It was reported this week that there is a suicide crisis in the U.S. military.

There’ve been 30,177 suicides among active duty personnel and veterans since September 11, 2001.

During that same time, 7,057 U.S. service members were killed in war operations.

Over 400% more soldiers died by their own hand than by the enemy.

Suicide is a crisis in the military.


Suicide Is Neither Stoic nor Heroic


The movies, novels, and distorted historic narratives give a false impression of suicide.

Socrates took his own life after expounding on the soul’s immortality to his disciples. He then drank poisonous hemlock.

Cato committed suicide instead of serving under the tyranny of Julius Caesar.

Antony and Cleopatra, losing the battle against Octavianus (Augustus Caesar), chose willing death; Antony by the sword, and Cleopatra by an asp.

Reading about these ancient suicides, some may wrongly conclude that suicide can be either stoic in spirit or heroic in courage.

Suicide is neither stoic nor heroic.

Jesus tells us death is an enemy. It is an enemy that the Author of Life came to conquer.

Death is something to be fought against, avoid, and trust the One who holds “the keys of life and death” to open the door of death is opened in His time, not ours.

So why do some choose to open the door of death themselves?


No Sense of Divine Purpose


We all know loved ones or friends who have taken their lives.

We’re neither judging nor condemning those we love. That’s God’s business, not ours.

But if we’re to help someone before a suicide decision is made, we need some answers.

We need an antidote.

The one who ends life prematurely lacks a sense of God’s purpose.

For example, if one’s sole purpose for living is to accomplish human goals, it may seem wise to end one’s life when those goals are unattainable.

However, if someone has a Divine purpose for their lives, they’ll wait until the One who gives that purpose determines to open the door of death.

So what is the Divine purpose?

That’s your purpose. That’s my purpose.

In a dark, diseased, and dying world, the Spirit of God chooses to reside in the heart of sinners like us to express the Life of God through us.

A description of what God’s Life looks like is in Galatians 5:22-23











Divine Purpose and God’s Presence In You


The above fruit (singular) of the Spirit is not a code of conduct; it’s characteristic of union with God.

Nurses who see you dying of cancer and displaying this Life; those nurses see God in you and desire Him.


Family members who watch you experience horrific worldly circumstances and display this Life; those family members see God in you and desire Him.


Co-workers who see you passed over for a promotion and observe you display this Life; those co-workers see God in you and desire Him.


Acquaintances on social media who see you respond to criticism and unkindness toward you with this Life; those acquaintances see God in you and desire Him.

That’s your purpose. That’s my purpose.

The Life of God in the Soul of Man.

If you feel it is impossible to fulfill God’s purpose for you, maybe because you have never understood the power of union with Christ, I encourage you to read the book that changed George Whitfield’s life after he read it.

The book is called The Life of God in the Soul of Man. It is available in PDF form.

It was written 400 years ago by a man named Henry Scougal. He wrote it to help explain what Christianity is to a friend.

The Life of God in the Soul of Man is the only effective antidote against suicide.


Wade Burleson writes and podcasts daily at Sign up for free.