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 the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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’ »

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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  1. Honey says:

    Prudence, please do not give up hope. Our hope is not in earthly things, but with the Lord. There have been times when I didn't know how I was going to make it. My son took his own life (either accidentally or on purpose) and you cannot imagine the devastation it left behind. He was not the only victim…there are hundreds of people who this hurt and it continues to hurt every single day. There is a little girl without her father and a wife without her husband. But God can and does help you overcome! You matter. Satan does not want you to believe that and he will hit you when and where you are weakest. When you call on the Lord, be willing to obey Him. That means trusting when the world gives us no “proof.” I know the pain of losing a child. I know the pain of it breaking up a marriage and alienating siblings. I know the FALSE guilt that Satan lays on our hearts when he wants us to feel like we've failed someone, especially our child. I understand. God answered my prayers in His time…and His time is ALWAYS perfect. Please call the number for counseling. Don't let Satan rob you of your life.

  2. Wilma says:

    I have a husband who is very sick and I have to take care of him and worry about him. He has bladder cancer that keeps coming back and his melanoma cancer seems like it's in remission but my problem is I'm also not in good health and I am so tired. Sometimes I hurt so bad myself and no one to help me out that I've thought about doing away with myself. Maybe I will.

  3. Julie says:

    Because HE lives, I can face tomorrow!

  4. lora says:

    Hope is found in Christ our Lord.. Jesus paid for everything, and what you are experiencing now is from the devil.. we should know our authority in christ and not allow the devil to ruin our life. don' forget that God is in control and He has a BETTER plan for you.. He is able to turn things around.. wait for God's time and you'll be surprised.. God loves us.. =)

  5. brenda says:

    My 21 yr old son took his own life in 2006. I thought he could talk to me about anything. I know he is with our Lord now. I miss him so much my heart aches. Please pray for our family because we just don't understand! We love and miss you so much Jehremy!

  6. Cheryl says:

    Dear Prudence, I just recently lost my 19 yr old daughter to a horrible tragedy. She was missing for 2 1/2 months before her remains were found in a ravine not too far from our home. She was suffering from a delusion, left our home and died of hypothermia. Our 15 yr old son is devasted and my husband has shut down emotionally and is difficult to live with. My beautiful, amazing, smart and living for the Lord daughter was struck down with schizophrenia only 9 months before it killed her. I know about “unthinkable” pain and I promise you that God has not left either one of us. He is faithful and there is always hope in Christ Jesus. Please call the counselors at BGEA, they can help and point you in the right direction. I promise to pray for you! Cheryl

  7. Jim says:

    Life saving and life changing information…

  8. Lynn B says:

    Prudence,This is so hard. So many things have happened in my life. Things which are unimaginable – so bad that they were suppressed for years. Just this April they started creeping up. I ran to two ministers at church. They listened, they prayed, they -one or the other – was with me every step as every so often these remembrances erupted from my mind. I was so stunned. Exhausted. Questioning why I was still here when others associated in my life were gone – alcoholism, mental illness, possible suicide, and a definite suicide.I travelled alot overseas this summer on 2 cruises and a tour with Bro. David Jeremiah. My two amazing angels (my ministers at church) were not nearby. I learned that God really wanted me dependent on HIM alone! And I knew I was. These trips away from my ministers brought me closer and closer to the LORD! That was part of HIS plan for me through all of this year…His plan is good for all who are called to HIS purpose.Speak to your ministers at your church….they will help you and point you to the Lord. That is why they are there. They will lead you to Scriptures that will comfort you. And you will be blessed!!! BELIEVE THAT! I eventually got to a point through all this, that instead of running to my ministers, I ran to the Lord. They are still there for me though and that is part of HIS plan to. We are to build each other up!!I felt so thankful that HE knows my thoughts!! And intervenes on them. You proclaimed that you are a Christian. HE is

  9. Internet@bgea.org says:

    Prudence, If you need to talk to someone, please call 1-877-247-2426 or email help@bgea.org. We have trained counselors who can listen and pray with you (if you wish) about any issue.

  10. Prudence says:

    I am a Christian who has lost all hope. My child was murdered a number of years ago; my only living child wants nothing to do with me. I am all alone. I've lost my job and am losing my home, car, etc. I have prayed to God to help me. He has chosen not to. When hope is gone there is no reason to go on. I have lost that hope.