Pastor Rick Warren co-hosts a historic conference on mental health and the church, March, 29, 2014.
One year after his son’s suicide, Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life and pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California, said that his sermons during worship services beginning this Thursday evening, will be about how the message of Easter provides the answer to life’s most devastating trials.
“Do you ever find yourself discouraged, or depressed or defeated, or even devastated by the circumstances in your life? If so, let me take a minute to encourage you about the pathway to hope and change and transformation that I’ve found in the Easter story of the resurrection of Jesus,” said Warren during a video he released earlier this week (see video below).
“Five days after Easter last year, my 27-year-old son ended his own life. He battled mental illness since a child and despite the best doctors and meds and therapy, and prayers and love, he lost his battle for hope and our family was devastated.”
Warren continued, “The day Matthew gave into the despair was the worst day of my life. During the past year, I’ve often been asked, ‘How have you made it? How have you kept going in your pain?’ and I’ve often replied, ‘The answer is Easter.’”
On April 5, 2013, Matthew Warren fatally shot himself at his Orange County home with an unregistered gun that he bought on the Internet. Shortly after his death, Pastor Warren described his son as “an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate man.”