Hanging on to hope… again

What feels like forever ago was actually just a few years, when I lead a group of students at our local high school in a drug prevention program. It wasn’t “just” a job; I had long since moved on from that theory after Jesus saved my soul and realizing that nothing just happens. I laid hold of Paul’s words to the Philippians in Philippians 3:14:

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

It was indeed a high calling and an opportunity to minister and to be ministered to. Yea, I know… Jesus is not allowed in public school, right? Whether they like or not Jesus is there when children who know Christ are bold enough to put Him there and adults have enough back bone to support them.

This morning is more of a reflection of gratitude for a life that I was privileged to have a miniscule piece of time in. I learned yesterday that one of the students in that program committed suicide, probably about 20-21 years of age. He had left West Virginia and joined the Air Force and other than an occasional look at his Facebook status I really had no clue as to what he was up to. But he had put a mark on my life that gives me sweet peace this morning.

The bible tells us in Philippians 3:17 ~

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

Mark them. Strong’s Concordance defines this as “to take aim at and heed to.” On more than one occasion this young man would come into my office and set for long periods of time and discuss his relationship with Christ before his peers. What a blessing he was! And I don’t say that “just because.” It’s truth. One of those peers posted on Facebook this morning

Today my brother and best friend left this world to be with Jesus. He rekindled my flame with the lord, and through example showed me there is nothing to be ashamed of. Because of (him) I rededicated my life to Christ on January 3, 2014. You will be missed until we meet again.

He took heed to his friend and because of it they both have hope.

Hope in a suicide? Suicide is the most tragic of deaths. Because the victim of a saved person’s suicide is the family and friends left behind to deal with the unanswered questions. It’s unfair. But praise God that they have hope of seeing him again!

How does one get to the point of suicide if they have Jesus residing in their soul?  I don’t have that answer, only that it serves as a reminder to us all that the world can consume us if we’re not careful to keep our eyes on Jesus. And the need to keep our eyes on one another who bear the mark of Jesus. Loving each other, looking out for each other.

There’s another “mark” that Paul spoke of in Romans 16:17:

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

There will be those who will take a circumstance such as this and use it to further the nonsense that people who are saved don’t have issues in life. Mark them and avoid them. Don’t let anyone steal your hope in life. And if you are someone who struggles with life, please reach out to a friend in the faith. Don’t let Satan convince you that taking your life is an answer. It causes a host of other problems in your passing and denies God His purpose for your life.

Just a side note. This Jesus Chick loves ya today. And so does Jesus.

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