Yesterday, we prayed together for miracles to happen in Japan, so God’s power may be known among the Japanese people. Today we are praying for those who struggle with depression.
Japan has a long history of depression, especially with suicide going back at least 600 years to feudal Japan. To lose a battle was considered dishonorable; either you win, or you don’t come home. When an army realized there was no hope of winning the battle they had 3 choices: 1) Suicide by enemy. They would put themselves in a situation where the opposing army would undoubtedly kill them They would fight to the death. 2) Suicide by fellow soldier. They would ask someone on their side to kill you. 3) Take their own life. All of these options were more preferable than defeat.
This mindset continued through World War II, as they fought to take over Asia, and even when they prepared for invasion from the United States. Though the Japanese haven’t been involved in any military conflict since World War II, the mindset still remains. Many men commit suicide as a way to avoid or take care of financial obligations with their life insurance money. Suicide is the number 1 cause of death among men between the age 20-44; depression, social pressure, and financial issues listed as the leading causes.
Teen suicide is also prevalent. Bullying, one of the leading causes, runs rampant in schools; other students and sometimes even teachers take part. It is so bad that on my birthday, September 1, the day students return to school from summer break, is also the day of the year when more teens commit suicide than any other day.
All of these things sound terrible, and they are. However, we know that Jesus brings hope to the broken! He is greater than anything we will ever face. When it seems as though there is no where else to turn, Jesus is always there for us. Please pray today for people who feel hopeless, lost and depressed. Pray they can find the love of Jesus and a way to work through the pain, and allow the Holy Spirit to begin a great healing of their hearts.
As we stated yesterday, we’ll have an official update tomorrow since the Assemblies of God World Missions offices are closed during the weekend. We’ve had a couple official pledges and some verbal pledges come in. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for joining us. If you’d like to pledge online, you can do so by clicking here.
One Last Thing…
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, I’d urge you to reach out to someone. Talking about the things that are troubling you with a professional can be life saving for some. For others, chemical imbalances in the brain are a real thing that can be easily corrected by medication.There is no shame in taking actions to fight depression. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, and He wants us to live a life of hope through Him. Roberta and I are available by email, or send us Facebook message if you need someone to reach out to.