A letter written by Randy to a friend who was struggling with suicidal thoughts

(All names and identifying information have been changed to protect the individual)

To: Paul

From: Randy

These are some passages to study, meditate on and memorize. Some of these aren’t new to you, but they have a cumulative force as they touch different aspects of our struggles and God’s counsel to us. Some may be of help to you at times when others don’t seem to be, so get as many as possible into the reservoir of your mind. Seeking wisdom from men is important, but God’s Word has a power for us that man’s words don’t. You’re in my prayers, friend—God has great things ahead for you. If I can ever do anything for you, don’t hesitate to call me any time, day or night—I would consider it an honor to talk with you or help you in any way.

(Jeremiah 29:11) “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.”

(Matthew 11:28-30) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

(Luke 12:6-7) Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies ? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

(2 Corinthians 4:8-9) We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

(1 Peter 5:7) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

(Exodus 20:13) “You shall not murder.”

(Numbers 11:14-15) Moses said, “I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now-if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

(1 Kings 19:3-4) Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

(Joshua 1:9) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

(Psalms 139:17-18) How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

(Psalms 9:9-10) The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

(Psalms 46:1-3) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

(Psalms 55:22) Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

(Job 12:13) “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.”

(Psalms 32:8) I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

(Proverbs 27:9) Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.

(Job 22:18) I stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked.

(Isaiah 41:10) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

(Luke 4:9-12) The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

(2 Samuel 22:17-20) “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

(John 10:10) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

(John 8:44) He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

(Hebrews 2:17-18) For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

(Hebrews 4:14-16) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(John 14:27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

(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.”

(Isaiah 26:3) You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

(2 Chronicles 16:9) “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

(2 Chronicles 20:15) “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’”

(Psalms 16:8) “I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

(Psalms 34) I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. . . . The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.”

(Proverbs 19:23) The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

(Isaiah 46:4) Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

(Psalms 91) He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the LORD, who is my refuge—then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

(Philippians 4:8) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries