The numbers are stunning. Every hour and 45 minutes another young person commits suicide. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students and the third-leading cause of death among youth overall (ages 15-24). Teen/youth suicide rates have tripled since 1970.

 

What a terrible tragedy that so many young people would no longer consider life worth living!

 

But is it any wonder?  In the past half century, God has been removed from our schools and, in fact, in many instances students are being taught that there is no God, that there is no absolute truth, that there is no absolute morality, and that they evolved from the chance collision of primordial sea slime molecules.

 

In other words, they are taught that life has no meaning and thus no value.  It is no wonder that many young people do not value life, in the streets, in the womb, or even their own.

 

No doubt drugs and the despair reflected in many of today's songs, books and movies, many of which are demonic, add to the emotional climate that prompts such self-destruction.

 

But there is another possible factor.  When a group of teens made the "Who's Who in High Schools" was asked what their greatest fear was, 80 percent answered, "The fear of failure."

 

In our culture, worship of the true God has been replaced by many by the worship of other gods, including the god of gold -- achievement and success.  Great pressure has been put upon our young people to succeed in the competitive world of acquiring wealth and status.  

Competition is not bad, but overemphasis or obsession with it produces anxiety and fear.  Not "measuring up" is seen as complete failure. Self-esteem is damaged, sometimes destroyed.  For such victims, life seems painful and void of meaning.

 

This is all because of fear, which is one of Satan's chief devices to "steal and kill and destroy," which are his purposes according to John 10:10.

 

Such sobering facts remind me of a statement recorded in God's Word: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" (1 John 4:18, NIV).

 

Perfect love is a Person.  Who is it?  It is our Lord Jesus Christ

Himself.  Draw near to Him.  Cast your care upon Him, because He cares for you.  Receive His love and His peace today.

 

Dr. Bill Bright is founder and chairman of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization that began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 25,000 full-time staff and 553,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population.  Dr. Bright recently co-founded Global Pastors Network to "Touch, Teach and Train" ministers around the world 24/7/365. Copyright(c) 2002, Bill Bright.