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A Message of Hope

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. – Revelations 21:4

Depression. I have dealt with it on many levels—I’ve experienced it personally throughout my life, I’ve watched it encroach upon the lives of family members, friends, and many members of my congregation.

With September being Suicide Awareness month I believe it is important that we as a church start tackling this big and tough topic and start taking a closer look at something most everyone has struggled with: hopelessness.

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Hopelessness is one of the single, most powerful clinical predictors of suicide. You see, most people who commit suicide don’t really want to die, they just want to stop hurting. Hopelessness can leave even the strongest person feeling as if there is no way out, that there is far too much damage to ever be repaired, that death is truly their only means of escape.

I want to challenge my congregation: let’s stand together and fight against hopelessness. We can revive the Spirit of hope within ourselves and our community by uniting as messengers of the Lord and spreading His promises of a better tomorrow.

I want to challenge my congregation: let’s stand together and fight against hopelessness. We can revive the Spirit of hope within ourselves and our community by uniting as messengers of the Lord and spreading His promises of a better tomorrow.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, you might feel uncomfortable bringing up the subject, but talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life. If you’re struggling with depression don’t let shame or pride keep you from reaching out to the people who love you. And remember, the feelings of hopelessness do not last forever, even when you cannot see hope, God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. – Romans 8:24-25

There should be no shame or blame when we talk about depression and thoughts of suicide. Give yourself and the people in your life the gift of unconditional love, just as our Father has. I leave you with one more Scripture, and it is my prayer for you.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. – Romans 15:13

✦ A Special Note from Pastor Tony ✦

Did you know that over 30,000 people a year commit suicide in the United States alone, and there are 25 attempts at suicide for every one success? Up to 80% of people who have struggled with depression and suicidal ideation in the past were not being treated for their psychiatric condition near the time of their death by suicide. If you suffer from depression and past suicidal thoughts or attempts, it is critical that you seek out care from a mental health professional. Please contact us at 214-498-3692 for additional resources and support. If you are currently thinking about committing suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (open 24 hours a day) at 1-800-273-TALK

Everyone is welcome,

Pastor Tony Hoult

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