I was recently challenged to bring a message of hope to those who might be despairing to the point of death. To be honest, I feel ill-equipped to redirect the thoughts of someone who considers suicide a better alternative to living. But I know that I know that there’s life-giving power in believing and speaking declarations of truth—especially when it comes to declaring truth about who God is—who he really is—and declaring what he thinks about you and how much he loves you.
The challenge to bring a message of hope to those who might be despairing to the point of death came in the form of a text from a friend who wrote this: “If you are doing your podcasts or have the ability to speak with people during the pandemic, we need to remember those suffering during these very tough times.” He attached a link to an article in the Harvard Crimson titled Harvard Remembers Tommy Raskin, an ‘Extraordinary Young Person’ with a ‘Perfect Heart’ And ‘Dazzling Radiant Mind’.
My heart broke as I learned that this 25-year-old man committed suicide on New Year’s Eve. I’m not convinced any of us could have said something to make Tommy Raskin reconsider taking his young and vibrant life. The simple little “Believe & Speak” declarations I give each week seem insignificant in the face of depression so powerful that it kills any hope of escape. I’m not convinced my words would make any difference to a soul hurting that deeply. But I do trust the Word of God. I do believe the name of Jesus has the power to make demons flea. And I am convinced that the words we say have the power to change our circumstances.
What are you saying to yourself? What words and phrases are playing through your mind? Would you be willing to speak the truth of today’s declaration to drown out despair? Listen again to the promise of hope in Romans 2: What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory! Christ in us—by faith—is our hope of glory. Celebrate this hope by declaring words of truth and power.
Longing to Belong: Discovering the Joy of Acceptance is now available for purchase on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Walmart.com, Booksamillion.com and Christianbook.com. It’s also available for download to your Kindle or from the Apple store for your iBooks app. Or visit my website to purchase a copy at shawnamariebryant.com
This week’s scripture: Romans 5:1-5