audible yet it was almost a physical sound. It was almost a jolt into my spirit and right into my heart. It was the very thing my best friend Ken told me two weeks before I tried to commit suicide and that was, “Jesus loves you.”
My best friend and I were altar boys at the same Catholic Church.
My parents were very religious, but yet I still went down this path. It was there that the Lord became real to me. The Holy Spirit manifested into a reality and he spoke into my life and he intervened. The one thing I remembered was, “Jesus loves you.” That was the reality.
I don’t believe that depression is something we can cure with drugs or medicine. Don’t take me wrong, medication can help especially for clinical depression, therapy can help, accountability partners can help. Yet, many of those who commit suicide have sought help in these areas.
I’m not the only pastor or even the only Christian that has had these thoughts. Some of you guys might be victims of, or had family members who have committed suicide. You might have tried to commit suicide or you know somebody that knows somebody that knows somebody that did or has tried.
Suicide is a Spirit
It’s not an emotion, is not a feeling. It’s a spirit and the spirit goes into our hearts and distorts our views of reality. It distorted my view of my reality of who I was. It tried to rob me of who I really was destined to be. It elevated my anxiety and elevated my thoughts of, “I’m not good enough.” It elevated my weakness, and it made me contemplate those things.
One thing that I’ve learned and I’m still learning is to master the filtering of my thoughts.
Second Corinthians 10:5 says: “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” So here are my thoughts:
1. Treat your Mind like Private Property
Your mind is an open battlefield, and you have to treat it like it’s private property. Let me say it again. Treat the thoughts of depression like they are trespassing on your property.
2. Check Every Thought by the Word of God
“The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple” (Psalms 119:130). We must ask: “What does the word of God say?” If our thoughts are contrary to the word of God they are wrong. God is always right.
3. Develop a Life of Prayer
What I’m telling you is something that I’m in the process of learning right now. Making it a habit to submit my thoughts to the word of God. To develop a life of prayer that’s almost automated. I might not seem like it, but I always have some kind of prayer going on in my mind. Smith Wigglesworth the great evangelists and preacher said, “I don’t care to spend 15 minutes praying. I pray every 15 minutes”
4. Always Remember that Your Life has Purpose
When it comes to these thoughts of suicide, I’m learning that my life has purpose. You can’t throw away what doesn’t belong to you. If you feel those thoughts of the enemy rampaging in your mind and overwhelming your thoughts, I want to tell you that, “You have purpose!” “You are loved.” There is an anointing over you. There’s a gifting in your life. Jesus desires to commit himself fully to you and to have you be fully committed to Him.
This is what I taught myself, “I will not die, but live, and I will proclaim what the Lord has done” (Psalms 118:17). We are meant to live and God offers life fully. God gives life abundantly.
For you who are hurting or been victimized or have these thoughts from the enemy. I want to tell you this, you have life and it goes beyond your years on this earth that you’ve lived and will live. God loves you and there’s a purpose for you.
So be blessed in Jesus’ name,
Evangelist Praise Chapel Rancho Cucamonga
If you are feeling Overwhelmed, depressed or have any thoughts of hurting yourself, please seek help now.