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Showing posts with label Suicide Prevention. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Suicide Prevention. Show all posts

Monday, May 31, 2021

Purity 432: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


 Purity 432 05/31/2021  Purity 432 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of a misty sunrise is brought to us by a friend in Hudson who captured this moment on Thursday to wish his friends and the city a good morning.  

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.

 Today’s second verse is another psalm of David and the notes regarding this psalm tell us that David composed this psalm when he was at war and had been captured by his enemy, the Philistines. 

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)

Discussing Suicide

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!
—June Hunt


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless.

----------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

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 mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Purity 431: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


 
Purity 431 05/29/2021  Purity 431 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of a sunrise over a daisy covered property comes from a friend who relocated to West Liberty Kentucky to enjoy their retirement. Like, me they keep their eyes on the sky and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and their photos have been shared by me more than once.     

My friend pulled a Snake Plissken, as he “escaped from New York” and he might be pleased to know that the forecasted weather for Memorial Day in his old neck of the woods calls for rain and temperatures 15 cooler than at his new home.   While I’m sure they are not looking back in anger, as the old Oasis song goes, I’m sure they are pleased with the new oasis they found for themselves.  

Our lives are meant to be enjoyed and sometimes we have to move where we are or change how we think to find a better place.  

Yesterday, I discovered that an acquaintance that had grown up in my local community, was a couple of years older, and had worked with me during my recent moonlighting season of life suddenly passed away.  It was quite a shock to hear of their death as I had just seen them while out on a shopping excursion a couple of weeks ago and we had greeted one another.  

This was the second sudden death this year of someone, I guess you would say, that was from the “neighborhood” of my school district growing up, both of which died not making it to even their mid-50’s. In both cases, they leave behind friends and family that testified of their goodness and love.  

While these loses shock us, after you turn forty and continue to age the chances of sudden death increases and the accompanying shock decreases as we see these early losses of life are within the realm of possibility. These sudden unexpected losses can and do happen. We don’t know if we will live to see our retirement. And considering sudden deaths like that of my acquaintance, we don’t know if we will live to see tomorrow.

Memorial Day and the deaths of those around us causes us to remember the brevity and value of life.   So as we are moved to remember the departed this weekend, I would encourage you to appreciate the life that you have and the friends and family that you have to enjoy while you live.  

Death is a scary thing. But we must remember that Christ came and died for us to take away death’s sting.  It is through faith in Christ alone that man can be saved from the wrath of God.  So if you value your life, let God know that you appreciate what He has given you. Recognize what He did for you in sending Christ to save us.  Place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and live.   

We all see death as a loss or a waste but if we put our faith in Christ nothing is lost, nothing is wasted. For Christ said:

John 11:25-26 (NKJV)
25 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

After another death in “the neighborhood”, I must seriously ask you: Do you believe this?  

If you can’t believe the testimony of one whose life has been transformed though faith in Christ, I ask you to consider the words of Christ Himself.  

He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through Him (John 14:6). 

A new and eternal life is Christ’s gift to all of those who believe in Him. 

As you contemplate the loss of life this Memorial Day, contemplate the life that is promised by Christ and choose to take the gift that He paid so dearly for.

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Chronicles 19:3 (NKJV)
3 Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God."

Today’s verse chronicles the leadership of King Jehoshaphat who turned the spiritual tide of the nation of Judah from darkness to light as this section of scripture describes his efforts to turn the people back to worshiping the one true God, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Here the seer, or prophet, Jehu encourages King Jehoshaphat that the Lord recognizes the goodness in his heart as proven by his attempts to stop idol worship and his desire to seek the Lord.   

While scripture indicates that no man is righteous in himself, the Lord does call it good when we seek to repent of our foolish ways and seek Him. 

If there is a heart attitude that I would encourage Christians to take on the disciple’s path of life it would be to foster a desire to continually seek the Lord.  We are to seek His presence in prayer and throughout our day by talking to Him. We are to seek Him through the study of His word to know His wisdom. We are to examine our lives and turn from our selfish ways and seek to align our conduct according to His ways.  

