Suicide. The word has a frightening air of finality. Laden with hopelessness, despair and tragedy, it is a word that everyonewants to keep at arms' length. "Only people who are really mixed up consider suicide," you've told yourself. But then one day that word entered your thoughts in a different way. You found yourself in an unbearable situation. You felt trapped and powerless. Ultimately, "ending it all"seemed to be the only answer. It isn't. There is another solution. It's found in the Bible, God's message of love to you. This is your chance to discover just how valuable you are and how your life can be transformed. Read on.
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
Probably you've asked yourself, "How did I get to this point?" The answer is....gradually. Everyone goes through periods in their lives when they feel down. Usually, in time, the sadness leaves and life goes on. But sometimes a difficult situation, a strained relationship or some other problem leads to unhappiness that won't go away. When that happens, life can become a daily struggle with uneasiness, gloom and emptiness. Ultimately, depression and hopelessness can take hold, creating a feeling of dissatisfaction with life in general.
Depression has many causes. often it is associated with a sense of loss that can be caused by a number of things -- illness, the death of a loved one, sudden unemployment, divorce and so on. A chronic illness, or permanent disability, can rob you of your independence, making you feel worthless, helpless and angry. Losing someone you care about, through death or divorce, can leave a tremendous void in your life.
Guilt is another trigger for depression. Perhaps you're struggling with drug or alcohol abuse -- or some other habit, or behavior, that you are ashamed of. A childhood trauma may have left you feeling damaged and unworthy of happiness. Maybe you just feel like a failure, because you haven't achieved all that you wanted in life. Whatever the cause, depression often leads to a sense of hopelessness. You may feel as though your life is out of control. You may think that ending your life is the only way to take control. It's not.
WHERE CAN YOU GO FROM HERE?
You can keep going the way you have been, knowing where that maylead. Or you can give yourself a real chance for a better life. The fact that you're reading this shows that you want another option. So, here it is.
There is only one real source of hope for a life that possesses meaning, fulfillment and joy. That source is Jesus Christ. Speaking about His followers, Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). Through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can experience overflowing love, forgiveness, peace and joy in your life. That is a promise from God found in the Bible.
Does God promise that you'll never have another problem? No. But He does pledge to give you the power to face life's trials with confidence, knowing that He will cause all things to work for your good. He promises either to deliver you from afflictions,or give you the strength to endure them, according to His plan for you...a plan that begins with giving your life to Him.
By accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior and choosing to follow Him you place Jesus on the throne of your life. Spiritually, you become a new person because God's Holy Spirit comes to live within you. Jesus described this experience as being "born again." And, best of all, with your new life in Christ comes the right to spend eternity in God's presence. Why not get a Bible right now and read these wonderful promises for yourself? Look up these Scripture verses: John 1:12; II Corinthians 5:17;I Corinthians 2:12; I John 5:11-13.
If you have never made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as yourpersonal Savior, you can do that right now and take the firststep toward a new life. Simply pray this prayer and mean it inyour heart:
Lord Jesus, I ask you to come into my life. I want to turnfrom living my life under my own control. Come now and live yourlife in me. Cleanse me from my sins. I receive you as my Lordand my Savior. I will live for you and serve you all the daysof my life. Amen.
Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). If you just prayed and asked Him to come into your life, He did. And He promises to share intimate friendship with you.
Now you need to do a few things. First, begin reading the Bible on a daily basis. Start with the Gospel of John in the New Testament. Next, try to spend time in prayer every day. Just talk to God like you would a good friend. Finally, it's important that you find a church that believes and teaches the Bible. This is critical to your development as a Christian. Remember this: God doesn't require you to be perfect. Rather, He desires your heartfelt devotion and willingness to live according to His Word, the Bible.
WHAT IF YOU'RE ALREADY A CHRISTIAN?
Christians can feel depressed and have suicidal thoughts too. It can happen for all of the same reasons mentioned above. The trials of life touch everyone, including believers. If the situation you are in is something you can't change, know that God can intervene miraculously. As hard as it may be to do, continue praying for God's help. Don't stop. God does hear our prayers but His plan and ours aren't always the same. Trust Him to respond in a way that will be to your best interest. That includes the possibility that He will give you strength and peace to endure your trial rather than deliver you from it. Some of God's greatest answers to prayer come in the form of peace and joy in the midst of great hardship. Believe that He will see you through every storm in your life. Read these Scripture verses and make them your own declarations of faith: Psalm 23; Psalm 28:7; Isaiah 43:2; Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:13.
Ask your Heavenly Father to help you live in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is full of His promises to love, strengthen, heal and guide. Begin reading God's Word with a new purpose -- to discover new insights about God's love for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your journey and to reveal truths you've never seen before. Accept the fact of God's love for you without relying on your feelings. Read these Scripture verses and receive them as God's messageto you: John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Isaiah 40:31; Isaiah 41:10; Lamentations3:22-23.
Also, be prepared to acknowledge any sin that might be interfering in your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Ask God to search your heart and pinpoint any problems. Then, confess and repent of your disobedience and receive God's forgiveness. Read these Scripture verses for more understanding about dealing with sin: I John 1:9; Psalm 139:23-24; Galatians 5:16-25.
DO SOMETHING TO HELP YOURSELF
Professional help in the form of a qualified Christian counselor is one of the best ways to fight depression and thoughts of suicide. Look in the phone book and make some calls. Ask for references. A good counselor can help you get a new perspective on your problems. Get a medical check-up. Sometimes depression can be caused bya chemical imbalance or other biological factor.
Seek out a support group (starting with your church) that ministers to the area of difficulty in your life. Interacting with others with similar challenges in their lives will help you feel less isolated.
Force yourself to do something the next time you feel down. Inactivity only makes depression worse. Here are some things to try:
- Talk to someone. Call a friend and share your feelings.
- Take a walk. Exercise causes your blood and oxygen to circulate faster, which makes you feel invigorated. Your brain produces chemicals called endorphins that fight depression.
- Do something to help someone else. As you focus your attention on another's needs, your own cares will become less burdensome.
Listen to music. Choose your favorite songs and sing along
Copyright 2000 by The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc.