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13 Reasons Why Not (From the Bible)

May 11, 2017

13 Reasons Why Not (from the Bible)

By Jamie Jennings

Youth and Children’s Minister

First Baptist Church Sylvester

              Recently, Netflix has released a new series called “13 Reasons Why” based on the novel by Jay Asher.  In the series, a teen named Clay finds a box of cassette tapes that were recorded by a classmate, Hannah, who had recently committed suicide.  Each side of the cassettes addresses a different reason why she decided to take her own life, 13 in all, hence the name.  The reasons range from rumors, to dirty pictures being shared, to bullying, to rape.  There has been a lot of publicity lately concerning this series because of its dark and graphic nature and the apparent uptick of suicidal thoughts and behavior among teens who have seen the show.

              In response to this, I would like to outline 13 reasons from the Bible against suicide.  Now, suicide is not new and it is addressed in the Bible.  Six people in the Bible committed suicide, including Samson, Saul, and Judas.  There were also people in the bible that sincerely wished to die.  Elijah, Job, Jonah, and even Paul and the other Apostles suffered periods when they did not wish to carry on, but they relied on God’s promise to carry them through.  We are given hope throughout the Bible that reassures us that God is still with us.  Here are 13 reasons why not.

1)       Suicide is a sin.  It is essentially the murder of one’s self and a rejection of the gift of life that God has given us.  God alone is to decide when we live and die, and to make that call on our own, for ourselves or others is rebellion against God.

2)       Suicide is also rejection of God’s plan for our lives. We are all part of God’s plan and by committing suicide, we are “opting out” of what He has planned, which brings us to the next reason.

3)       God has a plan for you, yes, even you.  God knows the number of hairs on your head and He has a plan for your life.  Even if it seems like things are spiraling out of control, God’s plan is still at work.  Jeremiah 29: says “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” If God can fulfill His plans and make something positive out of Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery He can work wonders in our lives.

4)       Contrary to a popular saying, God WILL give us more than we can handle.  We will face challenges that we can’t overcome by ourselves but we can take heart in Paul’s words in his letter to the church at Corinth.  “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, Who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:9

5)       God sometimes brings us to the brink of destruction to get us out of the flesh and into the spirit.  A good example I read recently was that of a glowstick.  A glowstick can sit in its package forever and not fulfill its purpose.  Only when it is bent and broken can it give off the light that it was designed to give.

6)       God will provide comfort to us.  Elijah prayed for death but instead he was given comfort, rest, nourishment, and a new purpose to fulfill. 

7)       In the Beatitudes, Jesus said “Blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4. We tend to take this as mourning for the deceased, but that is not the only time that we mourn.  People mourn for a variety of reasons and God will be there to comfort us.

8)       Our problems and bad times are not permanent, they will end.  We can have hope that God will see us through and that he has so much to offer us if we trust in him.  Lamentations 3:31-33 says “For the Lord will not cast off forever.  But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion to the multitude of His mercies.  For He doth not afflict willingly or grieve the children of men.”

9)       God is bigger than all of our problems.  There’s a saying “Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is.  1 John 4:4 says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

10)  There is nothing that you have done that is beyond redemption.  No matter what sins you might have committed, salvation through Jesus Christ is there waiting for you.  Like the prodigal son who ran away and squandered his inheritance and was welcomed back with open arms by his father, so will the Father welcome us back.  Paul wrote, “For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit, Who gives you life, has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

11)  God never leaves us in times of trouble.  He is there with us whenever we need him.  It brings to mind the story of the footprints, where a man is walking with Jesus on a beach at the end of his life.  He looks back and sees two sets of prints in the sand except during the hardest parts where he sees only one set.  He then asks, Lord why did you leave me in times of trouble, there is only one set of prints.” And Jesus says, “My child, that is where I carried you.”  Psalms 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all.”

12)  One of the most powerful reasons “why not” comes out of the mouth of Jesus himself in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  That exclamation point is important. Jesus isn’t whispering “don’t worry.” He is exclaiming “Take Heart! I have overcome the world.”  The only being to descend from Heaven, take the form of man, be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, die on the cross, and defeat death itself before ascending back to Heaven, the Almighty God of the Universe is cheering you on saying “I have fought your fight for you and won, just trust in me.”

13)  Because Jesus has overcome the world, and we trust in him we know that God’s kingdom is not of this world.  The trials and tribulations that we face in this life do not define us.  We suffer this life for a short time and we, as believers, will be rewarded beyond our imagination and live eternally with God in Heaven.

 

The Word of God is full of hope and if we study it prayerfully and with a worshipful heart God will provide the answers that we are looking for.  Everything in this life, especially our pain and troubles, though intense, are temporary.  God and His Word, and His promises are everlasting.  Trust in him and he will give you a whole lot more that 13 reasons why not.



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