Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go"1 (Lyrics)
Sadly, I have read of many Aboriginal and Inuit teens attempting suicide in remote northern Canada. They experience depression at twice the rate of the rest of Canada.
Many years ago, I worked in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, helping street children experience being loved as they attended our house group. We had a great time together, learning the stories of Jesus and working out how each of them could take things home that were worth sharing. There were great stories of caring and love for each of them. If they didn't feel wanted at home, they relaxed in our home and enjoyed taking part with the group.
These days, I watch a television show called Tribal Trails, which has several Aboriginal people telling personal stories of how their Christian beliefs affect their daily lives. They share their experience of the wonderful love of God. It offers a message of hope, which needs to be spread abroad. But in today's modern society, there are many barriers to the proclamation of the good news of God's love.
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
In many communities, there are increasing numbers of homeless youth on the street in a sorry state, living without hope. They can't get along with their parents at home, and either they leave because they are abused, or they are kicked out because they are rebellious. They experience a constant loss of self-esteem as family and friends mistreat them and they are bullied. Behind many of these problems lie drug and alcohol abuse. What can we do to help them?
Many communities have begun shelters for homeless men and women, but because teenagers are minors, regulations dictate that they are not eligible for adult homeless shelters. So they are particularly vulnerable and need extra help, which is usually missing in today's society. In a few communities, Christian youth organizations have opened houses that reach out to these sad and depressed youth with the love of God, which they have to realize and accept, in order to give them hope. To help them, we need to get involved with ministry to these homeless youth, because otherwise, nothing will change. If there is no outreach to these teens in your community, you need to help organize one.
Let us pray every day for our young people. Yes, the Lord can do miracles. We need to trust in His Word for all of us. If you are depressed or know someone who is, turn to God! He will lift you up and help you to experience His amazing love.
We all need the love of God in us. We can offer ourselves to serve others in whatever way we are needed. Are you depressed today? Try singing or saying this hymn. It will fill you with God's love.
- O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
– George Matheson
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for those who are depressed and lose faith in themselves and You. Reward them with Your love and give them hope. Lord, we commit this day to You. Use each of us, we pray, to reach people who are depressed and lonely. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.