My first book, Fire on the Mountain, which chronicles the preaching of Pastor Robert Engelhardt, has the underlying theme to continuously seek the Lord. The theme of seeking the Lord is put into practice through Fire on the Mountain’s accompanying Study guide that provides the reader with suggested “Faith Exercises” to facilitate the discipled life and to lead to an experiential knowledge of the Lord to deepen one’s faith. Those resources are unpublished currently but are available upon request by emailing me at mt4christ247@gmail.com.   

The reason why I push seeking the Lord is because I did, and He has revealed Himself to me in ways that cast all doubts of His truth aside.  The Lord encourages us to seek Him.

Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV) says
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 

The Lord calls us to seek Him and tells us that if we do we will find Him. This verse is true. So seek the Lord and keep on seeking Him. He is infinite Truth and Love. There is always more that we can learn from 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, in continuing recognition of mental health awareness month, we continue to share 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:

J. How to Connect with Compassion

Tragically, those who take their lives fail to move from destructive to productive thinking. They fail to realize that now is not forever. They fail to see that suicide is a permanent reaction to a temporary problem.

One fact about life as we know it is that it is constantly changing ... people and circumstances are constantly changing. Just as the seasons of the year change, the seasons of life change. ... Now is not forever! ... Now is not forever! ... In His time, God can and will change your circumstances and—if you let Him—He will change your heart. Like David, you can one day say ...

“To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy .... You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” (Psalm 30:8, 11–12)

Reasonable Responses to Suicidal Statements

When first responding to suicidal statements, don’t counter—instead, connect. Don’t focus on countering with your points, but rather connecting with the person. Then, through the relationship, you “earn the right” to be heard.

  • “There is nothing left in life I care about. It’s pointless to go on living.”
    “I know your present pain is overshadowing everything dear to you right now. Tell me, please, what you have cared about up to now that has made life meaningful for you. Are there other things you could care about if your pain were not so great?”
  • “I can’t face the future. The only thing to do is just escape it all.”
    “I hear your desperation, and I know the future can sometimes seem impossible to bear. Tell me what the future holds that you think you can’t face. And talk to me about some of the fearful challenges you have already faced and conquered that seemed insurmountable at the time.”
  • “Things will never change. Death would be better than this.”
    “I definitely agree with you that there are things in everyone’s life that will never change. But that doesn’t mean we can’t figure out a way to change the degree of their impact on us. Would you be willing for us to talk about the things in your life that you want to change and then explore ways to diminish their control over your life?”
  • “I may as well end it all. I don’t matter anyway.”
    “You certainly matter a lot to me, and it hurts my heart that you feel so defeated and down on yourself.

What would it take to make you feel valuable—to let you know that your life has meaning?”

  • “It won’t really hurt anyone else. Actually, I’ll be doing everyone a favor.”
    “Well, I’m already hurting just knowing you are hurting so badly. It is heartbreaking to me that you feel so uncared for that you actually think no one would be hurt by your death and that you would be doing everyone a favor. What has caused you to come to such a drastic conclusion? What could the people who love you have done that you would feel this way about them?”
  • “I’ve done all that can be done. There is only one thing left to do.”
    “I can hear your discouragement in your voice, and I am sorry. Please tell me what you are referring to and what you have hoped to accomplish by your efforts. Maybe between the two of us we can come up with another way of looking at it and hopefully gain a new perspective.”
  • “Soon it will be all over, and then I will have peace!”
    “You sound really tired and exhausted and just ready to give up. Would you share with me what it is that has worn you out and robbed you of your peace? What does the peace you are wanting look like to you? How did you attain peace in the past, and how did you come to lose it?”
  • “I can’t go on living like this. Life is hopeless.”
    “You sound like you have really come to the end of your resources and are in desperate need of a drastic change in your life. What is making life seem so unbearable? What has led you to conclude that life is hopeless? What would have to happen for you to have hope?”
  • “I’m too depressed to go on.”
    “I know life seems hopeless right now and you don’t feel like you have the strength to keep on keeping on. If I could, I’d pour my own strength into you but I can’t. All I can do is remind you that each day you work to get better will bring you another day closer to conquering the mountain you are climbing. And I can be here as a constant reminder that you are not alone and that you are loved more than words can ever express. Together with the Lord, we can and we will meet this challenge. We will experience ‘the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living’” (Psalm 27:13).
  • “Everyone will understand. I have suffered long enough.”
    “I understand your wanting the suffering to stop. I have no doubt that everyone who loves you hates to see you suffer and would take it from you if they could. But taking your life will bring suffering to them, and I know you don’t want to do that.”
  • “Everyone has given up on me, so I’m giving up on me!”
    “I realize you feel that you cannot change, and it seems easier to just give up than to keep on trying. But I know everyone hasn’t given up on you because I haven’t given up on you. I’m sure there are others who feel the same as I feel about you. You may not yet be the person you want to be, but you can become that person by taking just one step at a time. Let’s look for a possible step you can take today.”

