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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

An Extraordinary Life

How to Start Living the Life God Intended You to Have

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
–1 Corinthians 13:13

Last month we talked about God’s love for you and today I will continue on with the subject of love, but more specifically, the importance of love for one another.

The Bible tells us (Isaiah 53:2) that while He walked this earth, Jesus “…had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him”. But people were drawn to Jesus! His loving and compassionate demeanor captivated strangers and spoke louder than any words could.

The same applies to you and me. Whether an acquaintance or loved one, the different kinds of relationships we have are part and parcel of our life in this world. God created us out of love, and our actions towards one another should emulate His love for each and every one of us. As followers of Christ, it is up to us to share this message —not through words, but by becoming a living testimony of the loving God we serve.

But how do we get there?

Imagine your body as a great vessel. How it appears on the outside inconsequential, but the inside holds the substance of what makes you…you.To start living the life God intended you to have, you must first empty your vessel. Why? Because God can only fill us up once we’ve relinquished our own opinions and personal agendas. But watch out! Once He starts pouring, He doesn’t stop!

As God begins to manifest His tender compassion through us, we can literally feel His love coursing through and overflowing outside of ourselves. This phenomenon is exactly what drew the crowds to Jesus, and it also gave Him the strength to fulfill His destiny—His miraculous provision, saving us.

Of course it’s exciting to tell people about our Father and all He’s done for us, and by all means, continue spreading the Good News! But if you’re interested in living an extraordinary life, living at your best and highest purpose, you must quiet your own voice and allow God to speak to the hearts of others.

Everyone is welcome,

Pastor Tony Hoult

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