Show Me How To Live

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Music is the ultimate power.

Love is simply the message.

And the truth will set you free!

(Prince)  

Prince was one of the most gifted musicians ever. He could play a variety of instruments. By “play” them, I mean he could actually “play” them.

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Billboard.com called his halftime show at the 2007 Super Bowl the best halftime show of all time. The day of the Super Bowl there was a torrential rainstorm in Miami. The producer of the Super Bowl Halftime Show wondered what Prince would do. He called Prince, “It’s raining…” Prince’s response: “Can you make it rain harder?” He walked out and took a downpour and turned it into one of the “special effects” for a show that music fans are still talking about.

Chris Cornell was one of the architects of the 90’s grunge movement. He was the frontman for Sound Garden, the super group Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog. He also had a successful solo career, recording the theme song for the James Bond film, Casino Royale and more. 

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Chester Bennington was the frontman for Linkin Park. He was an electrifying performer and gifted writer who helped Linking Park sell more than 100 million albums and fill stadiums worldwide.

Three musical icons. Three musical greats. Many would say, three musical geniuses.

Unfortunately, they all struggled with the same stuff millions of people struggle with.

Chris, Chester and Prince all shared openly about their lifelong struggles with depression. Chris and Chester also struggled with addiction. Even as a teenager Chris spiraled into severe depression, dropped out of school and rarely left the house.

Chester revealed that he had been molested by an older man over several years when he was a little boy.

Prince struggled with epilepsy throughout his life and also admitted struggling with mental health and depression.

Unfortunately, we know the story of these three men.

On April 21, 2016, Prince died of an accidental overdose.

On May 18, 2017, after performing a Sound Garden concert, Chris Cornell was found dead in his hotel room. His death was later ruled a suicide.

Two months later, on July 20, 2017, Chris’s friend, Chester Bennington, also ended his life on the day that would have been Chris’s 53rd birthday.

All three men were gifted, talented and adored by fans.

All three men wrote a great deal about the pursuit of meaning and purpose. They also wrote about their struggle with identity, and about their longing and hope for redemption.

Prince once indicated that his song, “Purple Rain,” was about “a redeeming feeling of freedom.” And one of his band members in The Revolution said that Purple Rain is about “the grace of God” and salvation.

Just a few thoughts about Chris and Chester’s deaths…

Suicide takes the lives of more than 34,000 Americans each year.   And as many as 864,900 people attempt it.

More people die by suicide than homicide in the US. 

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds and 2nd for 24 to 35-year-olds. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. 

Men make up 79% of all suicides, that’s 4 out of 5. Men die by suicide 4.2x more often than women. But women attempt suicide more than men. One report indicated that in 2015, white men accounted for about 7 of 10 suicides. 

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Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the # 1 cause of suicide. 

It’s interesting that several studies have shown that almost every person who has lived has felt suicidal at some low point in their lives.

Even “heroes” in the Bible felt it! They wrote about it! One moment, Elijah the prophet of God could challenge a nation, but the next moment even he was hoping and praying to die.

Someone once said: Suicide is a permanent, irreversible attempt to solve a temporary problem.

It’s never a wise solution.

If you’re hurting, you don’t have to die in your pain!

SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT, IRREVERSIBLE ATTEMPT TO SOLVE A TEMPORARY PROBLEM.

Suicide is irreversible and will do far more damage than you can possibly imagine. It will create trauma and pain in the lives of people you love that will last for decades and possibly a lifetime.

The depression you’re experiencing right now may feel intense and overwhelming.

Your situation may feel hopeless but, 

There is HOPE!

There really is!

There is HELP!

There really is!

YOUR PAIN DOESN’T HAVE TO LAST FOREVER!

God cares.
People care. 
Depression and mental illness DO NOT have to define your life.

The most famous passage in the Bible reads like this:

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3:16 MSG)

The evil one is out to “kill, steal and destroy” but Jesus’ agenda is always life — more and better life than we ever dreamed of.

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (John 10:10 MSG)

If you've ever suffered from depression, mental illness or suicidal thoughts, won’t you join me in this prayer?

Speak it over yourself – believing it – and trusting in the God who wants to give you WHOLE and LASTING life, better than you’ve ever dreamed of!

Heavenly Father, I trust You.

I trust You!

Right now, I feel alone, lonely and like giving up.

My problems feel overwhelming and insurmountable.

But I choose to trust You.

I trust You with the anxiety, fear and depression I am currently struggling with.

It is bigger than me.

Today, I choose life.

I reject the lies of the evil one that this world and the people I love would be better without me.

I ask You to give me the strength, grace and power I need to believe.

To hope.

To choose life.

To live.

Father, Jesus has already defeated death, hell and the grave.

That’s done.

Because of that, He has also defeated depression and suicide.

Today, I determine I will no longer give place to these in my life.

They have been defeated through the power of the cross and Jesus’ resurrection.

I am not who my parents say I am.

I am not who my own mind says I am.

I am certainly not who the evil one says I am.

I am who You say I am!

And You say that I am saved, healed, delivered and set free!

I am a child of God!

I receive this all in Jesus’ name!