Robin Williams & pain relief
    August 28 2014 by William Hardwick, Guest Column

    The media is abuzz with the news that acclaimed actor and comedian, Robin Williams, has died from suicide. Many are glorifying the man for a career that caused so many to laugh and think more deeply about how we view life. Because of this, they are at a loss for why someone with so much humor could have battled such deep depression that he would take his own life. Over the next few days, weeks, possibly even months, there will be plenty of psychologists on the news describing all kinds of signs, symptoms and related causes for this, but here we will postulate about only one – hopelessness.
    Many think they know the real Mr. Williams, but they don’t. As an audience we have seen him in many roles – acting as someone we can identify with. There have been interviews in which he opens up a little, but no one opens up completely, especially not in front of the whole world. In the minds of many who reach the point of depression there is a secret world they shrink back into in public, but especially in private. There is an emptiness and lonely presence that they feel, a feeling that cannot be explained simply by words unless you have been there.
    As far as we know Williams had knowledge of the God of Holy Scripture, but never placed his trust in Christ alone for his salvation. He was a man who lived with a worldview that did not have a place of eternal hope. And in this life he also reached a point where all the worries, fears, anxieties and troubles caved in on him and swallowed him. His hopelessness reached a breaking point, the point of no return. He made a decision, and it was a final one.
    I do not want to be misunderstood here. Suicide victims are not only those without a personal relationship with Jesus.
    Believers can be trapped into this same death spiral of hopelessness. The noise of the lies from within and without, drown out the truth that they have not only come to know but for some have even come to share with others.
    The scripture teaches, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh this will mean a fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:21-23). To depart the struggles and battles of this world is a way to reach Christ sooner than later in their minds.
    Just a few weeks ago on July 29, a 15-year old young man with a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ, Braxton Caner, also reached that point. His name was not plastered all over the mainstream news. Accolades did not pour out from presidents, pontiffs and potentates over his decision to leave this earth and enter into the arms of his Savior. While the media is highlighting suicide this week, the pain is still raw for the family and friends of this young man as well.
    The message is real – suicide and depression hit all ages, all political and socio-economic strata. Some are pushed toward this decision because of outside forces that engage the inner turmoil of hopelessness from one reason to another. There are warning signs, but sometimes they are so subtle you will never see them. There is often no solution that will catch them in time.
    Here is the lesson: hug and kiss those you love – not just daily, but often. Remind them that you love them and that God truly does have a greater plan for them.
    The rest of the text in Philippians says, “Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again” (Philippians 1:24-26).
    Hope is found in Christ. Even the strong, evangelistic Christian needs the reminder of their mission here on earth. May this article help find some closure and some peace to those who have lost a loved one at their own hand.
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – William Hardwick is pastor of Quankie Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids.)

    8/28/2014 11:43:12 AM by William Hardwick, Guest Column | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Philippians 1, Robin Williams, suicide

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