All of humanity lives in this broken, sinful world. The reality of evil, a cursed planet, and the depravity of man leads to much suffering. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in desperate situations. And sadly, when someone is drowning in pain, sorrow, disappointments, frustrations, feeling trapped, they may consider ending their life. And even more tragic is the fact that many times people do end their lives.
The Bible tells us of four people who directly asked God to end their life.
- Numbers 11:14-15 I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!”
- Moses was overwhelmed by the responsibilities and disappointments that came with leading the rebellious Nation of Israel once they left Egypt and headed out for the Promised Land.
- God provided a solution (seventy elders to help Moses bear these burdens (Numbers 11:16-30). And Moses persevered, continued to serve God, led the Nation of Israel, wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, and was present when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain (Mark 9:2-4).
- 1 Kings 19:3-4 And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
- Elijah was persecuted for confronting the evil King of Israel, Ahab, and destroying many prophets of false gods (which angered the wicked Queen of Israel, Jezebel).
- God sent angels to minister to Elijah. God demonstrated his power to Elijah in a very strong wind, an earthquake and a fire. And then God spoke to Elijah in still small voice. God spoke to Elijah and gave him instructions. Elijah was obedient and was eventually taken up into heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11). Elijah was also present when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain.
- Job 6:8-9 “Oh, that I might have my request, That God would grant me the thing that I long for! 9 That it would please God to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off!
- ‘loose His hand and cut me off’ means – reach out His hand and kill me.
- Job was grieved by the loss of his children, possessions, standing in the community, support/encouragement from his friends, and not understanding how God was working in these situations.
- God speaks to Job and enables him to see the foolishness of questioning His sovereign rule, almighty power, infinite wisdom and perfect plans. God instructs Job’s friend to go to Job and offer up burnt offerings. He also told them that Job will pray for them. God tremendously blessed Job’s latter days (Job 42).
- Jonah 4:2-3 So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”
- Jonah was resentful because God chose to be merciful to a great multitude of people that Jonah hated (the Ninevites). God spoke to Jonah through an unusual object lesson and revealed two things to him: 1. Although Jonah had heard directly from God and was saved from drowning by God, his priorities and understanding of God’s mercy were utterly deficient; 2. God has great compassion for those who are blinded by their sin. (Job 4).
- Jonah’s call for repentance in Nineveh resulted in 120,000 souls turning from their sin and turning to God. And although Jonah is mentioned several times in the New Testament, we don’t know about his life after Nineveh.
The heartbreaking truth is,
Sometimes people end their lives.
The point of this devotion, as demonstrated in the Bible, is that anyone can become so desperate that they want to die. Those who love God are not immune to the horrific realities of desperation and/or depression.
O Lord, God of my salvation,
I have cried out day and night before You.
2 Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry.
3 For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draws near to the grave.
Whoever you are, whatever circumstance you find yourself in, if you are desperate enough to consider ending your life – immediately reach out for help!
If you have access to a friend or family member who follows Jesus, or if you can talk with a Christian pastor, they should listen to you and help you find the help you need. They can also share with you the message of love and hope found only in Jesus. God loves you and has a plan for your life even if you can’t see past your current circumstances.
If you are not willing or able to talk with a Christian, find someone you trust and tell them what is going on. Let them help you find the resources you need to see and move beyond the issues and/or circumstances that have brought you to this desperate point in your life. There is hope!
All-knowing Father, You know better that anyone about the desperation that exists in this world. Please Lord, make a way for anyone considering suicide to get the help they need. I pray in the name of Jesus that desperate people around the world will obtain eternal life in heaven with You through saving faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.