People are suffering from broken hearts. Even when surrounded by godly people, it is possible to reach a place with so much pressure and pain that you cannot help yourself—you need the Body of Christ to reach out. Instead of casual advice like, “Believe God,” you need someone gracious enough to put an arm around you and say, “We’re standing with you.”
Let’s minister lovingly to hurting people—especially during times of trial, weariness, or grief. We need to realize that insensitive words minister to no one. Such words do not bring life. Let’s pray for and strengthen one another with compassion and fulfill Jesus’ commission to heal the brokenhearted!
—Kenneth W. Hagin
Having a loved one commit suicide is extremely difficult. Surviving family members deal with intensified forms of normal grief (guilt, anger, confusion, and so forth) and frequently feel isolated from others. They may feel shame about the manner of their loved one’s death and not know how to explain it.
Those who would normally offer support to the family may also feel uncomfortable. They may keep their distance due to their awkward feelings and difficulty of not knowing what to say.
Early in my ministry, I was approached by a man who asked my opinion about an ongoing debate with his friend: What happens to the spirit of a Christian who commits suicide? Taking his question at face value, I stressed the mercy of God in my answer.
Little did I know that this active church member would soon take his life. I answered him entirely from an after-the-fact perspective, never realizing his hidden despair. What he needed to hear was information from a preventative perspective.
Had this man revealed his challenges, intervention could have happened. Prayer, counsel, medical help, or other needed forms of support and ministry could have been marshaled to help him overcome the sense of hopelessness and helplessness that plagued him. Support could have made a difference. Instead, his life was cut short, and many people were left hurting and confused.
If Jesus could extend mercy and forgiveness toward those who didn’t know what they were doing 2,000 years ago, couldn’t He also extend mercy today?Tony Cook
Even with intervention, anyone in this situation is still faced with the decision to live. If there is still an opportunity to prevent a suicide from taking place, I strongly believe we should stress God’s will in the matter—life, love, blessing, hope, and purpose. (See the bottom for helpful scriptures.)
Those who have already lost a loved one to suicide have legitimate and sincere concerns. There is no doubt that suicide does not reflect God’s intentions, but those left behind can still look to God for mercy and grace.
Father, Forgive Them
Years ago, I was asked to conduct a funeral in which the family requested me to address suicide. While preparing, I came across a fascinating statement that Jesus made on the cross. He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34 NKJV). Consider this: If Jesus could extend mercy and forgiveness toward those who didn’t know what they were doing 2,000 years ago, couldn’t He also extend mercy today?
Ultimately, we must leave each person’s eternal destiny in God’s hands. You are not the Judge, and neither am I. We don’t know all that goes on within a person—their pressures, pain, or perceptions. Only God knows. As with any death, we commit the spirit of an individual into the hands of an all-knowing, righteous, and merciful God.
These scriptures are a starting place to help you or someone you know see God’s will concerning suicide and choosing life.
Jeremiah 29:11—God thinks good thoughts about you.
Romans 13:10—Love does not harm others (or self).
First Corinthians 6:19–20—Your body is the “temple” of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 22:37–39—Love God. Love your neighbor. Love yourself.
Exodus 20:13—Do not kill (others or self).
If stress, depression, and pain have you considering suicide, you are not alone. Please seek resources. There is hope!
For immediate help call 911 or your local emergency number.
We can pray with you. Our Prayer and Healing Center is available at (918) 258-1588, ext. 2980 (Monday–Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, voicemail available after hours).
