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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Death Wish

In the midst of great pain and suffering, many people express the desire to have it over with, to die. It is a very human response, especially when someone is going through extreme, debilitating pain. A Christian, one who knows where he’s going when he dies, might well feel that he wants to go and be with Jesus instead of staying and suffering down here on earth. The Apostle Paul certainly understood those thoughts when he said, For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better (Philippians 1:23). Of course, he wasn’t thinking about suicide. He was just stating a fact: heaven is a lot better than here.

I’ve been there several times myself. When in extreme physical pain, I’ve felt totally useless. It was the kind of pain that even prevented me from reading my Bible (or anything else). It was the kind of pain that almost took my breath away. During those times, truly, it would have been nice to go to heaven.

The Bible teaches that God gives life and breath. The Bible also teaches that God is sovereign. He is the only One Who has the authority to take life. The psalmist David said, My times are in thy hand (Psalm 31:15a). (Also see Acts 17:25; Ecclesiastes 8:8; Daniel 5:23; and Exodus 20:13.)

Several biblical people actually prayed asking God to kill them, or they expressed a desire to die. Let’s look at them, their situations, and draw some conclusions.

Job—Job had lost everything he had except his wife. He was suffering physically with nasty boils from head to toe. He experienced every kind of pain imaginable: grief, loss, physical suffering. He wished he had never been born, that he had died at birth, and that he could go to God. (It’s interesting that he never once talks about suicide.) Job trusts God. He says, Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him (Job 13:15).

Elijah—After the amazing, miraculous victory of God on Mount Carmel, Elijah is in an emotional and physical slump. Jezebel has threatened to kill him. Under the juniper tree, he prayed for God to put him to death. (1 Kings 19:4) God didn’t. Instead, He sent angels to care for him.

Moses—Moses asked God to take him when the people complained (again) about the food. They wanted meat and missed the foods in Egypt. Moses told God, I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness (Numbers 11:14-15) Then, God answered him by appointing seventy men as his helpers. All Moses had to do was to describe his need to God, and God supplied.

I think we’d all agree that Job, Elijah, and Moses were some of the most exemplary believers ever. That should be a comfort to us. I’m sure you noticed how God listened to their prayers when they hit bottom. Then, He took care of their needs.

God cares just as much for each of us! When we reach our lowest lows, God is there. When we feel like we don’t want to go on, God is there. When we’re in so much pain that we can’t stand another day, God has already planned to help us. What a blessing and comfort!

Here are some encouraging verses:
  • Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Deuteronomy 31:6).
  • And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee (Psalm 9:10).
  • For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5b). 

The next time you suffer, remember, if you know Jesus as your personal Savior, the Lord is always with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will supply your need, whatever it is.

Which encouraging Bible verses help you trust God in the worst of times? Please comment if you would like to share.


  1. A mi me ayuda mucho cuando estoy en situación difícil el Salmo 23 sobretodo los versículos 3 y 4, Salmo 31:19, Filipenses 4:6-7,13; y solo son unos pocos hay alguno mas pero estos son los que me vinieron a la memoria mientras leía.
    Siempre que encuentro alguna dificultad o problema en mi vida lo primero que ahora me sale es orar, antes en alguna ocasión si que tuve la tentación de acortar mi vida. Pero el leer la Biblia me calmó y me hizo entender que eso no está bien, en ningún caso.
    Lo que debemos hacer es confiar en el Señor, mirar hacia delante y con su ayuda pasar las adversidades de la mejor manera posible.

    1. Thank you for those verses: Psalm 23:3-4; 31:19 and Philippians 4:6-7, 13. I'm sure they will be a blessing to others! God bless.

  2. Thank you for this encouraging post. John 16:33 has become a great comfort to me.

    1. A great verse! The Lord is the overcomer, and He provides peace. Thank you, Lauren, for sharing! God bless you.


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