Purity 432 05/31/2021 Purity 432 Podcast
While Thursday was pleasant in Hudson since then the temperatures in Columbia County have dropped into the 40s and 50’s and we have received a steady flow of some much-needed rain, as if God is marking this Memorial Day weekend as a time of mourning with a cold wind and tears from heaven.
While we could think of those we remember on Memorial Day as being from some distant war of the past, military families know all too well that this holiday has an ever-increasing roll of personnel that give their lives in service to our country. A friend shared just last night that one of their brothers in arms paid the ultimate price for their country just two days ago.
So as we may lament over the less than perfect weather conditions that we have to commemorate this holiday, let’s be sensitive to the fact that until the world is reclaimed by God the governments of this world will continue to wage war and the cost for those wars is paid in blood and that some very real families are suffering heart wrenching grief.
I normally share a Bible verse a day on my blog. Today I grabbed two by mistake as the index cards were perfectly aligned together. I could have chosen one over the other but they both seemed eerily appropriate for the day. The second will be on the blog, but the first one was:
Psalm 4:8 (NKJV)
8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4 is a psalm of David. The scriptures chronicle David’s story as a man of war and a man who had a heart for God. David faced the fears of battle and could handle himself, but He knew that the Lord alone could make him dwell in safety. David could lie down and sleep in peace knowing He could trust the Lord.
So on this Memorial Day, I pray that we remember those who gave their lives for their country and that we pray for the family and friends that they left behind.
But I also pray that you remember the One who died for every man in every nation, Jesus Christ, and that you place your faith in Him and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Faith in Christ alone can give us peace with God. Christ alone can make us dwell in safety.
Death is a sad and frightening thing to consider but Christ is the One who overcame the grave. When you place your faith in Him, He will guide you here on earth and welcome you into eternity to serve His kingdom forever.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Psalm 56:3 (NKJV)
3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
David was public enemy number one to the Philistines, even over Saul, the King of Israel. For David was a slaughterer of the Philistines, causing the Israelite women to rejoice in song that: "Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands." (1 Sam 18:7).
So, the Philistines finally got their man. David was captured. He had no logical reason to believe he would live another day. But David knew God and although things looked hopeless and he was afraid, David knew to trust in the Lord.
David’s sentiment to trust in the Lord in times of fear is the attitude that the Christian should have at all times. Living the life a disciple of Jesus Christ means trusting God over trusting our feelings.
We agree with what God says over what the circumstances indicate. We recognize the reality of the state of things here on earth, but we are comforted knowing the higher reality of God’s kingdom. Although we may suffer and fear here on earth, Christians are assured of God’s love for them and know that He will work all things together for the good of those who love God.
So love the Lord you God, thank Him for all He has done for you, and if you should be met with fearful circumstances remember to trust in Him.
I invite all to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today, on the final day of mental health awareness month, we conclude from Dr. June Hunt’s “Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless “.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:
K. How to Comfort Those Caught in the Aftermath
Sympathy says, “I’m sorry you’re hurt.” Empathy says, “I’ll hurt with you.” Compassion says, “I’ll stick with you until the hurt is gone.” We all need that compassionate friend when we’ve lost a loved one to suicide.
Typically, those who have lost suicidal family members feel more pain than those whose loved ones have died of natural causes. They feel more rejection and more abandonment and often feel responsible for the suicide.
No one is exempt from the gravity of this kind of grief. ... It is a grief like no other. For those left behind, the emotional fallout from suicide is more devastating than most people could ever imagine. Few people know how to come alongside and comfort those who suffer the aftermath.
Tormenting emotions cause survivors to spiral through the process of grief, and their haunting question of “Why?” is never really answered. Even when suicide strikes within our own boundary of relationships, we can feel inadequate to face the reality of such a tragedy! Survivors experience ...
A Grief Like No Other
As a survivor, you can feel ...
• Shock ... “This is a mistake. I saw her just a few hours ago.”
• Rejection ... “He thought death would be better than living with me!”
• Guilt ... “I should have done something to prevent this.”
• Anger ... “How could she do this to me?”
