Despair. Failure. Depression. Loss. Guilt. Apathy. Pain. Anything you could possibly think of that makes you think this life isn’t worth living. At the very least, that makes you feel like it’s better off without you. I get it. I’ve been there. The trials we experience at times are tough. Super tough. We often feel helpless and hopeless because we have nowhere else to go, and seemingly no one to turn to because they just wouldn’t understand. And sometimes, even your close friends aren’t the best comforters. Not because it’s their fault. But they don’t know what it’s like to be locked in this dungeon of despair like we do. So we don’t expect manufactured sympathy.
And while we don’t fault others for their inability to sympathize, we still fault ourselves for being in this place. This dark, bitter place. Many times, there’s no light. Seemingly no end. No remedy for this heavy melancholy that presses weightily upon our soul. The only relief seems to be death – the only solution to my pain and emotional drowning. This would fix it all! Then, I don’t have to worry about this mental prison any longer. But in this fallen world, where death is already everywhere because of Adam’s curse, I can tell you that suicide is not the answer. Dear reader, if you are contemplating suicide, allow me to give you hope today that maybe no one else has yet to offer.
Hope while in the midst of Adam’s Curse
In the beginning, when God made the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1), God made everything very good (Gen. 1:31). And when God made man and woman, He made them in His image, and they were also good in His sight (Gen. 1:27). But then, Satan came and deceived the woman by challenging God’s command to not eat of the tree of good and evil (Gen 3:1). Despite God’s warning of death as the consequence (Gen 2:16-17), the woman partook and sinned against God. And she did what a lot of us don’t realize we do. And that is, invite others to partake of our sin (Gen 3:6). In this case, it was her husband. After that, God confronted the serpent, Adam, and Eve, and immediately judged them all. The process of dying has begun. But tragically, Adam and Eve died spiritually that day, which is the very reason why we are not at peace with God and need a Redeemer.
Now, you’re probably wondering how any of this is meant to give you hope. Well, God provided a promise to Adam and Eve. He could’ve wiped them out. Instead, He promised a Redeemer who would be born (Gen 3:15). And would not only free them from the curse of death and sin, but would bring them life everlasting. But that promise didn’t come in their lifetime. As a matter of fact, Adam lived to be 930 years old. But not without seeing the consequences of his actions first. He not only endured the murder of his son Abel, he witnessed the havoc death wreaked on the human race (Gen 5). Can you imagine the guilt, pain, and sorrow Adam and Eve would have felt? Seeing the results of their actions taking place before their very eyes, year after year. What could possibly sustain someone in those kinds of circumstances? I mean, if there was anyone in the history of the human race that would have felt like they wanted to die, surely it was them. Yet, what was their hope in this now curse-filled earth? Their hope was in the promised Redeemer.
Hope while Experiencing Job’s Trial
Let’s take another example. Job was a man of God who lost all his sons and daughters, his servants, his livestock and property (Job 1:13-21). He was struck with boils on his skin (Job 2:7), his wife wasn’t sympathetic at all (Job 2:9), and his friends were not great comforters (Job 16:2). It even says that his friends couldn’t speak to him for the first 7 days because his suffering was so intense (Job 2:13). And throughout Job’s trial, he asked God “why,” cursed his own life, and even wished he was dead or never born (Job 10:18-19). But what sustained Job? Was it the promise of a better day? No. It was the promise that his Redeemer lives (Job 19:25). And his hope was not in this life but in a Sovereign God who alone gives and takes away (Job 1:21).
Hope while Observing Solomon’s Frustrations
Even more than this, in the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon dedicates 12 chapters to recognize the fleeting, temporary, and frustrating nature of life in a fallen world. He observes that things like popularity, pleasure, riches, and yes, life, are like a vapor. He writes about his observations concerning life that many of us have seen ourselves. That is, the weighty truth that life is hard, toilsome, unpredictable, and disappointing (Ecc 2:22-26). However, the primary point he makes isn’t just pointing out the futilities of life. But that we are to enjoy food, drink, friendship, marriage, and other gifts/providences God has given us (Ecc 2:24; 3:12-13; 5:18; 8:15; 9:9), because there are indeed many things that are puzzling and frustrating in an Adamically cursed world. And after we die, we will have to give an account to God for everything we do whether good or evil (Ecc 12:13-14).
Using the whole of Scripture as our guide, it should be easy for us to see that the purpose of Ecclesiastes is to nauseate our appetite away from this fallen world, in order to lead us to the sweet delicacies of God’s goodness and providence. Here you have a man who knew the reality of death and the fleeting pursuits in this life, and yet calls us to rejoice in our work and life that God has given us. And although he never mentions it explicitly, by looking through the lens of the New Covenant, I believe that Solomon was proclaiming what this life is like under the sun, so that we might look to have true life under the Son – the coming Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Hope in the Promised Redeemer
With that said, there are many examples of suffering, depression, despair, and guilt we could use as examples to help us understand our desperate condition in a fallen world. But there’s no suffering greater than what Jesus, our LORD and promised Redeemer, suffered for us. When Jesus came, He was a man of sorrows, familiar with the sickness of men (Isa. 53:3). He was crushed by the Father, took His wrath, and rose again so that we can have peace with God (Isa 53:4-5). Of which peace includes a cleansed conscience (Heb 9:14), a renewed life (Col 3:1-10), and joy unspeakable (1 Pet 1:8) because we are now friends of God (John 15:13-15). Not only that, death has no more power over us (1 Cor 15:22). We have hope because Jesus Christ has taken upon Himself the curse of Adam’s sin that is due to us (Rom 5:14-17).
Therefore, my friend, hear me when I say, we no longer have to submit to despair, listen to whispers of suicide, fear the trials of life, or death’s sting. Jesus has died in our place, being made a curse for us (Gal 3:13), so that we might become sons and daughters of God (1 John 3:1). This is great news! And this has been the hope which has anchored my soul for many years when I find myself drifting away in sorrow and grief.
When the clouds thunder in, I know that the Son’s loving hand has ultimate command over them. When I am in the deep pits of despair, the God-Man is there with me in my sorrows. He is a Savior who sympathizes perfectly with our weakness (Heb 4:15). His Spirit revives me when I am distraught and doubting (Psalm 42:1-11). There is truly no one on earth or in Heaven that can bring such healing rays of light to a faded soul abused by grief. He truly is our King and Comforter.
Look to Him!
Reader, if you are contemplating suicide, I pray that you would desperately cling to Him as your promised Redeemer. That your soul would look up through the tears of your despair and regret. Through the coldness of your mental anguish and pain. Or while on the edge of deciding whether or not you want to live another day. See Him as the glorious lover of our soul that He is. You do not have to afflict pain upon yourself or seek to end it all in order to relieve the sorrow and feeling of hopelessness in your heart.
Look to Him who was victorious over death by His resurrection. Who demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were still sinners, died for us (Rom 5:8). Look to Him! And not only upon your grief. Drink the cool waters of grace freely! And not your own tears. Pray that He would be your all in all. Do not fall for the deception that this life is better off without you. Christ is the Promised Redeemer. And He is mighty to save. Trust him today!
-Until we go home