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Excellent article! Yes, we must be sensitive. Love “always believes the best about a person,” so that is why a parent can easily dismiss the signs when a daughter or son is really suicidal. Many times, it is not really suicide, but a drug overdose. I am a 1995 RHEMA grad from the Teacher’s group. I was a prayer partner at the Abundant Life Prayer Group at Oral Roberts Ministries for 14 years and, by God’s grace and wisdom, prayed with many suicidal people over the phone, who I was able to convince to continue living for the Lord by the time we hung up. I give the glory to God that I never lost one. One day, I was led to write a tract to help other Christians minister to suicidal people as well. I copy and pasted it here:
“When a person has suicidal thoughts, they are in the very worst place they can be in their lives, but Christians reading this can help. First, pray for them. Bind the spirit of suicide, the devil’s lies, the spirits of rejection, grief, heaviness, and depression and bind the spirit of revenge in the name of Jesus Christ. Loose upon them hope, love, peace, truth, His joy and His grace to forgive. Pray a prayer of salvation or rededication with them if you can. Stay with them. Be led by God and encourage them with the following edifying words…
Remember Rom. 8:28: “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
God loves you and He wants you to live. Your life is a gift from God. He gave it to you and He wants you to keep it. You may feel so crushed from your circumstances, but God can make all things new. Isaiah 43: 18-19 “Remember not the former things nor consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing…I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Jer. 29:11 says: “I know the thoughts and the plans that I have for you. They are good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Life is like a puzzle. God can see the whole picture from His view, but you can only see a few puzzle pieces. So trust God that He will put all the pieces together in His timing and in His way. And it will be complete, healed and whole resulting in a fulfilling life.
What you are going through is temporary.
Forgive those who have hurt you. Now that is not letting them off the hook. It is putting them on God’s hook. It is taking your hands off the situation and allowing God’s hands to intervene & fight for you. After you forgive, then stand on Rom 12:19: “’Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Unforgiveness is sin and so it builds a wall between you and God (Matt. 6:14). When you forgive those who have hurt you and trust the Lord, He will right the wrongs that have been done to you and turn things around (Mark 11:25). God will bless you with new hope in His Presence with His great comfort, love, peace & joy as you sing and praise worship Him. So forgiving others sets you free.
Don’t Be Mad at God – God is on your side. Be mad at the devil that influences people’s sinful acts, to reject you and hurt you. This is not God’s will. The devil is a liar who will cause people to sin against you and then tell you that it was God’s fault or His will to build a wall between you. But Jesus says in John 10:10: “The thief (the devil) comes not, but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I Am come that they might have life and might have it more abundantly.” So bad things come from the devil & good things come from God. Do not get it mixed up. God is a good God.
Remember that God gave everyone a free will because love is not truly love unless it is freely given. God wanted His creation to freely love Him. Robots have no choice, so they can’t give true love. But many times people use their free will to sin against God & others.
Be patient and give God time to move on your behalf. Eccl. 3:11
Life is like a movie. Trust in God to bring about your happy ending.
You are not a failure. Because God is God, He can make plan B even better than what plan A ever would have been. God never fails.
Choose to Live for the Lord.
Friends come and go, divorce happens, parents and children can prematurely die, so we cannot live for them. Our true purpose is to live for the Lord. God needs you! The harvest is plenteous and the laborers are few. Living for the Lord means finding and fulfilling your God-given purpose, loving people, walking in the fruits of the spirit, witnessing to the lost, and giving to or going on mission trips. Living for the Lord is overcoming evil with good. It is turning people that are heading for hell around and pointing them towards Jesus who is the Savior who shed his blood on the cross for your sins so that we could have eternal life in heaven. He died so we could live and have eternal life. Take authority over the evil spirits that are attacking your friend and loved one and pray with the suicidal person (if they are willing) to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. SALVATION PRAYER:
“Heavenly Father, I believe You love me and that Your Son Jesus Christ died for me on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead. Jesus, I repent of my sins and my suicidal thoughts and I ask You to forgive me and come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for loving me, for forgiving me, for saving me from hell and giving me eternal life in heaven. Now fill me with the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
My brother commited sucide. When he did I blamed myself for many different reasons. I felt I failed my brother in the most miserably way. The guilt, the hurt, etc would cover me like a blanket. I wanted to know if my brother knew that I was for him and had his best interest at heart and what I could of done better or something I could of done but failed to know.
A few things that the Lord ministered to me in my prayer time that helped me was this “He was responsible for his own mind” And “now he knows everything cause he’s with Me. Safe in heaven.” Hope this helps families who are grieving. My heart and prayers go out to you❤️
Thank you for this.. I lost my son 5 months ago and it is the worse pain ever….