I’m going to take this bulletin article to share with you something that really bothers me. This article will be a little more informative and statistical in nature. I was reading an article this week and came across some astounding facts. I found out that the second leading cause of death for college students is not alcohol, is not drugs, is not murder or disease…it’s suicide.
Did you know that half of the United States suicide rate, 50%, are college students? It’s estimated by a study at the University of Texas at Austin, that if a college has 18,000 students, then 1,080 students at that college seriously contemplate taking their own lives. That means at the University of Cincinnati, with forty-thousand students, that 4,000 students, annually, consider the thought of suicide. Out of those 4,000, five percent will attempt to kill themselves, and out of that five percent, several will succeed.
Several people a year, here in our own back yard will commit suicide. Many reasons are cited for this, but the main cause? Hopelessness. The feeling that there is no way out, there never will be, and ending it all will make everything go away. As I write this I am fighting tears. At one point in my life I was one of those statistics. I was hopeless….until Jesus got a hold of me.
Church, we do campus ministry here because we believe that God has a purpose, place, and plan for everyone, even the most neglected group of our society—college students. We have the message of hope, we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are trying our hardest to reach out to the campus with this message. Why? Because no person, no place, no life is God-forsaken.
We often forget the pressures put on college students by parents, athletic coaches, peers, etc. The pressure to “be something” or to “leave your mark on this world” is incredible. Because of the pressures, many fall into depression, and then into despair, then finally, to hopelessness. But that’s exactly what Christ came to get rid of. He is our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). Hope in the New Testament means this: something that is certain—something that will happen. So we can see that Christ is the answer, but what can we do to help solve the problem?
I don’t know if I have an answer. There is no “cure all” for this problem, that I can see. But there is one great shot we have. To get out on campus and remind students that they aren’t lost—they aren’t forgotten, and they have a place, a purpose, and a God-ordained spot to fill in the Kingdom. I’ve come to the conclusion in my own life, that if I didn’t have hope, then I would have absolutely nothing to live for. Hope is what makes the present, even the worst times, hope is what makes them bearable because I know that this is not all there is. I am living in a fallen world, so marred, destroyed, and mutated by sin, and I myself am part of that problem. But I do know that there will be a day when I will get to be in my Father’s arms forever, and all this, this seventy years (if we’re lucky) is worth every single tear drop that I’ve cried over life.
What would you do to save a life, church? What would it take to get the body of Christ mobilized against such an evil lie of Satan? When discouragement turns into despair on campus, bade things happen. These kids need the church. They need love, support, and encouragement—but most important: they need Jesus Christ—the Hope of the Nations. Without Him, all of us, every single person bearing the name Christian are doomed. He is our hope, our Savior, and our salvation. Getting that message out, without all our baggage—that’s where God will work wonders. How will you save a life? Just something to think about.