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More Americans suffer from depression than heart disease, cancer and AIDS; God wants to help

Our Questions… God’s Answers
Questions of Suicide – Part II

Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 19:3-5

Key Verse: 1 Kings 19:4

Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

After yesterday’s devotional, I’m sure you are wondering why Elijah went into a tail spin and ended up so depressed that he wanted to die. If we go back to the story, we find that the queen of those 450 prophets of Baal that died at the hands of Elijah’s God, didn’t recognize the “God part” and blamed Elijah for killing her prophets. She vowed that before the sun went down, she would have Elijah’s head. Elijah’s faith collapsed and he ran for his life. He ran into the desert, sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He was out of breath, out of hope and couldn’t see any reason to continue living.

Many people can relate to the feelings that Elijah was having; they have found themselves there as well. The reasons change, but the hopelessness is the same. We get to the point that we can’t see any reasons to go on. When depression sets in, it clouds our vision for life. The magazine, “Scientific American” reports that the growing economic burden of depression in the United States has reached $210 billion per year, according to the recent data (February 25, 2015). Over 25 million Americans suffer from depression each year. Over 50% of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75%. More Americans suffer from depression than heart disease, cancer and AIDS.

I hope we can all see how important this subject of suicide is and want to seek a biblical answer. Suicide is a complex issue and I’m not suggesting that the Bible has a formula that fixes everything. Let’s tackle one common question: Can a person go to heaven if they commit suicide? Let’s look for answers this week. (Continued)

“Father, thank you for the hope you give to all who believe in your love and power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”