Unless hopeless words are replaced with hopeful words and those who feel disconnected from others feel reconnected ... those who have lost hope will come to the conclusion that death is the only possible solution to their problems. This is a lie! Satan is the father of lies and the author of such fatal thinking. Ultimately, suicide is a deliberate choice to believe the enemy’s twisted reasoning: that taking your own life is the most reasonable way out. Jesus said of Satan ...

“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless.

----------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

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) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, May 28, 2021

Purity 430: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Purity 430 05/28/2021 Purity 430 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of sunset on the shores of Lake Ontario in Oswego NY comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography.  I love the way this photo displays the contrasts of the elements of creation as it transitions from the “rock hard” reality of earth, to the glass like water casting the reflected light, to the wispy ethereal clouds, and to the blazing but fading sun.   While water didn’t make the band, maybe it should have because it goes along with earth, wind, and fire quite nicely.  

It’s Friday and as we transition through the last of the rock-hard reality of the work week, I hope this photo encourages you to look forward to the long memorial weekend with an eye on the sky as we are called to not only rest and relax this weekend but also to remember the one’s who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.   For the love of freedom, men and women served our country with their dying breaths. Their sacrifice was made to maintain our freedom here in the United States.  

Their sacrifice echo’s that of Christ who died not only to give us freedom in Him here on earth, but also for all eternity.  Christ suffered and died for us to the show God’s great love for us.  As Jesus said in:

John 15:12-13 (NKJV)
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

Jesus laid His life down for us so that we could be reconciled to God and have the joy of the assurance of our salvation so we could live the rest of our lives here on earth with an abiding peace and then be with Him forever in His kingdom.  

So rejoice that we have made it through another week and celebrate the freedom we have knowing that the highest authority above and beyond all existence made a sacrifice of love to make us His own beloved children.  

And remember, God is omnipresent. That means that He is ever present, and we can enjoy our relationship with Him now.  So keep walking and talking with God because He gave us the ultimate freedom from sin and death, and He did it so we could enjoy His company now and forever.  

 

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Today’s randomly drawn verse shows us that things aren’t always so random as yesterday’s verse highlighted the word of God and so does todays!

This verse is a favorite of mine because it reveals the mysterious nature of the word of God and how it is used by God to interact with us.  

As John 1:1 showed us that Jesus Christ was called the Word, this verse also shows us that the concept of the word of God is not merely printed text on a page.   God has poured out His Spirit and Truth in the word of God and it carries spiritual properties and power that make it unique.  

It is living and powerful.  It’s not just a good book. It holds the power to save and empower us in our Christian walk. 

It pierces even to the division of the soul and spirit, meaning that it penetrates to the core of our being and allows us to discern between God’s true spiritual wisdom and our worldly “soulish” ways. It can convict us to see the way we are living is not the way God intended and can lead us to repentance.   

It also is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  That means that while you are reading the word of God, the word of God is reading you! The insights we can draw from the word of God vary. We can read the words and text and have an intellectual understanding of what the words say and even repeat them to show that we “understand” it.   But we can also “know” the word in a spiritual and experiential way as the meaning of the words and the implications it holds for us and the way we understand the world can cause a paradigm shift that cause us the “see” the unseen truths of God’s kingdom.  

The Lord can use the word to give you a deeper understanding of what the words say  and how they affect you personally.