• Shame ... “What will I tell others?”
• Fear ... “I’m afraid of whatever is wrong with our family!”
• Sadness ... “I keep dreaming that I’ll be with him again.”
As a survivor, you need to know the compassionate promise of the Lord. He hears your heartache and sees your tears. The Bible says that after a period of time ...
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
A Friend Like No Other
As a friend of the survivor ...
• Be honest ... Express your own feelings of grief and confusion. ... Don’t hide from the truth or be afraid to use the word suicide.
• Be present ... Be willing to just “be there”—your presence is enough!
• Be listening ... Hear your friend’s heart and encourage your friend to express feelings.
• Be accepting ... Accept all the emotions, no matter how raw or offensive the feelings may seem to you.
• Be nonjudgmental ... Refuse to pass judgment on the one who died of suicide or those who have survived. Trust in a compassionate God.
• Be forgiving ... Let the survivors see your heart of forgiveness. They may feel the need to confess and receive God’s forgiveness, especially if they are experiencing guilt.
• Be spirit-led ... Be led by the Holy Spirit. Trust Him to give you the appropriate words to say.
• Be prayerful ... Offer to pray if the survivor seems receptive. Commit to lifting the whole family up in your personal prayers.
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Question: “Is there a ‘better way’ to talk about suicide?”
Answer: Although many people speak of someone who “committed suicide,” the less judgmental, more sensitive term is speaking of one who “died of suicide.” Likewise, rather than a completed or successful suicide (which sounds too positive), the term “suicide death” is preferable. Pray that you will use wisdom with your words. ...
“Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.” (Proverbs 9:9)
L. How to Address Young Siblings After Suicide
When a child carries out a suicide attempt, family and friends are left emotionally shattered and mentally scattered, not knowing what to do with their feelings or how to make sense of what has happened. Many loved ones feel as though they are in a dense fog with no sense of direction and no destination in sight. Just trying to survive is often seen as the task at hand, but overcoming is what the Lord has in mind for His children.
The depth, degree, and duration of the impact on your remaining children and how you deal with them will vary per child based on individual temperament, age, and maturity. However, there are some common clues to look for, identify, and resolve as you seek to help your children become overcomers. Some of the feelings they may experience include ...
Feelings of Siblings Left Behind
- Anger at the sibling for leaving without saying goodbye or talking with them about it before doing it, or anger at God for allowing it, or anger at a parent for causing it
- Rejection because of the sibling’s not wanting to be with them or not valuing them enough to stay alive for them
- Fear of being alone in their bedroom or playroom at night because something or someone in the darkness may hurt them, or fear that their sibling may be punished by God for all eternity
- Sadness over the loss of a cherished confidant, constant companion, or committed “cheerleader”
- Confusion about why the sibling chose suicide and whether they are destined to suicide too or actually should follow the example of the suicidal sibling
- Guilt that they may be somehow responsible for their sibling’s being unhappy and despondent enough to want to die rather than live with them
- Hopeless about facing the future without their sibling to help them, to spend time with them, to teach them the ropes, to understand them
- Alone without the only family member they can truly relate to, play with, confide in, tell secrets to, look to for security, advice, and guidance
Helping Siblings Left Behind
Typically, children lack the skills to clearly express their emotional reactions to traumatic events, therefore, you will need to ...
- Ask questions that will aid your children in both clarifying and communicating their feelings.
- Listen intently to them and mirror their feelings back to them, validating them, comforting them, and extending hope and encouragement to them.
- Respond to their questions and needs by attempting to answer and meet them in practical, meaningful ways.
- Spend more time with your children. Engage them in activities they enjoy and include them in some of your activities, including your work and free time.
- Pay attention to any change in their mood and in their patterns of eating and sleeping, studying and playing, socializing and relating.
- Realize your children are most vulnerable to suicide during the days and months following the death of their sibling and on future anniversary dates such as the deceased child’s birthday or the suicide date.
- Provide professional counseling for your children should they show signs that depression or stress is impairing their level of functioning.
- Pray for and with your children. Read the Bible with them and work through the daily devotional book Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes with them.
