All of us have experienced discouragement in our lives, and many have endured periods of depression that can lead to bouts of hopelessness. If you feel that way as you read this, we want you to know you are not alone. You have brothers and sisters in Christ here at Fellowship who desire to walk through this time with you. In fact, we have a pastor on call twenty-four/seven by telephone at (501) 224-7171. If you feel this is an imminent emergency, call 911 immediately. You are a part of a family that is ready to lift you up in prayer and surround you with the love and grace of our Savior. We also want to help you appreciate your uniqueness as you see yourself through God’s eyes, the One who imagined you, breathed life into you, adopted you into His family, and promises a future for you beyond comparison.
In fact, after our salvation, life is the greatest gift any of us possesses. The value we place on both our physical and spiritual life and God’s sovereignty over these has a tremendous influence on how we face difficult circumstances in life. Do we see God’s love and provision for us in our fallen condition and fallen world as sufficient to meet the challenging issues we face; or do we allow fear, anxiety, feelings of inferiority and inadequacy, anger, or guilt to overwhelm us? Yielding to the latter has caused believers to try to escape their circumstances, increasing the number of suicide attempts among Christians in our country. The scriptures never condemn those who struggle to cope with such feelings and no spiritual community is immune to the hurt caused by such a tragic choice. But what counsel does God give to those of us wrestling with a life and death decision and to the loved ones and spiritual community seeking to support us?
Biblical Truths Concerning this Choice
Even though God indwells us1, has sealed us with His Spirit, and guides us with His truth2, every Christian is still capable of rejecting His guidance and quenching His Spirit.3 But our disobedience cannot separate us from God.4 No one can snatch us away from our Heavenly Father.5 His promise is that every person who has the Son of God has eternal life.6 Jesus Himself declared He has forgiven every sin7 for the believer who has placed his trust in Him. There is only one unforgiveable sin. It is a person’s continued rejection of the Holy Spirit’s convicting work to embrace Jesus as their Savior.8 So just as a believer is capable of taking the life of someone else, as King David took Uriah’s in the Old Testament, without losing his salvation; in the same way, a person taking his own life cannot be separated from God
At the same time, while some people who commit suicide may not be rational at the time, the action itself is sin. It violates the concept of the sanctity of human life as a gift of God and usurps His authority to determine its purpose.9 It ignores His will for us — to serve Him and His Kingdom purposes.10 It refuses to believe God’s promise of His providential care, to provide for us even when we may not see a solution.11
Proactive Steps to Help Prevent Suicide
• If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Savior, we want to encourage you to embrace Him and His life-saving grace. He alone is the way, the truth and the life, and the answers to the issues you face.
• Every one of us needs to pursue Christ and His vision for our life. We must learn to dream His dreams for us. God wants to work through each of us and has a plan to use both our gifts and life experiences to touch others. All of us have incredible value.
• We must all recognize that we live in a fallen world and be more forgiving of ourselves and others.
• We need to be more sensitive to those who are hurting and pursue those who feel inadequate or have suffered losses. At the same time, we must never allow the enemy to make us feel that we are responsible for a friend’s or family member’s choices.
• We must be more alert to the “signals” or “clues” that are cries for help and endeavor to connect the person with a qualified counselor.
• Because God knows our frame, that we are but dust,12 He has compassion on all who fear Him and extends His grace to us in times of need. Fellowship Bible Church, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, is committed to coming alongside every person who is struggling and help bear his burden.13 We desire to become the flesh and blood presence of Jehovah Rapha14, our healing Savior.
FOOTNOTES: 1 Ephesians 1:13-14 2 Psalm 119:105 3 1 Thessalonians 5:19 4 Romans 8:38-39 5 John 10:27-29 6 1 John 5:11-12 7 Matthew 12:31 8 Acts 7:51 9 Job 1:21; 1 Corinthians 19-20 10 James 4:7-10; Philippians 1:21-25 11 Matthew 6:25-34 12 Psalm 103:13-14 13 Galatians 6:2 14 Exodus 15:26
For further study, see our Position Paper on The Sanctity of Life.