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Pat’s Chat

The Free Press WV

I am saddened when I read of a suicide, especially in the younger people!  I do not agree with some folks who say one can never go to Heaven if their death is from suicide.  They argue that if killing is a sin, suicide will prevent you from ever asking forgiveness.  I can see where they are coming from, but I feel they underestimate the great love of God.  He does not judge like we humans often do, giving no thought to what may have brought on the suicide.  He is full of love and compassion and will always judge fairly about each person’s life.

A story from the book of I Kings 17 – 18 presents a picture of our loving God that involves one of His special prophets who was discouraged and wanted to die.  Elijah was suicidal.  Here is what was in a devotional for today from the page of a book I have often quoted from for Pat’s Chat.  Reading Through the Bible with H.M.S. Richards, page 174.

“One of the most dramatic stories in the Bible recounts Elijah’s mission to convince apostate Ahab and his people of God’s supremacy over Baal [a pagan idol]. . . . ‘How long halt ye between two opinions?  If the Lord be God, follow him’ but if Baal, then follow him’ (1 Kings 18:21).

‘Poor Elijah!  He had been at high tension for days, and his physical exertion had been extreme.  He had looked death in the face.  For a few hours, he had lived in supreme spiritual exultation and had won a mighty victory over the opposition of the idolatrous king, priests, and people.  Now came the reaction.

‘The weary prophet lay down under a desert juniper tree and wanted to die—-he even prayed to die.  It is good that God does not always give us what we ask.  Elijah thought that his work was done and there was nothing more to live for.  He wanted to die.  But God does not always give us what we ask.  Elijah thought that his work was done and there was nothing more to live for.  He wanted to die.  But God knew that what he needed was rest, sleep, and food.  And there under the juniper tree Elijah found then at an angel’s hand.  How blessed it is that God does not forsake us when we forsake ourselves—-when we are tired, sick, blue, discouraged, sitting under the little juniper tree of our own private wilderness.  Instead, he sends His angel of mercy to minister His blessing to us.

Later, in the cave on Horeb, came the word of God, which sustained Elijah through everything.  Out of his black discouragement, he came back into the light of faith and obedience when he heard the divine whisper.  True, all the visible prospects were against him, but God was for him and God’s word had come to him.  So he went on to Jezreel and to Jordan and to the chariot of fire.  No, he did not die under the juniper tree as he had prayed to do, nor in the cave, nor by the hand of Jezebel or the prophets of Baal.  He never died at all.  He kept on living; he is living now.

Can you, friend, not draw encouragement from this man of God?  God has a place for you!  He has a work for you.  Are you in that place and are you doing that work?  If not, will you not listen to His Word and look to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation?  Repent and obey His divine Word.  Now is the time.  This is the hour to start.  May God help you to go forward in the way of faith as did Elijah, the man who heard God whisper.’

Please go to your Bible and read 1 Kings 17 and 18.  It may give you courage

Maranatha!

--> Tuesday, June 12, 2018
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