A Christianís approach to life situations part 15
From time to time a Christian may experience loneliness and I hope this lesson will show you how Christians should deal with it. We need to understand there is big difference between loneliness and solitude. Solitude is something that every person enjoys from time to time because we choose to be alone, but loneliness is when feel all alone and it is not by your choice. Notice these following 2 quotes about loneliness.
ďLoneliness and the
feeling of being uncared for and unwanted are the greatest povertyĒ Teresa of
ďLoneliness eats into the soulĒ Jewish Proverb
The first thing I want to point out is that God doesnít want us to be lonely or suffer because of it. He has always been concerned for our well being from the beginning of time.
Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."
You see God understood the importance of us not being alone, so he made Adam a companion Eve. As we get further into this lesson we will learn that God provides us many ways to overcome loneliness. But, first letís take a look at some of the ways that make us feel lonely.† Our first example comes from,
Genesis 35:19 So
Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is,
When you have been married for a long time to someone and they pass away it can make you feel lonely because now you have an entire house to yourself and they are not there to talk to anymore. Another thing that can cause loneliness comes from,
Leviticus 13:45 "Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, 'Unclean! Unclean!'† 46 "He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.
Now I realize my example has to with OT Law, but the principle behind it can apply today because there are several sicknesses that a person can get that requires them to be isolated from everyone else because their sickness is so contagious. This forces them to be alone, which can cause them to be lonely. Even if you donít have one of these contagious sickness you could be so sick that you cannot get out of your house and again this can cause you to be lonely.
Our next example comes from Jeremiah 15. Jeremiah was committed to serving God and speaking His word, but this caused him to be unpopular among the Jews because they didnít want to hear what he had to say and so he found himself alone most of the time.
Jeremiah 15:17 †I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, Nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand,†† †
This can happen today as well. If your friends are not Christians and they are constantly going to places like bars or other places and you stand your ground and choose to follow Godís way then you are not going to go with your friends to places like that. When you take a stand for Godís way this can make it to where you end up by yourself and can cause to be lonely.
Finally, if a person moves to
Our first example comes from the familiar story of David and Bathsheba in 2 Sam. 11. First of all David had no reason to be lonely because he already had some wives, His problem was lustful heart. He saw Bathsheba bathing and decided he wanted to be with her and she did not resist his invitation. But why? One possible reason was because her husband had been fighting in the war and she felt alone and desired some companionship. If her husband had not been away serving his country, she may have declined the kings offer.
Weather this was the reason or not, this is something that can happen when someone is lonely. It can cause them to engage in fornication because all they desire is to be around someone and they will do whatever it takes to have someone to be with them. Now this might give them a temporary fix for their loneliness, but it wonít be a lasting fix and besides this they are sinning against God. Look our next example.
1 Timothy 5:11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,† 12 having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.† 13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.† 14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.† 15 For some have already turned aside after Satan. ††
In this chapter Paul was giving instruction on the age and qualifications for a widow to be taken care by the church. In the verses we read, Paul didnít want the young widows to be taken in, instead he encouraged them to remarry and to raise a family. The reason why he wanted them to do this was because he knew that they would start getting lonely and would desire to have a companion. He also points out that they would cure their loneliness by going to house to house and gossiping.
Again, this is how some people will cure their loneliness today. They go find people they can gossip to just so they can be around someone, but once again this person is sinning against God. So, we have to be careful as Christians that we donít allow loneliness to cause us to sin and must look for positive ways that we can deal with loneliness.
Psychologists will tell you that if you continue in the state on of loneliness you will end up in a deep depression or it can make you become physical sick.
To avoid this, lets take a look at what the Bible teaches us about overcome the problem of loneliness and how we can make the best use of our time alone.
Our first example comes from,
Matthew 14:22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.† 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
Jesus was around people all the time, but He always looked for opportunities to be by Himself so that He could pray to God, because He understood how important it was to speak to His Father in heaven and how fulfilling prayer can be. He also commands us to pray to God in secret as well,
Matthew 6:5 " And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.† 6 "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
†Notice what Luke 18
Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,†
So, when we you are feeling lonely, pray to God and speak to Him. He is always there for you and He can help you feel better and help you overcome your loneliness.
Our next help comes from,
KJV 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Peter 3:18 †but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If you start feeling lonely, pick your Bible and study it. As you can see were a supposed to grow in our knowledge of God by studying His word, so what better time to do it then when you are lonely. When you start studying Godís Word you will be reminded that even when no other people are around God is always with you.
When we became Christians, God added us to His church Act 2:47 and we belong to the family of God because we were adopted through the blood of Jesus. Since we are children of God, we are never really alone just like Jesus wasnít alone.
John 8:16 "And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.
Even under the OT, David understood that God was everywhere and even if you wanted to try and hide from Him to be alone you cannot.
Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?† 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.† 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,† 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.† 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me;† 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
Besides this we are told multiple times in the NT that as Christians we are never alone.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.† 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,† 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
John 14:23 †Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
2 John 1:9 †Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,† 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When we study our Bible and read passages like these that show us that we are part of Godís family and that He is always there for us, it will help us overcome our loneliness.
Another thing we can do with our alone time comes from,
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.
Mediate means to Reflect deeply on a subject. So, if you are feeling lonely mediate on all the wonderful aspects of God love and the righteousness that comes from His Word. When you close eyes and think deeply about those things you have studied it will cause you to appreciate God more and help you to overcome your loneliness.
Another great way to overcome loneliness is comes from Jesus in,
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.† 26 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.† 27 "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave --† 28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Jesus is our master example and He came to serve not to be served and that is what we supposed to do. There is always a something a Christians can do to serve others and obviously when we do this it will keep up from being lonely because we will be occupied. Not only will this take care of our loneliness it will also glorify God through the works we are doing for others. One writer rightly said,
ďMany Christians suffer from loneliness because they are sitting instead of serving.Ē†
This is true because I have known people who would rather moan and groan about being alone instead of trying to remedy the situation. As Christians we should never grow weary of being good servants of God because it will keep us from being lonely and we will be following in footstep of Jesus. Just as Paul says in,
1 Corinthians 15:58 †Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.† †
One last suggestion that can help you overcome loneliness is to remember that you have brothers and sisters in Christ who love you and if your feeling lonely call one of them up or go visit one of them, they will be more than happy to spend some quality time with you. Sometimes you have to take the first step. You canít expect everyone to come to you. When you develop a friendship with someone it takes both people to make that friendship work. †
In this lesson I have shown how we should deal with loneliness as a Christians. I pointed out how God doesnít want us feel lonely and showed this by creating a woman for Adam at the beginning of time. However, we observed that sometimes things happen that can force us to alone and cause us to lonely. I shared with you some of the dangers that come from loneliness when it is handled in the wrong way. Then I showed you several ways that we could overcome the problem of loneliness from the Bible. Overall, I hope this lesson has taught you that you are never alone because God is always there for you. I want to close this lesson with the comforting words of,
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."† 6 So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"†