Have you or someone you care about been dealing with suicidal thoughts? Does life seem hopeless, like things are never going to get better? Do you know someone who has told you that they don’t want to live anymore or, maybe, even confiding in you that they’re seriously thinking about taking their life?
If this describes you in any way, you are not alone.
In 1 Kings 19, the prophet Elijah was so overwhelmed and discouraged by what was going on in his life and world that he wanted to die (1 Kings 19:4). Moses, David, and many others in Scripture expressed suicidal thoughts and feelings to the Lord.
Thankfully, there is hope.
David, who experienced terrible loss, attacks, and depression, wrote in Psalm 27:13-14, “Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. 14 Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” In the midst of his pain, betrayal, and loss, David was able to find hope and strength in the Lord, and we can too.
What does that look like practically in our lives today? How can you and the people in your life experience the kind of assurance David did in Psalm 27? Here are a few steps you can take:
1. You matter. Psalm 139:14 says, “Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” God cares about You. In fact, He cares about You so much that He knows precisely how many hairs are on your head (Luke 12:7). The value of something is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it. God loves you so much that He was willing to let His Son die in your place (John 3:16). That’s how much you matter to Him.
2. God has better days ahead of you. In Psalm 27:13-14 David writes about how he believes he will see God’s goodness again on this side of eternity. David knew that, as hard as his life was at that moment, he knew, with God’s help, he was going to get through it. You will too. God didn’t bring you this far to abandon you.
3. You don’t have to do this alone. Reach out to family and friends for support. Get involved in a local church. Talk to people you feel safe with, let them know what you’re going through, and ask for the help you need. Look for a church in your area where you can get the support you deserve. God wants you in His family. There’s always a seat at His table for you (Ephesians 2:19-22).
4. Seek professional help. It’s okay to admit that you aren’t okay. There are good people who can guide you through this. Sit down with a pastor or Christian counselor who can walk alongside you through this.
5. Take good care of yourself. Self-care is not selfish. Jesus took time to rest, and so should you (Mark 6:31). Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, get sleep and exercise, and spend time on positive activities you enjoy so you have the strength you need. Do for yourself what you would do for your best friend going through this.
6. Find rest in Jesus daily. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28b, “…Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Make time with Jesus a priority. Pray and meditate on Scripture. Listen to praise music. Sing worship songs to God. Let Jesus give you the rest you need each day.
If you would like prayer or to talk about dealing with thoughts of self-harm, please give our pastors a call at 800-525-5683. The National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255 or call 911 if you are in immediate danger. We also have a free resource to send you when you call in.
Below are some scriptures to help you know what God says about our responses to dark, suicidal thoughts. We have also included devotions and resources on the main suicidal thoughts page to assist you with questions and struggles.
1. Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness. – Isaiah 51:11 NLT
2. For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. 4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2,4 NLT
3. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. 19 The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. – Psalms 34:18-19 NLT
4. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
5. Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. – Psalm 55:11 NLT
6. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from Christ’s love. – Romans 8:38 NLT
7. And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who do not have hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him the believers who have died. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NLT
8. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. – Romans 8:28 NLT
9. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. 2 There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you. 3 When everything is ready. I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” – John 14:1-4 NLT
10. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. – Revelation 21:4 NLT
11. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10 NLT
12. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me! – Psalm 139:16-18 NLT
13. The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. 15 When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.” – Psalm 91:14-15 NLT
14. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10 NLT