From time to time there are people who become so frustrated by the difficulties of life that they surrender themselves to hopelessness, believing there is nothing good for them in the future. Some who have given up the precious gift of life have reasoned that since God has already forgiven them of their sins and provided them with eternal life, and since Heaven is a better place than Earth—suicide is the alternative they want to choose.
What does God think about the idea of choosing death over life? What does such a choice say about our faith, and God’s plan for us individually? Is there ever a good reason to choose suicide?
At all times, under all conditions, no matter how life might seem to be, God always provides us a chance to embrace life, and have a hope for the future. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own hopes and dreams, or so focused on our difficulties, that we lose sight of what God has already done for us, and what He will do for us in the future.
God has provided that there is always a reason to hope. He also provided an example of someone who faced the greatest difficulties of life, and faced them with hope for the future: Jesus Christ.
Reasons People Choose Death
"Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God" (Psalm 42:11).
Some lose hope for a better future
Some people regard their lives as little value because they are not wealthy, or comfortable. Stuck in dead-end jobs, or perhaps wondering if there is more to life than what they experience now. But is life alwaysbad? Can you think of a time in the last year when you enjoyed the company of another, or felt better than now? Is life alwaysbad, allof the time?
Some are overwhelmed by failure, shame, or guilt
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise" (Psalm 51:17).
Guilt and shame for wrongdoing is part of the human experience. Sadly, all have sinned and share in these emotions. Sometimes, when we realize we have sinned greatly, or feel ashamed by our actions, the despair becomes too great. Especially when our guilt is exposed to others. Yet this Psalm tells us that God can wash our guilt, shame, and failure away.
Have you approached God openly and honestly, asking for His forgiveness?
Some feel unwanted, unloved
"Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands" (Isaiah 49:15-16).
"We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:3-5).
Rejection is never permanent. There will always be someone who does not like us or love us. But God has declared His permanent and unfailing love for you—and expressed that love in the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus: An Example for Choosing Life
Jesus life was a guarantee for our future
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
Though God could have decided not to provide us with a way out of our sin and hopelessness, he decided, in His love, that He would. He did this by becoming a man, in the person of Jesus Christ, living life as a man, dying as a man, and rising from the dead as a man—that we might have hope that God would do the same, and more, for us.
Jesus death provided a way to overcome failure, erase our shame, and become free from our guilt
"Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Romans 8:33-34)
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7).
Forgiveness is a powerful thing. It is even more powerful when demonstrated in a practical way, such as when God demonstrated His love and forgiveness by sending Jesus do die on our behalf. If God loved you so much to send Jesus to take the punishment for your sin, then why should you hold onto guilt and shame?
Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead for this very reason: He loves us
"God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)
"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
Feeling unloved is a deception of the Enemy, or our own despair. The reality is that God loves us more than we can imagine.
Jesus was poorer than most of us: He had no home, no employment, no money of His own, and His family thought He was insane. Yet Jesus embraced life. At times, Jesus only had God to rely on when everyone and everything else failed Him. God is also available to us in the same way He was for Jesus. This can give you hope!
The Case for Always Choosing Life
You do not know what the future holds; only that God promises a future with hope. Don’t sacrifice your future.
"Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off" (Proverbs 23:17-18).
For those who embrace Jesus Christ in this life, and obey His word, there is a bright future. We do not know what the future will be like. We do not know if there will be ease or difficulty, but we do know that God has promised to help us in all areas of life an enable us to have joy.
If you choose suicide over life, you could sacrifice a great future. Do you want to trust God’s loving intentions for your future?
Failure, shame, and guilt are temporary, God’s forgiveness and approval lasts forever. You can experience that forgiveness daily.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand" (John 10:27-28).
God has gone to great lengths to guarantee our forgiveness. Even before we have committed an act of sin, God was aware of it, and was preparing our redemption. If God went to such lengths to pardon us, then we can depend upon His forgiveness, embrace it, and take joy in it.
God loves your life so much, He gave up His own so you can live a full and rewarding life in His love
"Look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2).
What does this passage mean by the “joy set before Him?” It refers to us, that we are His joy. It is possible to live a full life in God’s love where despair can be put away in the light of God’s love and promise for the future.
A – Action Point
What will I do in light of what I have learned?
C – Commune (prayer)
What will I commit to God and ask Him for to help me put what I have learned into action?
T – Tell Others
What kinds of things can I say or do to others to demonstrate the biblical truth I have learned?