Every time I hear, read and see a news story about suicide, part of me wonders how bad were things in someone’s life to follow through with killing themselves? Breaking news of the latest victims to suicide, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade is a daily reminder of a growing number of demoralized souls that exist within society. According to Matthew 27:3, guilt and remorse convinced Judas Iscariot to take his own life. With most of the disciples hiding to escape the same fate of Jesus, there was no one to talk Judas out of this ill fated decision.
Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. 3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4.
Besides suicide, other demoralized souls tend to follow in the footsteps of the woman mentioned in John’s gospel. When broken hearts, jaded minds and fragile souls stop caring, some go looking for love in all the wrong places. During a conversation within John 4:15-18, Jesus talks to a woman who had gone through five failed marriages. To avoid another divorce, she decided to live with her latest boyfriend, afraid of what the future may hold. Whether you are currently in a relationship or not, the Bible does provide solutions to recover from a demoralized soul.
Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). James 1:12-14.
If you listen to certain television evangelists, their messages paint a rosy colored perspective on life, emphasizing only the positive. Unfortunately, this is far from reality, something Jesus’ earthly brother addresses in the passages above. Trials should not only be expected, but embraced by believers. These unsettling events provide opportunities for growth, to cope, deal with and develop maturity. Each day offers teachable moments, like a pass fail test to let you know your strengths and weaknesses. The key is refusing to give up or quit, despite how you may feel. The ultimate goal is to remain steadfast, leaning on friends, family and faith to get you through trials and tribulations. As long as you understand what you are up against, joy and peace is attainable via the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23. The next time you are demoralized, cry out to Jesus in prayer to find comfort for your soul, Matthew 11:28-30.
by Jay Mankus