Godly Wisdom for Suicide Prevention

By   •   September 9, 2010   •   Topics:

On World Suicide Prevention Day, which falls on Sept. 10, 2012, and National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 9 – 15, please take a moment to read these timeless answers from Billy Graham. While God is the only one who can truly save a life, you can play a part in suicide prevention.

“Whenever someone writes to say they’re thinking about taking their own life,” said Billy Graham, “I wish I could sit down with them and do everything I possibly could to encourage them and persuade them not to take that final, drastic step. No matter how hard life has gotten, I know that with God there is hope.”

Through the years in his My Answer column, Graham has responded to countless people struggling with suicidal thoughts of their own, or with loved ones contemplating suicide.

Writing to a couple who wondered whether their niece was serious when she threatened to end her own life, Graham said, “The worst thing that could happen would be for people around your niece to ignore what she is saying—and discover only after it’s too late that she was serious. Perhaps she isn’t—but most people who end up taking their lives send out at least some signals in advance.”

Graham understood that some suicides are preventable, which is the rallying cry of National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 9-15, and World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10. These campaigns aim to raise awareness that suicide is preventable; improve education about suicide; and debunk myths surrounding the act.

According to the American Association of Suicidology, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people in 2007. While suicides accounted for 1.4 percent of all deaths in the U.S. annually, they comprised 12.2 percent of all deaths among 15-24-year-olds.

The World Health Organization reports that almost 3,000 people commit suicide daily. And for every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives.

But great despair, pain and loneliness doesn’t need to end in death. There is hope—eternal hope—in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Suicide is extremely serious and tragic in God’s eyes,” said Graham, “and if someone who is reading this is contemplating suicide, I beg of you to reconsider and seek help for whatever your problem may be. God loves you—whether you believe it or not—and He does not want you to end your life. Satan does, however—and you must not listen to him.”

Instead, “put your faith and hope in Christ and His love for you. You are never alone if you know Him,” Graham added, “because nothing ‘will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:39).”

Turn to Him today, and by faith ask Christ to come into your life. “When we know Christ we are never alone,” said Graham. “He is with us, and so are our fellow Christians.”

Reach out for His loving hand today, and Save a Life—your own—for eternity.

If you need to talk to someone right away, please call 1-877-247-2426 or email help@bgea.org

Articles and some of Billy Graham’s columns about suicide:

To my horror, I found my wife had overdosed on my heart medicine and was dying before my eyes. A letter on my pillow said, “Forgive me, Eddie, but life just hurts too much.” Frantic, I called an ambulance, and she was rushed to the hospital where they pumped her stomach and saved her life.
Read ‘Love in Action’ »

My life had seemingly reached a dead end, and I was ready to commit suicide just as my father had done. The abandoned lake was before me. Though it was a warm, windless afternoon, I knew that I could never swim across the cold, deep lake. I imagined myself sinking silently into a painless death.
Read “I Was Ready to Commit Suicide” »

I’ve just gotten out of the hospital after trying to take my own life. Things are better with me now and I don’t plan to go down that road again, but how can I be sure I won’t? Will God help me?
Read Billy Graham’s Answer »

I’ve just been diagnosed with an incurable disease that will leave me weaker and in more and more pain as the months go by. Can you give me any reason not to take my own life right now?
Billy Graham responds »

Our son died from an overdose of antidepressants. He had struggled with depression for years, and maybe it finally got to him (although maybe it was accidental – we’ll never know). He was a sincere Christian, but if he did take his life, does it mean he committed the unforgivable sin and lost his salvation?
Read Billy Graham’s answer »

Last year, a friend of mine committed suicide after a long battle with mental illness. I feel so guilty, because I should have seen the signs of what was happening and tried to help him but I didn’t. Can I ever put these feelings behind me?
Hope from Billy Graham »

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21 Comments

  1. Margareta says:

    Thank you Mr. Graham for sharing your thoughts.My mother took her own Life when I was 17 years old. She was a Christian and mercyfull person and I can first today understand and lean on God and thank Him for His Love! I will pray in Jesus name !

  2. Susan says:

    I know now that God loves me after two suicide attempts I believed in him after an incident at Alpak.the factory that I worked at Two suicide tries later while I was views on my tv later in my room God spoke to me right out of the bible

  3. Abraham says:

    I thank you Daddy Bill for the revelation of your word to my spirit.the entrance of your word into my spirit grant me the light by which i function in high levels of Glory! I study and contemplate your word today, my spirit-man is illuminated to become a sure guide.i know i won't walk in confusion for I have in me light of Christ. Thank you from pastor Abraham mozley from Ghana.

  4. chukwuma says:

    thanks!

  5. Pat says:

    I once considered suicide, BUT GOD, the Lord Jesus forgave me, took me in His hands, empty me of all the wrong thinking and the attack of the enemy and that He filled me up and changed my life completely. Reach out to Him, He will be there for you.

  6. Ruby says:

    I'm a teenager who has been abused and depressed, and the devil has put thoughts in my mind to do things, which he still does, but a verse I repeat whenever I get them is Psalm 32:7-8, and I also think about my three gorgeous sponsor children who are counting on me. life is really hard, but then again Jesus did overcome it already…. He must be really strong

  7. Cat says:

    Dear Alice and Wilma, PLEASE don't end your life! You have so much to accomplish for God. The enemy does not want you to live. You both have MIGHTY testimonies to share. A lot of our trials we go through are to help someone else. Please read the Bible more, pray without ceasing. Please find a Christian you know you can trust. Alice I know your pastor betrayed you and he was way out of line, but please dont judge all Christians by his misconduct. There is someone you can talk to that will not put your business in the street. God loves you and it is a trick of the devil to make you think you aren't worth living. You are wonderfull and fearfully made, and the devil knows that. This is such a critical subject. ..I love you my sisters/brothers, don't give up-PLEASE!!!

  8. help@bgea.org says:

    Alice: Although your pastor betrayed your confidence, we're glad you at least tried to reach out for help. As a child of God, you now have immediate access to God (Ephesians 2:18), and He does hear your prayers (Hebrews 4:14-16); and the usual way He answers those prayers is through the special gifts He has placed in His people, the church. Although there is some risk involved, we hope you will begin by letting your friend know that you are struggling and need the support of her prayers. Then, trust God to lead you to competent counsel and support from those He has gifted. A place you might start is http://www.troubledwith.com/counseling. They can talk with you and put you in touch with someone in your area who can minister to your needs. And please be assured of our prayers as well. BGEA

  9. internet@bgea.org says:

    Alice, We are so sorry to hear of your deep pain. Please call 1-877-247-2426 to talk and pray with someone. There are people who care. Or, you can send a private email to help@bgea.org. We will continue to keep you in prayer. The BGEA Internet team

  10. Alice says:

    I am a christian, that is totally lost. My pastor repeated our private talks to others, and has always put me down. I finally left the church a couple of months ago, I am so unhappy and depressed, I keep thinking of peaceful and stress-free heaven must be, and I just want to go there. My husband knows I am in a lot of emotional pain, he just does not know how bad it is, no one does. I don't know what to do. My brother took his own life,and others have. I think it runs in our family and I am scared that I might do the same thing. There does not seem to be much to live for, I have only one friend that I can truly trust and I have managed to hide it from her. I really need to get some help, I don't think God is hearing me. I cry out to him all the time but things just get worse.