Depression, mental illness and suicide has now reached epidemic proportions globally, and is of such concern that the United Nations in the last five years acknowledge that it requires urgent attention. The World Health Organisation (WHO) predict that by the year 2020, depression will be the second most debilitating cause of disease, across all countries, genders and ages, just behind heart disease.
Poverty, broken relationships, drug abuse, physical and sexual abuse are major contributing factors to the near one million people who commit suicide globally every year. The cost of treating depression and all forms of mental illness is astronomical and obviously needs to be addressed at every level, but while we have relied on skilled medical health professionals, counsellors, pharmaceutical companies and politicians, yet are so often inadequate in addressing the feeling of hopelessness.
We live in a world devoid of hope, yet the only one who can offer a lasting hope is the author of life and his word of hope is able to bring light into the darkest places. That dark place may be your own inner world or it may be a nation that has suffered years of oppression or repression.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Rom. 15: 4
Hope is basic to life. Without that needed spark of hope, we are doomed to a dark, grim existence and nowhere else and no one else but Jesus Christ can offer that spark of hope.
On a global scale you might be interested that two of the countries that have had the most repressive regimes that have tried to eradicate Christianity and the message of hope that the church brings, are now unable to stop the rapid growth of the church. Chairman Mao and his ‘cultural revolution’ and forced secularisation failed miserably and the Christian population in China numbers today over 120 million.
Iran is a country that has worked very hard to eliminate Christianity and close down churches, but it remains the place where the church is growing the fastest!
The apostle Peter said:
“You killed the author of life, but Christ raised him from the dead and we are witnesses of this fact.”
They tried to kill the Son of God, but they failed miserably and in fact it only his strengthened his message of hope which just gets stronger.