As you seek to yield yourself and your children into the Lord’s strong, healing hands and as you keep your heart fully committed to Him, be assured that ...
“The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
M. The Do’s and Don’ts for Family and Friends
King Solomon models the kind of heart and attitude that we need to carefully and compassionately minister to other people. God told Solomon to ask for whatever he wanted and it would be granted him. But instead of asking for wealth or fame, he asked for discernment to wisely govern the people God had entrusted to him. “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:9).
The king’s request so greatly pleased God that He not only poured out wisdom in abundance upon Solomon, He gave him riches and honor as well. Likewise, it pleases God when we ask for wisdom and discernment about ministering to suicidal people, seeking help from above to restore hope. Our desire should always be that the perfect love of Christ be manifested through us. We should also heed the wise words of Solomon. ...
“Preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you.” (Proverbs 3:21–22)
Words can wound, and words can heal. Those whose hearts are heavy with thoughts of suicide need true healing. Be aware of the power of your words. ...
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)
• Don’t trivialize talk of death by saying, “Stop talking that way.”
Do ... Be willing to listen—really listen. “I want to hear what is really going on in your heart and life.”
• Don’t minimize emotional pain by saying, “It can’t be that hopeless.”
Do ... Ask questions. “When did you first feel this way?”
• Don’t ignore feelings. “You shouldn’t feel that way.”
Do ... Draw out feelings. “Tell me how you really feel.”
• Don’t contradict statements of low self-worth. “You can’t be that bad.”
Do ... Communicate, “All of us have failed, but that does not make us failures.”
• Don’t promise, “I will never mention this to anyone.”
Do ... Explain, “Because I care, I can’t be sworn to secrecy. I love you too much.”
• Don’t give a dare like, “Go ahead; kill yourself.”
Do ... Remove all impulse weapons, such as guns and poisons.
• Don’t blame something or someone else. “It’s his fault that you feel this way.”
Do ... Realize that God knows the injustices, yet we all choose how we respond. Will we act responsibly or react irresponsibly?
• Don’t attempt to “cheer up” with comparisons. “Many others are much worse off.”
Do ... Appeal to the heart. “Are you aware of how devastating suicide is to those left behind? Often loved ones blame themselves for a suicide.”
• Don’t offer quick solutions. “Just put the past behind you.”
Do ... Help initiate a medical/psychological evaluation as soon as possible. Going with the struggler can reinforce a sense of hope: “You don’t have to do this alone. Let’s make the appointment, and I’ll go with you.”
• Don’t assume that you must continue with a specific doctor if you feel no positive connection and care. “You’re already seeing this doctor, you don’t want to start over.”
Do ... Seek a 2nd opinion (or a 3rd ... or a 4th ... etc.) until you have peace about how well you both are relating. “If this isn’t the right doctor or counselor for you, we will meet with someone else until we find someone you are comfortable with.”
• Don’t give the assurance, “Your problems will soon be over.”
Do ... Admit the fact that life is hard. “Although I don’t know how long the dark tunnel is, I’ll
be your friend each step of the way until you come into the light.”
• Don’t refer to depressed people as unspiritual.
Do ... Confirm that the heart of each of us has been “pressed down” and that your own heart has also been depressed.
• Don’t lecture on the value of life or get into theological arguments.
Do ... Earnestly pray for wisdom for every person involved and give the assurance that “God will never leave you or forsake you.”
• Don’t presume that once someone has decided to commit suicide there’s nothing you can do to stop it. “They’ve already made up their mind.”
Do ... Realize suicide is the most preventable cause of death. The vast majority of people who get help recover from their suicidal feelings.
“A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:23)
“To be, or not to be, that is the question.” Or to put it another way: To live or to die ... which is better? That is the fictional question posed by Shakespeare in his centuries-old tragedy Hamlet.
The answer to that question goes back much further in time and is spoken by God Himself. ... .
“I have set before you life and death ..... Now choose life.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Life without Christ is a hopeless end. Life with
Christ is an endless hope. CHOOSE LIFE!
Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless.
God bless you all!
Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and Audible.com.
Email me at email@example.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship