Today is World Wide Suicide Prevention Day, and I want to take a few moments to lay out some of what scripture says about suicide. This topic means a lot to me personally, as my family has been touched by this in varying aspects and to varying degrees.
My hope is that anyone who may be struggling with these thoughts will come to know that they are not alone. You and I are not the only ones who have had those feelings or thoughts. I also hope that this will be a comfort for anyone who is a family or friend who has been touched by this tragedy. I understand the grief, the pain, and the awful things people say in an attempt to comfort you. My hope is that these truths will put your minds a bit more at ease, and in time comfort your pain and loss.
1 – Jesus was in EVERY way tempted as we are. “For we do not have a High Priest (Jesus Christ) who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in ALL points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 NKJV.
2- Yes, this means that Jesus was tested with thoughts of suicide too. Jesus said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, EVEN TO DEATH. Stay here and watch with Me.” Matthew 26:38 NKJV. Jesus was so sad, so full of sorrow that even He had even to death thoughts. He sweat drops of blood and was under great distress, knowing full well what was coming ahead of Him. Jesus had those thoughts too, but He was not overcome by them.
3 – Jesus was let down by his friends in his darkest hour of need too. “Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?” We are people with human limitations and the Lord our God got as frustration as we do with them. He goes on to advise His disciples to watch and pray because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. In our darkest hour, often our friends do go astray, and God becomes the only one who can fully take on the weight of hopelessness and despair.
4 – If you feel like no one understands you, you are not alone. Job said it best to his friends that offered painful words of advice and accusations during his suffering “I have heard many such things. Miserable comforters are you all! Shall words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer? I also could speak as you do, if your soul were in my souls place. I could heap up words against you, and shake my head at you; But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.” When we feel like no one understands us, we are not alone. We join in with generations who have come before us and fought through pain, torment, suffering, grief, hopelessness, and loss.
5 – God sets the lonely, the solitary in families so that we can learn to love people in their darkest hour of need. “God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” Psalm 68:6. Another version says that God sets the “lonely” in families. This word solitary/lonely means “only” or “one” or “unique.” Families are unique places where we learn to love one another. Sometimes this is done well, and other times not so well. Regardless, there is a purpose for these seasons in our lives. To bring us back to the only One who can truly handle our loneliness: God, and God alone.
6 – If someone does commit suicide, we should not decide in our hearts if someone went to heaven or hell. “‘Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” Romans 10:6-7 AMP. We are simply not to determine who went where, once they have passed on. God only knows. All we can do is trust God, and continue to believe that His grace is sufficient for us…and our loved ones.
7 – Compassion should be shown to ALL those who are afflicted and suffering. “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” Job 6:14. No matter what someone is going through…compassion is needed. Even when they appear to say or do things that are not “Christian.”
If you feel as though you have no one, please know that you are not alone. There are people who understand and are willing to listen.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.