‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick.’ Proverbs 13:12 NKJV
Depression can cause you to give up on life. When the job got too big for Moses, he told God, ‘Kill me here and now… and do not let me see my wretchedness!’ (Numbers 11:15 NKJV) Certain that Jezebel would make good on her threats to kill him, Elijah asked God to take his life. It’s said the book of Job covers a span of only nine months, but Job’s losses were so devastating that he said, ‘My soul loathes my life.’ (Job 10:1 NKJV) Solomon said, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick.’
Instead of arguing over the question, ‘Will a Christian who takes their own life go to heaven?’ we need to ask God for wisdom to know when a loved one has become so hopeless or emotionally ill that they can’t take another day of it. Who are these people? Young people who cut themselves as a cry for help. War veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who can’t escape the demons of war, and can’t expel them. Victims of abuse who engage in harmful or unhealthy behaviours as a way of coping. Good people who struggle with sexual issues but are terrified to talk about it. According to the World Health Organisation, 615 million people worldwide are battling depression or anxiety every day. They sleep in mansions and under bridges. Some of them are Christians with thoughts of suicide, who dread hearing that they’re weak and don’t have enough faith. A quick Scripture, a brief prayer, and sending them away with a ‘God bless you’ only throws them to the wolves. Jesus said, ‘I am sending you,’ (John 20:21 NIV) because you have the Word, the Spirit, and the power to help them.
SoulFood: Ezek 20–21, Mk 14:66–72, Ps 48, Prov 14:33–35
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023