YOU ARE NOT ALONE Are you struggling with feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness? Are you feeling depressed and overwhelmed with financial problems, relationship difficulties, the end of a relationship, or the death of a loved one? Are you questioning whether life is even worth living anymore? Almost any unfortunate experience can make someone consider a drastic solution. Would it surprise you to learn that by this time tomorrow, an average of 117 people will have died from suicide? Beyond the deaths that are recorded as completed suicides, an estimated 2,900 people will have attempted to end their lives. In the United States, more than 42,000 people die each year by suicide*. Suicide is a whispered word--a taboo subject. Yet this may be what you are contemplating. If that's the case, the most important thing you can do is tell someone about how you're feeling. Don't become another statistic. People with failed suicide attempts relate that they tried to take their own lives because they couldn't get away from themselves and their disturbing thoughts. They weren't choosing death as much as choosing an end to their seemingly unbearable pain. The first thing you need to know is that you can't solve your problems on your own. GOD UNDERSTANDS He knows when we are losing our grip and on the brink of disaster. He is offering his hand to you this very moment. He will do for you what you cannot do for yourself . GOD LISTENS He wants you to pour out your innermost feelings to him. You think life has given you a raw deal? Tell God. You can't endure the grinding poverty, the painful illness, the distressing loneliness, the awfulness of whatever it is that has you so down? God's invitation is: Come to me . . . and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). THE BIBLE SAYS Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31) GOD SPEAKS The Bible is the sourcebook for help and hope. When we ignore what God wants us to hear, we deprive ourselves of that which can enable us to hang on when the going gets tough. Fear not, for I am with you, God says. Be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 51:10). GOD SAVES The Bible assures us that God will not ignore a broken, humble heart (Psalm 41:17). If you truly want to be helped, confess to God that you've wandered from him, and acknowledge that Jesus is the only way back. Jesus died on the cross to forgive your sins, and he rose again to offer you new life. Perhaps you've never accepted the truth about Jesus, but you can trust him now. Ask him to come into your life and give you guidance, strength, wisdom, and right thinking. Turn your life over to Jesus--he will save you, forgive you, and empower you with a new and eternal life. GOD HEALS God changes people and changes situations. When you trust him as your Savior, you can become a truly new person. God keeps his promises. You'll find that the Bible is a magnificent story full of promises that God has made and fulfilled. PROMISE OF PSALM 40 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:1-3) GOD LOVES YOU God's love is best demonstrated through his Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus was born to Mary, he was human in every form but without sin. By the sacrifice of Jesus's death, we are able to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. God's love is also visible in his people. Seek the help and friendship of other Christians. If you don't know any Christians, find a local Christian church--God will help to place the right people in your path. When you are suicidal, your perspective freezes and logic becomes confused. Many underlying tensions have pulled you down. But the good news is that you don't have to stay that way Whatever has brought you this low will NOT remain forever. By placing yourself in God's care--you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, including a present, a future, and an eternity that will be better because God, and you, are in it. God can change your life if you let him. Call out to God in a prayer such as this: Dear God, I have come to the end of myself.I have nothing left, and I want to turn to you to save me. I believe your only Son, Jesus, died and rose again to pay for my sins. I receive your love and forgiveness based on what he did for me. Help me, God, to become whole, so that I may have a relationship with you and become a new person for eternity. Amen. * Suicide statistics taken from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2016: www.afsp.org.