Something New Under the Sun: Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Living - 18. I HATED LIFE
18. I Hated Life
So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
“Sometimes I get so lonely it’s unbelievable. Life has been so good to me. I’ve got a great wife, good kids, money, my own health-and I’m lonely and bored. ... I often wondered why so many rich people commit suicide. Money sure isn’t a cure-all.” Those were the words of O. J. Simpson in 1978.
More people than we know have said with Solomon, “I hated life.” Not all of them have thought about suicide, but many have and more than we’ll ever know have taken at least one step in that direction.
What happens to those who commit suicide? Does God automatically send them to hell? I believe the answer is no. Romans 8:38-39 contains Paul’s triumphant statement that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. He lists a succession of extreme opposites: height or depth, length or breadth, things present or things to come. He includes “neither death nor life.” By life he means all the various experiences of life: No matter how difficult our circumstances, how discouraging our defeats, how frustrating our days may be, how badly others may mistreat us-nothing in this life can separate us from the love of God.
It’s true. You may lose your wealth, your health, your happiness, your friends, your influence, your job, and everything you have worked for. But no one can take Jesus away from you. You are saved and saved forever. God’s love is secure despite the discouragements of life.
But note that the apostle writes “neither death nor life.” That can only mean one thing. Death itself cannot conquer the child of God. The grave has lost its victory; death has lost its sting.
Death separates us from many things-from our loved ones, from our friends, from our conscious life on this earth, from all that we have said and done and accomplished-all of that vanishes when we die, but death cannot win the one battle that matters. It cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
But what about suicide? Surely you don’t believe that suicide is stronger than God’s love. A man or a woman may, in a desperate, sad moment feel so trapped, so oppressed, so discouraged, so angry, so despondent that they may take their own life. Can that act, you wonder, separate us from the love of God? No.
Do some people who commit suicide go to hell? Yes, but not because of the death they died, but because of the life they lived. Suicide doesn’t send people to hell. Sin sends people to hell, especially the greatest sin, the sin of saying “No” to Jesus Christ.
The real issue of life and death is this: What have you done with Jesus Christ? The issue isn’t suicide; it’s Jesus Christ. What have you done with Him? That’s the one decision that determines where you go when you die.
Lord, may I not count my life so important that I forget to look beyond it to eternity. Give me eyes to see what lies beyond the river. Amen.
SHINING THE LIGHT
* Have you ever felt like saying, “I hate my life"? If so, what did you do about it?
* How do you handle times of discouragement in your own life?
MORE LIGHT FROM GOD’S WORD
Read Luke 14:26; John 10:10; and Revelation 12:11.
Want instant access to all 100 daily devotionals? Something New Under the Sun: Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Living is available in ebook format for the Kindle, Nook, or Ipad. Purchase your copy here!