July 16

Suicide

I Samuel 31:3-4 The battle became fierce against Saul [the king of Israel]. The archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.” But his armorbearer would not… Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it.

II Samuel 17:23 Now when Ahithophel [counselor to King David’s rebellious son Absalom] saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died….

Psalm 33:18-19 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Romans 5:2 …through [Christ] also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Suicide is never presented as anything but negative in the Scriptures. Saul, Ahithophel, Abimelech, Zimri, Judas—they all took their lives, and scripture is clear that they all made the wrong choice. Unhappily, suicide is one of the scourges of our age, and the rate of suicide among believers is almost the same as among unbelievers.

For the reader who is struggling and for the reader who wants to help others, consider the following:

Suicide is never the right answer, no matter what’s wrong. It’s actually the worst possible choice. No matter how bad things seem, God gives us hope because He is taking us forward into His plan. He never leaves us alone, and He never leaves us where we are. He works through time to lessen pain and He describes Himself as the “glory and the lifter of [our] head[s]” (Psalm 3:3).

Plus, help is available if you look for it. God gives us “everything required for life and godliness” (II Peter 1:3), both of which point to His provision in this particular struggle. God provides help if we ask. If first attempts at getting help didn’t work well, we need to give it another try. God never leaves us in the lurch.

If you believe in God, this is a terrible way to meet Him, and everything that would lead someone to do that is a lie. Whatever thoughts one might have that seem to guide in the direction of suicide are either lies or partial truths that are all twisted around. The devil comes to “steal, kill and destroy,” and one of his constant goals is early death—for everyone.

Lastly, and perhaps most powerfully, suicide is selfish. Suicide only kills the person, not the pain. It doesn’t end the pain—it just transfers it to other people. It lives on, most often magnified, tormenting others, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

For those contemplating suicide, give God time and look for help. The darkness you feel is the devil’s smokescreen. It can’t last. For those helping others, pray against deception, and be the one who can provide the help needed.

Prayer: Lord, I pray for those struggling with this terrible temptation. Release hope in them and may they reach out for help—to You or to someone else. Strengthen me to be the encourager and hope-giver You want me to be.

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