I know it’s really hard to do when you’re in complete despair about how things are going now. But don’t manage your expectations based on what circumstances you’re going through right now, but rather on the promise of what will happen when Jesus returns. Set your hope on that.—Michael Horton
1.You are valuable to God.
In chapter two of the book of Genesis, God reveals that he made Adam and Eve—the first human couple—in his very own image and had given them holy work to do in his royal garden, the Garden of Eden. The dignity and worth of their work and personhood would have been obvious to the Israelites hearing the story from Moses. Having suffered enslavement in Egypt they would have experienced the dehumanizing effects of their toil. If you read the early chapters of Exodus, the point of their work was to break them as a people. The story of Adam and Eve would have come as a surprise that affirmed their dignity and reclaimed work as good and purposeful.
2. You have a great hope in Jesus Christ.
In 1 Peter 1:13, the apostle tells the church to set their hope on the grace that they will receive at the revelation of Jesus Christ. God has promised to resurrect his people and restore the world (see 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 8). A person struggling with suicide can be in a place of such despair that he or she may only see the suffering, pain, and agony of the world. This is not the whole story. The pain is real, but the future is secured because of the work of Jesus Christ.
Paul tells us in Romans 8 that God is working all things together for good. We can trust him with our suffering and strive to live and glorify him no matter how hard things may be. The early church was forced to understand this. Being an oppressed community under the power of a corrupt empire, martyrdom was a real possibility.
3. God hears your prayers and is ready to help.
When I was a young Christian, the book of Psalms used to trouble me. I thought it was a book of happy, pious thoughts—that was all I ever heard from other Christians—and then I read the Psalms for myself, and I discovered something different. The Psalms are filled with the prayers of David, pouring his heart out to God, expressing his doubts, pains, and frustrations. This taught me that God wants to hear our prayers even when they are hard words filled with complaints and doubt.
4. Medical professionals and counselors can help.
There are lots of Christians who believe that you shouldn’t trust mental health professionals, that the entire field of psychology and brain science is under the sway of anti-Christian ideologies. The truth is that medical professionals can help. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety can be spiritual struggles tied to misunderstanding life and God and at the same time depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety can be physical problems, signs of bad physical health. Medicine and medical treatment—even simple practices like a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep—can significantly affect a person’s mood.
On an episode of Core Christianity, a caller asked Mike and Adriel what the Bible taught about suicide. Check out this clip from the episode where they model what to say to a person who may be struggling to choose life.
Check out more of our video content on the Core Christianity YouTube channel.