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Have you been impacted by the devastating loss of a loved one to suicide? There are no words to describe the flood of emotions that course through your body when dealing with suicide.
It can be hard to understand how someone could be in such a deep pit of despair that they feel the only way to break free is to take their own life.
The reality is that this absence of hope did not suddenly rush in like a flash flood. It is more like a drippy faucet that, when not dealt with, overflows its boundaries.
This can leave many of us replaying those last moments we saw our loved one over and over in our minds. The guilt of not seeing their need sooner can start to bubble up to the surface and consume our thoughts.
The aftermath of suicide leaves the survivors with questions such as…
• How can we overcome these feelings of guilt?
• What leads people into such desperation?
• What does the Bible say about suicide and the consequences?
Is Fear Leading You (or Someone You Love) to Take Desperate Measures?
You have heard it said that “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” But what is behind these desperate measures? The Bible can shine a light on this topic.
In the Bible we see seven accounts of those who took their own lives…
After a ruthless reign, Abimelech was badly injured by a woman and feared that people would say, “a woman killed him.” So, he asked his armor-bearer to “run him through” (see Judges 9:53-54).
Samson sought revenge, but he also feared the loss of his strength and eyesight. His future was uncertain at best (see Judges 16:26-30).
- King Saul
King Saul had been injured and feared the possibility of abuse and torture by his captors (see 1 Samuel 31:3-4).
- Armor-bearer to Saul
As King Saul’s armor-bearer, he too feared what was to come (see 1 Samuel 31:5).
Ahithophel feared retribution and rejection after his advice failed to conquer King David’s army (see 2 Samuel 17:23).
As an evil king of Israel, Zimri was facing defeat and feared his only way out was to take his own life (see 1 Kings 16:15-20).
The most infamous suicide account in the Bible is Judas’ ending. Judas felt an enormous amount of guilt, and he feared the consequences of turning over Jesus’ “innocent blood” to the Sanhedrin (see Matthew 27:3-5).
The common denominator of these stories is fear. Although each fear is uniquely manifested, it is ultimately derived from the same place—not recognizing God’s goodness.
Doubt can lead to desperation. Many of us face similar fears today…
- Fear of judgment
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of losing our lives or the lives of someone we love
Are You (or a Loved One) Surrendering to Fear?
Satan has used fear since the beginning of time to manipulate and steal what is rightfully ours as Believers. In the garden, Satan, who is described as more cunning than all the beasts, put the fear in Eve that God was not telling her the truth.
The enemy wanted her to think there was more to gain by eating the forbidden fruit. That moment of fear and temptation was all it took to lead her into sin and suffer the consequences.
Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…’”—Genesis 3:4-5
Often, what we fear the most is where Satan decides to target with his lies. He will prey on anxiety and insecurities.
He will do his best to persuade us into believing that God is aloof and indifferent to our wants and needs. He will lead us to question God’s virtue of trust.
Lies from the enemy are like fuel to the spark of fear. If we allow the enemy’s lies to catch fire, they will quickly lead to structural damage in our hearts and our minds.
This damage weakens our defenses and makes us even more susceptible to the attack, and on and on we go, continuing to fall into a downward spiral.
Make no mistake, Satan and his demons are real, and we are in a continual spiritual battle with them. But we know and have the right weapons in our arsenal to contend with the enemy—the armor of God.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”—Ephesians 6:12
How Can We Move Out of Fear?
Ultimately, fear is nothing more than a lack of trusting in God. In times of grief and sorrow, it is easy to be uncertain of God’s faithfulness and healing power.
As a result, we can end up pulling away from what we know to be the truth. We can become so consumed with the negative thoughts that they push out God’s voice.
But you can choose to come out of agreement with fear and into an agreement with faith.
The Bible says…
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”—Psalm 34:18
Pulling back from the Lord or doubting His goodness is the exact opposite of what God calls us to do. During these times of loss, the Lord is our only antidote. The Bible instructs us to rely upon Him for the victory, for He is our fortress.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”—Ephesians 6:10-11
James (through revelation from the Holy Spirit) tells us that by submitting to God and resisting the enemy’s lies, we are no longer held by the chains of fear.
“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”—James 4:7
Two Keys to Surrendering to God Rather Than Fear…
Our two biggest weapons against fear are wisdom from God’s Word and trust in Him and His plan for our lives. In times of strife and hopelessness, King David writes…
“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.”—Psalms 56:3
When we start to learn more about God and His character, we can gain better trust and understanding, which will then lead us to be content beyond our circumstances.
Jesus speaks of this type of blessing in His sermon on the mount. Makarios—the Greek word used for “blessed” in Matthew 5:3-11—translates into “content beyond understanding or circumstances.” Jesus is reminding us that despite our circumstances, we are able to find peace and contentment that is not our own.
Jesus is our weapon against all fear.
“…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”—1 John 3:8
What Are the Consequences if We Succumb to Fear?
The hard truth is that the Bible speaks of murder (whether it be of yourself or another) as a sin. The good news is that Jesus conquered death and sin through His finished work on the cross.
“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”—Romans 10:9-10
We are all sinners, yet we are all invited into salvation and covenant relationship with the Father through Jesus. With the Holy Spirit and prayer, we have the capability of tapping into His grace and power as we struggle through hardship.
Ultimately, Jesus is the only one who can fully bring comfort to the heartache of losing a loved one.
If you are coping with the loss of a loved one, or dealing with thoughts based in fear, doubt and unbelief, we encourage you to schedule a 1-on-1 prayer appointment with our intercessors. We would love to pray with you and come into agreement for the healing, restoration, and encouragement that God has for you.