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Have you noticed that there seems to be a greater focus on death rather than life these days? In recent months, suicides of famous individuals, millionaires even, have bewildered those who believe that money will take all of their problems away. Why do people even consider death as an answer to their problems?

"For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else." (Isaiah 45:18)

In the above verse, God is clear concerning His intention for creating the earth. He created it to be inhabited, and He knew inhabitants would greatly increase over time. You may be surprised to know that more people are alive on the earth today than all who have died since the beginning of time. Why do some people want to leave the place God created for us to inhabit, even before it’s their time to die?

Let’s examine why people commit suicide. If you read all of the experts’ reports, you’d discover that the reason most people commit suicide is not that their current problems are overwhelming, but, rather, they don’t desire to face what the future holds. They feel that if they end their own lives now, they’ll escape facing the future they’ve prematurely and often incorrectly imagined.

Why are we so prone to believe that our future will be less than pleasing? We’re influenced, trained and primed to think this way. Who taught us to think this way? Most often, they’re the ones we’ve accepted as influencers in our lives, inclusive of family, friends, the media, religious leaders, etc. I’m not suggesting that we become blind to reality, but I strongly suggest the understanding that what is a reality today can certainly get better later today.

How then do we change our negative thoughts into positive ones? To be transparent, while pondering this same question now, with you, while writing this, the Holy Spirit just gave me this answer: Changing our thoughts is as easy as changing water. Simply put, water can be cooled, heated, frozen, steamed, etc., all dependent upon the allowable surroundings. Therefore, who and what we allow to surround us will determine the condition of our thoughts, words, actions and ultimately, our life’s outcome. If we don’t like our current condition, we need to change who and what surrounds us.

Shockingly enough, sometimes people don’t even realize that they’re being a negative influence on our lives. It’s not selfish of us to change who surrounds us if they’re unwilling to change for the better. We are now on the earth and should remain here until it is our time to depart. Until then, God has a purpose for each of us to fulfill. Don’t seek death or even Heaven. Seek God, and ask Him why you’re still here on the earth, and let’s all completely fulfill God’s purpose for our individual lives.

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Dr. Shane Wall is the senior pastor of The Feast of the Lord in Orangeburg.

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