Summary: This was a sermon for a man who killed himself a month after his wife committed suicide

A Funeral For John Doe

Before I speak today – I would like to read some scriptures to us.

(Psa 55:5 NKJV) "Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me."

(Psa 143:4 NKJV) "Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart within me is distressed."

Psa 61:1 HEAR my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.

Psa 61:2 From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psa 61:3 For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy.

(2 Cor 1:3-4 NKJV) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, {4} who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

Today is a very difficult day for everyone in this room. It is beyond even what words could describe.

We have different emotions in this room.

Many probably feel sadness. Some of you even feel anger.

Most of us are probably asking “why?” How could it have come to this?

Perhaps you are telling yourself that you could have done more or why didn’t you do more.

There is a story in the New Testament of two men that died. One was a poor man, the other rich.

Upon the rich man’s death, he asked if he could go back to earth and tell his family about the reality of death, heaven and hell.

I was thinking about what John Doe would say if he could return and talk to us today: I think that he would say at least two things:

1- I’m sorry for the pain that I caused you. I’m sorry that I didn’t trust those that love me to help me.

2- This isn’t the way out. I should have waited for God to intervene on my behalf.

There’s a scripture that I would like to read to you today…

(Prov 3:5-6 NKJV) "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; {6} In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."

Every person in this room carries burdens. We all have days and even weeks that just don’t make sense.

Some of us overcome them and some of us are overcome by them.

We also know that life is full of questions. Some of us find answers and some of us have questions that forever go unanswered.

We all have felt the sting of death today. John Doe’s death reminds us of how fragile life really is.

People die for many reasons.

Some die because of disease in their body, others die prematurely through accidents and natural causes, and still others die from a diseased brain.

None of knew that we would be gathering in this place today for the funeral of John Doe .

Since hearing of his death, I’m sure that many have been asking themselves, what could we have done? What should we have done? Could we have done anything differently?

Apart from being with someone 24/7 – we have done what we could.

We can’t judge what went on in John Doe’s heart. We don’t know how diseased his brain was – the effects of the medicine combined with the grief of life that he was experiencing.

I don’t believe that I ever had the opportunity to meet John Doe.

However, over the last few days, I’m getting bits and pieces.

1- I know that he had faith in and loved God.

As a boy – his parents brought him up in the things of the Lord. He received Jesus as His Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit in his living room as a child.

He even attended church the weekend before his death. He had his pastor pray for him.

2- I also know that he’s had many setbacks and was dealing with much guilt and condemnation from past events.

3- I know that he loved his family and they were reaching out to him.

I believe in a God of mercy and grace. There is no one in this room who can judge John Doe for his behavior.

I believe that God sees through all that he was going through and that John Doe is in heaven today.

I also believe that the same gracious God will bring comfort to each of you today.

John Doe is not suffering today. He’s thinking more clearly than he has ever thought before.

I think that all of us would agree that John Doe’s death is a tragedy.

I am reminded of a verse from Hebrews:

(Heb 4:16 NLT) "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it."

All of us need that grace and help today. This can only come from turning our eyes to Jesus Christ.

We must come with confidence and know that God’s grace is all-sufficient and nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love that God alone offers through His Son, Jesus Christ.

In fact, it was Jesus, himself, who said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).”

(Rom 8:1-2 NLT) "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. {2} For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death."

(Rom 8:38-39 NLT) "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. {39} Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Did you hear it? God withholds his love from no one. He loved John Doe all the days of his life.

And even when John Doe’s days were at their toughest, when the demons of his condition came from all directions, God’s love was still with him.

God’s love was shown through family and friends that kept reaching out to him.

I believe that especially God was extending his arms through his parents and through Randy and Rhonda.

The same God that reached out to John Doe is reaching out to each and every one of you today.

All through the Bible we see people dealing with stress and how they handled it.

David wrote and over and over of being in a state of just being overwhelmed.

One day he came home to find out that his wife and children had been captured and carried away.

The Bible tells us that David “encouraged himself in the Lord.”

The Bible is full of valuable lessons about those who have been under stress and were experiencing depression.

There is a passage in Psalms 40 that tells us how David dealt with stress and how we should also wait.

I think John Doe probably prayed this prayer from Psalm 40…

Psa 40:11 LORD, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. My only hope is in your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Psa 40:12 For troubles surround me-- too many to count! They pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They are more numerous than the hairs on my head. I have lost all my courage.

Psa 40:13 Please, LORD, rescue me! Come quickly, LORD, and help me.

The answer…

Psa 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.

Wait for God – He will come through at the appointed Time – v.1

Psa 40:2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

God will bring us deliverance – v.2

In our impatience – we forget that God has the power and ability to lift me out my despair.

Psa 40:3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the LORD.

We will again sing because of the victory that God has given us – v.3

Psa 40:4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD, who have no confidence in the proud, or in those who worship idols.

We will again have joy – v.4

Psa 40:5 O LORD my God, you have done many miracles for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.

Psa 40:8 I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart."

We will again see the hand of the Lord in our life for ministry – v.5

Psa 40:6 … Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand...

God puts us in situations that we have to sit up and take notice. He has lessons for all of us to learn today.

As David prayed this… I think that John Doe would probably speak these words to us…

Psa 40:16 But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, "The LORD is great!"

Psa 40:17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now. You are my helper and my savior. Do not delay, O my God.

You don’t have to carry this grief alone.

In 2 Corinthians – we see that Paul was writing to the Corinthians about a “thorn in the flesh” that he was having that wouldn’t go away.

Paul says that he prayed three times – imploring God to take it away.

God’s only answer was “my grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.”

You might feel like Paul today. You have prayed for understanding but don’t see any answers.

God’s promise to Paul is the same promise that you can have – “God’s grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.”

He knows your heart and frustrations. Even in our grief and sorrow, he hears.

We can also know that helps and that God heals.

It’s been said that death ends the physical but never the spiritual. Death may end lives, but it can never end relationships.

Even though John Doe is no longer with us, our relationship with him remains.

Cherish your memories you had with him. That keeps a family a family. Death cannot take that away from you.

John Doe loved God and God loved John Doe and nothing can stop God’s love, because the grace we experience in relationship with God is always sufficient.

To the parents and family – God understands your heart – He lost His son also.

Our hope lies in the fact that someday – those who loved God and have accepted Christ will all be in heaven.

John Doe loved God and I believe that John Doe is in heaven. I look forward to meeting him someday.

When situations are tough in your life – YOU CAN ALWAYS TO TURN TO GOD.

When Jesus was preparing his disciples for his eventual departure, he told them…

John 16:20 Truly, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy when you see me again.

John 16:22 You have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy

Today we grieve for John Doe but we know that those who love Christ will someday be with him in heaven.