Suicide & Salvation
Lord willing, tonight I will walk into the midst of a group of teenagers who just lost a peer to the hopeless grip of suicide. The weight of the situation as a Youth Leader is not beyond me. At a moment like this it becomes crystal clear why God holds teachers and leaders to a higher standard. So I am preparing my heart for the conversation and the questions that might be asked. We will pray for each other, our schools, and for the family stricken with the grief of the loved one they just lost.
Our Pastor has already answered the question as to whether or not someone who commits suicide can go to heaven. Our salvation doesn’t hinge on our failures, but rather our Savior’s lack thereof. So while it might seem a rare occurrence, I believe a genuine believer can reach this point and still wind up in the presence of God for forevermore. How astonishing that even if a human has lost all hope, it still exists for them.
A Not So Difficult Question
The question that’s always asked: How could someone reach a point of wanting to give up completely? I think it’s time we quit pretending that this is somehow a difficult question and start being honest with one another. A non-believer, quite simply, has never met the Source of hope, and lives a life being let down by the things they put their hope in. A genuine believer can lose hope by getting caught up in religious efforts instead of their relationship with Christ. If we place hope in ourselves to become the Christian we know we should be, we will lose it. Our efforts absent of the power, peace, guidance, and strength Christ provides, quickly become a cycle of let downs. And with every moment that we realize it, hope is weakened.
The next time you walk into your workplace, your school, or your church, look around and try to imagine how many people there have experienced seasons of depression, and quite possibly thoughts of suicide. Let me be the first to tell you that I myself have. I went 26 years on this earth not knowing the Source of hope, and valleys of deep depression became a regular experience before I met Christ. I’m not sure suicide was ever something I realistically considered, but thoughts cross your mind such as “I’m depressed, and some people this depressed would end their life”. I’m sure most people who commit suicide didn’t think they were capable of going through with it until the moment actually came.
It’s Ok To Sacrifice Your Life
Pay attention to this if you remember nothing else: As my life was reduced to a depressing total lack of purpose, instead of killing myself, I chose to still get rid of my life by sacrificing it for the ultimate God given purpose we have been created for: to love God, love others, and live as a servant. It goes against everything our sinful nature tells us will satisfy us, and yet provides the only real satisfaction for our time here on earth.
It’s a reality that is too important to compartmentalize in our lives. How could we consider this to be only one portion of how we should live? What do I mean by that? I’m frustrated that in this country prayer becomes acceptable in our schools when a tragedy occurs. Meaning we have compartmentalized it, but I’m guilty of doing that in my own life! I’ll go ahead and assume that we all struggle with that, and if anything good should come from tragedies such as this one, it’s Christians rising up to be what we are supposed to be. Fully engulfed followers of our Lord and Savior that live it every moment of every day. I’m talking about passionate devotion birthed by the fire of trials that force us to rely upon Him. Only through that can we be the light we need to be, that can shine brightly into someone’s dark circumstances and convince them that hope is real.
I’ll leave you with the book of Jonah describing the powerful transition that is possible, because it’s this verse that gave me hope when I needed it.
6 I sank to the foundations of the mountains;
the earth with its prison bars closed behind me forever!
But You raised my life from the Pit, Lord my God!