Posted: July 17, 2010 in Social Trends
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“American Christian serving an eight-year prison sentence in North Korea tried to kill himself, North Korea’s official news agency reported Friday.

Aijalon Gomes was “driven by his strong guilty conscience, disappointment and despair at the U.S. government that has not taken any measure for his freedom,” the news agency said.

Gomes was sentenced to prison for illegally entering the communist country. As his punishment, the Boston man received eight years in prison at hard labor and a $700,000 fine.

North Korean defectors say the regime is known for its brutal treatment of prisoners, especially Christians.”

Do continue to pray for Aijalon Gomes that God will intervene. This article is not being written to add to his despair or his failure but to outline that while suicide is not the answer we do have a greater purpose to our lives.

Even as Christians we are not immune to attacks or by circumstances where we can literally despair of life.  I do not want to give the impression that being a Christian is an easy ride.  Everything goes ok.  Nothing bad ever happens.  Somehow we merrily dance along in life with very little demands, riding big cars with thoughts of health and wealth and prosperity.

Sorry that reality does not exist.  As Christians we fight and struggle.  And what happens when you are faced with thoughts of self harm and suicide.  Christians are not immune from such temptations.  Sometimes bad things do happen to saints.  Sometimes Christians are blooded, bruised, broken and wrecked.  We don’t want to believe that believers can suffer from depression or have thought of suicide but it does happen.    We can’t forget that as Christians we are an occupying army on enemy territory.

As Christians we are not exempt from the battle, nor immune to being wounded.  Nor are we excluded from being impacted by this world.

Is suicide acceptable?

Judas by committing suicide lost out on any potential off receiving forgiveness. It was his decision to cut short his life and so doing he deprived himself of any reconciliation.  In every way he was robbing himself.    When someone commits suicide they are not just robbing themselves, they are also robbing others by depriving them of a continual friendship.

The Bible says on this matter.

  • 1Cr 10:31   “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
  • 1Cr 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”.

As Christians whatever we seek to do it must always be to the glory of God.  We have been redeemed by something exceptionally precious, the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  Therefore we do not have the right to take and do what does not belong to us.


The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Jobs experience was a man totally trusting in God.  But unlike today he had no Bible to guide him.  No supernatural cloud or fire to guide him.  No tabernacle for priests to minister to him.  Yet he could say  “Lord gives and the lord takes away”  Even though we don’t understand all things we can rest our cause in Gods hands.  It is his prerogative to take life or save life.

  • Mat 5:21 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment”
  • Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

If we are not our own property then it is not up to us what we do with that property. Suicide must inevitable be a form of self killing.  The stealing of one life and the robbing from God what is not ours to take.

  • Rom 8:28   “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”

All things work together for good to them that love God.  Not always an easy verse to grasp.  Yet the reality is that whatever befalls the believer it will work to our good.  There is a purpose in whatever comes our way.  We might not always see or understand the reasons WHY.  But God see eternity and faith says we can trust even though the Why’s are not answered.

  • 2Ti 4:6-8” For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

We are called by God to run the race.  To keep the faith and finish the work God has given to us, where upon there is a reward for those who finish their race.  To take our lives before then is robbing our selves.  It shows not just a lack of faith in God but a lack of love that says you can’t trust him.  If we truly love God then we will not do anything which will be contrary to that will.

  • Rom 14:7-8  “ For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.    For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”


Elijah was probably one of the most anointed and used men in the Bible.  He stood and brought down the Baal priests.  Humiliated King Ahab and embarrassed Jezebel.   Yet after his great victory we see him running from Jezebel threats and running back into the wilderness.

  • 1Ki 19:4 “ But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I [am] not better than my fathers.”

There can be no doubt that at that moment Elijah was depressed and possibly suicidal.  He clearly despaired for his life.  Yet if he really wanted to die why not just stick around for Jezebel to do the deed.  Many who contemplate suicide do not always want to die, but they despair of the way their lives are being lived.  They want things to change, but do not have the means or the strength to accomplish that change.  Do you think Christians don’t find themselves in similar circumstances?

Elijah courage to take on these prophets of Baal was God-given and not his own.  In our own strength we are weak.

  • 1Ki 19:5   And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise [and] eat.

God was not unmindful that his servant was tired, both mentally and physically.  Sometimes in such circumstances rest is what was needed.

  • Isa 40:29 “He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength.”

If there was ever a time for the soldier of the Lord to receive strength it is now. As we see many hundreds suffer persecution, torture, beatings and even death.

  • Isa 41:10 Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

On the power of the meal God gave Elijah, he was able to travel for forty days until he came to Mount Horeb.

1Ki 19:8   And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

Here Elijah was to experience a demonstration of Gods power and his grace.

Elijah at that moment believed that he and he alone was left of all those who once believed and held to the covenant of promise.

  • 1Ki 19:10   And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, [even] I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

When you believe yourself all alone it can become easy to despair.  For many who stand daily as an OUT OF CHURCH BELIEVER we can also begin to have thought along those lines.  They take on the persona they alone stand for the things of God, whilst everyone has gone astray.  But it might surprise many that God has reserved for himself many thousands who have stayed faithful.  So God has to restore Elijah’s perspective.  God was not a God who was weak or impotent.

  • 1Ki 19: 11-12”The LORD passed by, and a great and STRONG WIND RENT THE MOUNTAINS, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an EARTHQUAKE; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the FIRE: and after the fire a still small voice.
  • 1Ki 19:13   And it was [so], when Elijah heard [it], that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, [there came] a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Elijah did not respond to the WIND or the EARTHQUAKE OR EVEN THE FIRE.  But there was something about that STILL SMALL VOICE that moved him from within that cave.  This was a voice that brought quietness to his spirit.  It was a voice of reassurance.  This became the place where he met with God.  Elijah’s despair vanished as he met with God.  Renewed he was ready to continued.  Had Elijah committed suicide there might have never been an Elisha to follow in his footsteps.   So his death would indeed been a defeat.  Elijah had he committed suicide would never have experienced going home by a whirlwind, which was a more interesting prospect than dying under a Juniper tree.  Only God can know what a life cut short could have become?

So if you find yourselves depressed tempted with thoughts of defeat and suicide, the one place you need to go is where there is that still small voice.    There God can still the mind, give assurance, strengthen and give vision.  Sometimes when we are always given out as Elijah did we forget that we also need to receive?

So remember to pray for the wounded among us. asking God to strengthen and encourage.


  2. UC MINISTRIES: Thank you for posting this. I hope people will read your testimony. I hope you do not mind if a post the last past and encourage others to read what you have to say, THANKS.

    “I found my value; it is in Christ.

    In Christ, I am HIS princess. HE loves me above any challenges that I can see, HE loves me no matter how low emotionally I fall. I am Christ’s princess. HE loves me, now matter how much to the left or to the right I run, or how far from the reach of others I go. I am valuable to HIM.

    And so are you..

    That’s a bit arrogant, isn’t it?

    I am not so vain to think that GOD could not accomplish HIS plans without me being in the world. The sun can & will rise in a world, minus me. But that isn’t reality. The reality is that for right now, I am part of GOD’s plan.

    Additional note on Suicide

    This post is not in anyway intended as an encouragement for suicide. If you are having suicidal thoughts, seek help NOW by calling your local suicide crisis center or hospital. I was blessed not to have succeed in my attempts – Suicide is NEVER the solution to any problem at anytime. It may not seem like it, but you do matter to someone on this earth and most of all, you mean everything to GOD.”

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