Every year, September 10th is observed as the World Suicide Prevention Day. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year with 75% of the suicides occurring in low- and middle-income countries. WHO records suicide as the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
People consider suicide when the pain they feel exceeds their ability to cope with it. They want to end their suffering and think that ending their lives will bring relief. A trained professional is a very best person to speak with someone who is considering suicide. Family and friends can also be involved in this journey to ensure that the suicidal person does not feel alone.
Most people think that Christians can never be suicidal, and their lives are always sunny. You will be surprised by the number of Christians who commit suicide. Suicide is a matter of mental health and not spirituality. Good thing is that the Bible gives us hope and helps us to cope with those difficult situations.
Suicide and the grace of God
Those who consider suicide and those who lose someone to it often struggle with the presence of God amid such pain. Why does he allow such suffering? “How can a good God allow bad things to happen” is a problem as old as the Garden of Eden and the flood of Noah, Christian theologians have wrestled with it all through the history of our faith. Suicidal thoughts according to the Bible are provoked by Satan.
Satan is very real. He murders and lies (John 8:44). He accuses the people of God (Job 1:9-11), resists the godly (Zechariah 3:1; Matthew 13:38-39), and tempts us to sin (1 Chronicles 21:1; Matthew 4:1). He has power over unbelievers (Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). He is a “roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
As Children of God, we have the sure hope that God gives us the strength to withstand and even redeem our pain. God walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). He weeps as we weep (John 11:35). Jesus experienced every temptation and pain we feel (Hebrews 4:15). He is present with us now in the sufferings of life (Psalm 34:18). He knows what it is to lose, his beloved Son died on the cross for people He didn’t have to redeem.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ‘’So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the unseen things. For the things that are seen are transient, but the unseen things are eternal.’’ This should be your encouragement daily.
Cecilia Mboya, BSK Life member and Counseling Psychologist