Recently I received a phone call from good friends of mine, sharing that their son of 32 years, took his own life, and would I please conduct a memorial service for him.
I met with the parents of this young man to get a sense of what happened leading up to his decision to end his own life. He was a good-hearted young man, always helping someone, he had two young boys, a job, but struggled with alcohol, and drug abuse.
After a difficult night, he decided that he could no longer take the pain, and left this world on his own accord; it was a sad story; one that is being told with greater frequency.
I would go an do the memorial service which seemed to help many in that packed funeral parlor find hope and help. I am sharing the content of that message below, in hopes that it would another. Please feel free to share this with anyone who may need some hope is this dark world.
A Message of Hope
In the opening salvo of the great message Jesus gave, often referred to as the Sermon on the Mount, He gave these encouraging words; which are appropriate for today.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Jesus also said;
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
The Scripture just quoted is a reference to the workings of the devil, satan. He is on a mission to destroy all that God has created; especially humanity. The Bible describes satan as a created being.
You may not know this, but he was created as an anointed cherub, who used to walk with God, the Bible describes him as being created perfect in beauty, and full of wisdom. Until sin was found in him, and he was cast out of heaven to the earth. (Ezekiel 28:13-17)
The sin of satan had a great deal to do with the creation of man. Mankind was to be created in the image of God, and would be given tremendous access to God Himself.
Man would have access to heaven, have a close relationship with God, would be given the opportunity to love God; and these newly created beings would be called children of God.
The Book of Isaiah 14:12-15 reveals the intensity of his declarations made in response to this new creation of man.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!“But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.
‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
“Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.
Ever since that day when the anointed cherub, that powerfully created being sinned and was ejected from heaven to the earth, he has been on a mission to destroy everything God has created; and this is why he has a special hatred for humanity, because from his point of view, we are the reason he was dethroned!
The devil is not the horn headed, blood dripping caricature we make him out to be, he is perfectly beautiful, and wise and is doing everything he can to ruin humanity. The devil was there at the beginning of humanity, and convinced the original pair of created humans, to sin against God; thereby giving him a foothold and a way to forward his agenda of suffering and destruction on humanity.
Since then, the world in which we live is broken, and in desperate need of hope. For many precious ones, trying to traverse the broken landscape of humanity, get caught in snares, craftily laid by this cunning enemy. The desire for the perfect relationships, wealth, fame, status, better jobs, nicer cars, a home, and a host of other wants, take their toll.
Surrounded by increasing expectations at every turn, to be stronger, prettier, more handsome, richer, famous, more, more, and then more; we begin to believe the lie that we are “less than.”
Unable to attain all that the cunning devil says we should be, many turn to substances that make us feel better, turning to a drugs, alcohol, food, sex; anything to make us feel better, if only for an hour!
Time takes its toll, worn down, feeling despair, angry for not measuring up, tired of constant failure, trying and striving to something we cannot attain, one perceived failure after another, we fall into depression, the desire to go on, begins to wane; we just want it all to end! This is the desired end of this crafty enemy’s play; to get us to the point of despair!
For an increasing number of broken folks, people we love so much, the pain reaches a threshold they can no longer bear. The view has narrowed; options have evaporated, and only one option is left, and in a moment of painful desperation, it is over! The crafty enemy has succeeded in destroying another precious life, created in the image of God!
There is another option, there is One Who CAN make a difference, His Name is Jesus. He came that we could have life, and that, more abundantly.
The broken, fallen nature of humanity compelled God Himself to intervene. The plan was daring, and would require great sacrifice; God Himself would become a Man, and dwell among us, ultimately offering His life sacrificially, to redeem fallen man; restoring us to our rightful place with Him.
Jesus was born to a woman, Mary, whose wild claims that, even though she was a virgin, somehow God impregnated her with His Seed! She was mocked, scorned, and ridiculed, and we can only surmise that throughout Jesus` childhood, mockery and bullying came His way! Jesus knows how we feel in this broken world!
He grew to become a Man, and Oh what a Man; He pointed to a different way, an excellent way. He pointed those who followed Him, to a life whereby our identity focused on Him, and on the ways of His Father. The words He spoke, recorded and written down, and preserved to this day!
Just prior to His death, Jesus went into a Garden to pray; the Bible says He was distressed, even to the point of death, asking His Father to take away the cup He was about to endure; yet He relinquished to the will of His Father instead. Jesus knows emotional and spiritual distress, He most certainly can relate to yours!
Jesus would go willingly to the Cross- offering His Holy, unblemished life, in our place, securing for us the forgiveness of sins, and so much more. We now have opportunity; not only forgiveness, but also to become a part of His family; the broken world we live in NO LONGER DEFINES US! Seated with Christ, in the heavenly realms; for those who would dare follow Him, this is our current address!
Our identity now firmly attached to Him, not to some glitzy automobile, fancy home, or exceedingly large bank account, but to His Kingdom, and all the treasures of heaven are ours . . . NOW!
The invitation to this amazing journey begins with your response to the very words Jesus spoke as He encountered men and women as He journeyed. “Come, follow Me.”
If you, or someone you know is in a dark place, and the brokenness of this world has you trapped, please reach out, call out, shout out, use the Name of JESUS, say it loud, and say it strong, with all you got!
He WILL respond to you.
Call me, message me, call someone you know, who loves Jesus, and they will help you, and your life will turn. Please, don’t listen to the words of an enemy who only means to destroy you, he is a liar!
You . . . are loved!