So when we come to the word of God we should pray for revelation because the Holy Spirit in us can show us more about God than we presently understand.  

I have been using the article “it” regarding the word of God, but I perhaps would better serve the Lord by using “He” because the word of God and its, or His, living, powerful, and discerning aspects show us that God and His word are indivisible. Just as God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are different persons of the Godhead.  God and His word are intimately tied together as it is God breathed and it is utilized by God to do a work in those who seek its wisdom.   

I have often said that the Holy Spirit will lead us with words of knowledge in our walk.  The language that He speaks is the word of God and He displays His presence in our lives by recalling meaningful scripture into our minds to guide and encourage us moment to moment.  

So pick up the word of God today and have some reverence for it because it is living, it is powerful, and it knows your heart.  

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, in continuing recognition of mental health awareness month, we continue to share 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:

I. How to Present “The Contract”

The most essential lifeline you can provide to a suicidal struggler is HOPE. Even if you feel inadequate to become involved with someone who is suicidal, God may draw you into that person’s life to be a reflection of His love. Consider such a divine encounter to be a candle of hope to someone living in darkness. Jesus said ...

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Where There’s Life, There’s Hope!

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)

H—Honestly Confront

  • Take all talk of death and suicide seriously. Repeat back what was said: “I’m hearing you say life’s not worth living. Is that right?”
  • Identify with their pain and express your concern.
    “That must feel painfully empty. I want you to know I care about your pain!”
  • Ask these direct questions: “Are you thinking about harming yourself? How...? Do you have a plan?”
  • Seek to find out what problem is causing the pain.
    Ask, “What has been so painful that you don’t want to live?”

The Bible explains this compassionate approach. ...

“The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

O—Offer Options

  • Acknowledge the fact that life is hard.
  • Point out that choices in life often consist of unpleasant possibilities.
  • List possible options on a sheet of paper.
  • Rank the options in order of preference.
  • Communicate God’s purposes for suffering. One purpose, for example, is to develop compassion: “Many people are hurting just like you are. They feel desperately alone, assuming that no one understands their pain. You know what it is like to hurt. Your personal pain enables you to have a ministry of compassion. You are being prepared right now to be a lifeline of hope for someone else who feels hopeless.” When you speak with kindness and compassion, you reflect the wisdom of God’s Word. ...

“As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

P—Present a Contract

  • Build a relationship by showing your care and willingness to help.
  • Ask if the person would be willing to make a contract with you.
    “Will you promise that if you are considering harming yourself, you will call me before doing anything?”
  • Be sure to obtain a signature.
  • Make a commitment to stay in contact.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

E—Enlist Help

  • Encourage the person to have a physical checkup.
  • Seek a trained counselor or therapist.
  • Call a minister.
  • Contact the Suicide Crisis Center.
  • Help make arrangements for hospitalization.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)

My Contract of Hope

The following is a solemn binding contract. This contract cannot be declared null and void without the written agreement of both parties.

I promise that if I should consider harming myself, I will talk with you before I do anything destructive.

I sign my name as a pledge of my integrity.

Signature           

Date           

Signature           

Date           

“Anyone who is among the living has hope.” (Ecclesiastes 9:4)

Sworn to Secrecy

Question: “I promised I would keep my friend’s secret about suicide. If I tell, am I breaking the right to privacy?”

Answer: Never keep any possibility of suicide a secret. Take your friend’s suicidal words seriously. You are not betraying your friend. In fact, you may be the only one in a position to help save the life of your friend.

  • Say, “I didn’t realize that what I was promising could actually hurt you. I care about you too much to keep that promise.”
  • Encourage your friend to tell a responsible adult and seek professional help.
  • Talk to an adult whom you trust IMMEDIATELY if you feel the risk is imminent!

Realize, saving a life is always more important than keeping a secret. You may risk losing your friendship by breaking your promise, but keeping your promise and then losing your friend would be a far greater tragedy.

The Bible says ...

“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Suicide Prevention: Hope When Life Seems Hopeless.

----------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

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) and Google podcasts (https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL210NGNocmlzdDI0Ny9mZWVkLnhtbA%3D%3D

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship