Find ways to share your hope with the world

Suicide is a topic that people don’t like to talk about. As Christians we may not understand why people would do such a thing, (even believers), taking their own lives. What are some warning signs? What can we do to help?

Some warning signs could be seeing that a person is withdrawing socially, they may feel all alone and forsaken, resign from what were important organizations in which they participate. Deep mood swings, severe depression, feeling life is not worth living. All of a sudden they could begin giving away possessions that are important to them to family members and friends. Emotional trauma, change in personality, and even making threats or insinuating of ending their life. Though these things don’t always mean thoughts of suicide, it is good to mindful of the possible indicators.

The Bible says in Romans 5:5, “…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” As believers we are able to minister hope, part of the fruit of the Spirit. People are searching for hope so they can grab onto something secure. You have the answer! You have the hope! Jesus Christ! You can minister salvation, “…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10) and, in Romans 10:11, “For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

As a believer, how can we minister in these situations? First, do not panic! (Heb. 2:13) Keep calm, trust God, and don’t back away. LISTEN to the person and to Holy Spirit. Show interest and concern. (John 16:13, Prov. 12:15) Ask the right questions, always asking the ‘what/how’ questions and not ‘whys’. “What is happening in your life?”, “What will your family think and feel if you do this?”, “Have you been making plans to carry this out?”, “How are you going to do it?” These are tough questions to ask, yes, but they are ones that can help bring understanding to better handle the situation.

Of course, when faced with a possible suicide attempt, we must take action by calling a suicide helpline (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255), get family and/or individual counseling, contact local authorities and emergency services.

But, above all, pray that God will send angels to minister to that person and protect them. Ask God to show His love to that person. Be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading on how to prayer further. Psalm 34:17-19 reminds us, “The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)