This week I want to delve even further by addressing the topic of suicide. I have not personally had a suicidal thought. I have, however, ministered to a family that faced this tragedy. The thoughts I will share today seemed to be helpful to them, so I thought they may be helpful to others who have battled with depression accompanied by suicidal thoughts or for those who have lost a loved one due to suicide.
I would like to address three truths about suicide in this post:
1. Suicide is Unusual
By that, I mean that it is not God's desire. God is the giver of life. He created all life and then he redeemed humanity by sending Jesus to die in our place. He did this to pay for our sins so that we could live forever with Him if we accept His gift. Just to prove that He has power over sin and death, God raised Jesus from the dead (again, giving life).
Here’s what God had to say about the value He places on life:
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
John 10:10 says: “"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
God is the giver of life and so, yes, suicide is a sin because it is contrary to the nature and purposes of God. However,
2. Suicide is NOT Unforgiveable
Some people say that because you are unable to confess the sin of suicide, then you cannot be forgiven and therefore will go to hell. Here is the truth: Our salvation is not dependent on any action we initiate. It is God’s work one hundred percent. When we accept God’s salvation as offered through Christ, it covers our sins: past, present and future. Though we need to confess our sins to God, it is not required to maintain our salvation. It is an act that is designed for us to learn from. It is an act to conform us to God’s will. God already knows about our sins before we do (He went to Adam and Eve in the garden while they were hiding out. They though maybe He wouldn’t notice).
Read about the assurance you can have:
Romans 8:37-39: “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (emphasis mine)
We are created beings, therefore, we do not have power to reverse what God has done. Salvation is His work alone. He loves us. This doesn't give us license to sin, but it gives us assurance when we fail.
Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
3. Suicide is Unexplainable
Some have an extremely hard time understanding what happens when someone commits suicide. People who do not struggle with depression cannot understand why people become so despairing. Only that person and God know what the thought process is that leads to this point. We run a danger of being very wrong and hurting others when we try to rationalize and explain the thought processes of the suicide victim.
I believe that the brief glimpse of depression that I mentioned in last week's post was God-given. I believe He allowed it so that I would never again diminish someone who battles constantly with depression. There was no logical explanation for what was happening. It just did. Fortunately for me, I was able to discern the connection with my diet and correct the imbalance, but for others it is not that easy. However, if you have never had a struggle like this, depression makes no sense and you might be tempted to think the person just needs to get over it or have more faith in God. Please be sensitive to know that it’s not that easy. Someone struggling does need help but sometimes they need a family member or friend to lead them where they need to go.
God understands the person who struggles with depression. He knows their hurt. He hurts with those who suffer:
Romans 8:26-27: “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (emphasis mine)
I have recently adopted a phrase that speaks to the truth of mankind’s condition: We are ALL broken people. The difference is in how our brokenness is manifested. The good news is that Jesus is the one who puts the broken pieces back together. If you accept His gift of salvation, then you will be perfected when you arrive in heaven. Will you let Him put you back together so you can have confidence in your eternal destination?
Revelation 21:3-4: “…and He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
Please feel free to message me if you need to talk further about this. I am not a counselor, but I can offer spiritual wisdom or help you find the help you need.
For God's Glory,
Chris S. Sweet