I want to believe that life IS worth living.

I have been contemplating, and thinking about suicide for 1 year now. I have gotten encouragement to go on with my life from my friends, been threatened to be sent to an institution for suicidal teenage girls by my parents, and much more. I think about suicide everyday. Thinking the pros and cons, living my horrible life and wondering if I should go on, should go on to have kids and start a family and live my life. I still don't know what to do. Your page made me think, just like many others. I wish I could find it in my heart to understand that life IS worth living. Just like everything else. I know, and so do others, that suicide is NOT the answer. But I can't help but wonder if I do it, will the pain go away? Will I die, and never have problems, live in peace, and harmony? I cry all the time, and thinking about this does not help. I listen to sad songs, songs about life, songs about singers awful lives. Which makes my life seem even worse, or sometimes better. I don't know what to do. I still don't.

My response is in Green:

Thanks for writing me. I have felt like you do. I can remember thinking that suicide would take away the pain and that was what I wanted. The problem is that is not true. Death did not scare me and it still doesn't but for different reasons. Before it did not scare me because I was convinced that it would bring an end to the pain one way or the other. Now it does not scare me because I know what will happen to me after I die.

The worst part is that when I look back on those times now I realize I did not have a clue what death would be like. I could very easily have killed myself and only then realized what a mistake I had made. For me, what was making my life miserable was the very thing that would have made death so tragic. I was not where I needed to be with God. If I had killed myself during that period of time, I would have gone straight to hell and been separated from God's love for eternity.

If you are not in God's will then it is often hard to understand God's love. This verse kind of says it all: (Romans 5:8 NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since I am not sure you understand exactly what that verse means I will go over it quickly. We are all born sinners. That means that we all have evil hearts and doing evil things comes natural to us. That does not mean we are all alike, some people kill and others only lie, but to God those are both sins and both deserve to be punished. God demands just one punishment for all sin: (Ezekiel 18:4 NIV) For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die. As you see the punishment for all sin is death.

People think that God is too harsh to demand our death for any and all sins, but they don't understand God. God is a holy being, who has never sinned and will never sin. His holy nature demands that all wrong doing be punished and that punishment is death. God is also a merciful and loving being and that is what the verse earlier was talking about. See God, because of His holy nature can't just forgive and forget our sins. Someone has to die to pay for them. But because He is merciful and loving God found a way to both have our sins paid for and allow us to live (eternally). He sent His only Son (Jesus) to earth to die for our sins so that we would not have to. But with that free gift comes a responsibility on our parts, we must believe that Jesus is God, that He did come to earth as a human being and that He did die for our sins and that He will forgive us now if we ask Him to. Then we must follow Him and make Him Lord of our lives.

All that does not mean we won't die physically, but it means we will live again with God forever. It also does not mean that all our earthly problems will just disappear, because they won't, but it does mean that God will not leave us alone. He will walk with us and help us trough those tough times.

People often ask me how I can be sure there even is a God since I have never seen Him. The answer is in the fact that He has helped me handle all those things which I called pain before knowing Him. I no longer want to kill myself, but yet I am still not afraid of death, because I know where I will go and I know God loves me. I can look at my life and see God in much of what has happened. So people are wrong when they say I have never seen God, I have seen Him in my own life.

Here is one of my favorite verses: (Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. {29} He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. {30} Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; {31} but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. That passage is so true!

If you are not sure your life is worth living, then you need Jesus Christ in your life. It is that simple. My life was not worth living either. It has nothing to do with the earthly things. I wanted to be a Police Officer since I was 7 years old. I did it, I became a Deputy Sheriff. I even worked my way up to being a Sergeant and a Shift Commander. Outwardly life was good, I had what I had wanted all my life. The only problem was that it all meant nothing. I was miserable and wanted to die. I did not want to blow my own brains out, no I wanted to die a hero. I wanted what I thought death would bring me, peace and rest, but I did not want to do it myself. I started taking chances on calls. I would try to be to the fights and the robberies before anyone else. I did not wear a bullet proof vest.

I had that mistaken idea that if I died a hero, I would be happy at last. I look back now and I realize how stupid that sounds, but at the time it did not sound stupid at all. I saw death on a daily basis. I realized how fragile life was and how quickly you could be killed. I would look at the corpses and thing they looked like they did not have a care in the world. Well I guess they didn't have any more cares in this world, but they sure had some in the next world. If they died without accepting Christ as their Savior, then their problems just began when they died.

It is easy for us to think of dead people as being at peace and at rest. For one it makes us feel better to think that way and for another reason, no one has ever come back and told us exactly what it is like. But if we read God's word we can see that all of that is a lie for those who die without getting right with God.

I believe with all my heart that Satan is the one who tells us that death is a release and something to look forward to. You might ask why Satan would care if you kill yourself or not. Well to be honest he could care less about you, but it is what God thinks of you that counts. See as I told you before God loves you and would like to have you spend eternity with Him, but it is up to you. He will not force Himself on you, you have to accept Christ because you want to not because God makes you. As I said before God loves you, He loved you enough to send Jesus to die for you.

Now Satan hates God. He knows that God is going to win in the end and he knows that his time is short on this earth, after which God will through him into the lake of fire. What can Satan do to hurt God? He can't win, he can't do anything to God, but he can do something to those that God loves; us. He can cause us to never accept Christ as our Savior and therefore we will also be thrown into the lake of fire for eternity. Again Satan could care less if you are there or not, but he does care that it would hurt God because God loves you. That is why Satan does everything in his power to convince you that you would be better off dead.

This is a battle. It is between Satan and God, but Satan uses us as pawns to try to hurt God. Like I said he can't win when it is all over and done with, but every soul who dies without having a relationship with God is lost forever and is a small win for Satan.

Look at people who have everything as far as the world is concerned. Look at TV and movie stars. They have more money then they can spend, but most of them are not happy. Just watch any of the biography shows and you will see how much pain most of them are in. Or look at the suicide rate, the divorce rate, or the alcohol and drug rate. They are not happy. That is because what their hearts long for can't be gained with money. Deep inside they long for that relationship with God, but Satan blinds them just like he blinded me.

You will never be truly happy until you find out who God is and how much He loves you. I will guarantee you something right now. If you get right with God and truly follow Him, He has a plan for your life. A plan that will make Him happy and a plan that will make you happy too. That does not mean that you will have all the money you want. It does not mean that you won't have any hard times but it does mean that you will be happy knowing that you are in God's will. I am telling you this from first hand experience. I am happier now then I have ever been in my life.

I am not rich, I have lots of struggles, and I have a lot of regrets for things in the past, but I would not trade my life now for anyone's. Not even Bill Gates, because money means nothing. In 100 years neither my money nor Bill Gate's money will mean anything to either of us. I don't know Mr. Gates, so I am not trying to say anything against him, but if he does not accept Christ as his Savior before he dies then all his money will be worthless and he will spend eternity in hell. Nothing else matters.

I beg you give God a chance. Get a Bible and start reading it. It is okay if you don't believe, just read it with an open mind. Let God show Himself to you. Like I said He won't force Himself on you, but if you truly want to know Him and know if He is real or not, He will show Himself to you. (Proverbs 8:17 NIV) I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Don't let Satan win, refuse to be used as a pawn. To Satan you are a pawn, to God you are a lost soul whom He loves and wants to adopt into His family. (John 1:12-13 NIV) Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--{13} children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

I will pray for you. If you would like to know more, please write back. Ask God to show you that He is real.

Ralph

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