January 16, 2014

John 17:15 “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”

Probably the majority of believers have at least once prayed (even if not formally) “Lord, get me out of here!” That’s perfectly natural, given the state of the world, and the desire itself is not a sin. However, taking matters into our own hands and and committing, or even attempting, suicide is a different matter. Suicide is insisting on having our own way, rather than trusting God, and that is the fundamental sin from the Garden of Eden. Many people have pointed out that suicide is the most self-centered thing anyone could do. Sometimes the motive is hatred, destroying yourself to make others feel bad. It doesn’t take much thought to realize that is sinful. Sometimes the motive is a desire to atone for your own sins, but not only is that a spiritual and physical impossibility – our lives simply aren’t enough to do the trick – Jesus Christ has already atoned for everything we have ever done or could do. We have to accept that by faith, to receive God’s salvation. The third major motive is despair, and this is perhaps the most common. The devil, the father of lies, manages to convince us there is no other way out, and since we see our current situation as intolerable, we take the way the devil indicates. I have great empathy for someone in that situation, but there too it is declining to receive the faith that God offers us. There are many, many Scriptures that should speak to us in such circumstances, but we have to receive them and allow God to impart faith and hope to us. This verse is actually one of those Scriptures, because it reminds us that Jesus is praying for us, and that should bring comfort and hope indeed.

As someone who has attempted suicide, I speak from experience. God is incredibly gracious, and He loves each of us beyond what we can imagine. As I deal with those around me who are in “escape mode” I need to be an open, effective channel of that grace and love. I am not to condemn or dump guilt trips on anyone, but I am to point them to the One who already took care of it all on the cross, and still rose on the third day, demonstrating His victory over all that seeks to destroy us. I have been instrumental in preventing some suicides, and I am grateful. Others, I have either not been close enough or not in time. That’s painful. I am to seek first and foremost to be fully available to the Holy Spirit, because only He can speak God’s grace and comfort directly to hearts. If He uses my words and actions in the process, praise the Lord!

Father, thank You for all You have brought me through. Help me indeed comfort others with the comfort I have received, (2 Corinthians 1:4) so that together we may look to Christ and walk in all that You have for us in Him, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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1 Response to January 16, 2014

  1. Thank you for this post. How true it is that we do have to live in this world. And while our loving God makes sure that what happens is never too much for us to bear, that’s not the same as living a life free from pain and suffering. While I have never attempted suicide there have been two or three times when I was overwhelmed and felt that things were hopeless that I couldn’t go on. I asked God to take my life. The answer each time was no. Instead by His grace He strengthened and comforted me so I could go forward in Him.

    Pastor George(otherwise known as Pastor Sharon’s other half)

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