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How to Overcome Loneliness

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How to Overcome Loneliness

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How to Overcome Loneliness

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How do we overcome loneliness? How can we deal with the feelings of loneliness? What are the steps to overcoming loneliness?

Transcript

This afternoon I’d like to address a topic that certainly impacts all of us, as many times the word of God certainly addresses subjects that are pertinent to all of our lives. As human beings, we in the church of God have been called out of this world to become overcomers according to scripture and overcoming covers a wide variety of areas. Not just one area, but a wide variety. And Jesus Christ overcame this world and he told us the same way that our purpose, our function would be to be overcomers and to overcome the world as he overcame the world. And in this world the struggles that we go through are very common. Anyone who tries to tell us as human beings that, well, you just don’t know, you just don’t understand, well, that’s not true. Everybody goes through the same set of circumstances, maybe a little different in the trials and tests, but everyone basically is going through the ups and downs of life together. That is affirmed in the scripture and that’s why there are things to be overcome

It is so easy in this world that we live in to go downhill. The world is charged with negativity, it goes downhill and we can just give up and quit ever so quickly, but the Bible portrays a different picture of the Christian man and woman. It portrays us as individuals who are always climbing the mountain, always reaching up, always going forward because, again, if we don’t take that approach to life then life can over power you and destroy you and this is something that God does not want to happen and this is why he has addressed this matter of overcoming in the scripture and he has given us basic ideas to help us understand what the problems that we face and how to solve them.

One of the problems that we face as human beings and we all experience this to one degree or another and at different times. Young people experience it, middle-aged people, older people. Nobody is exempt from this, and I’m talking about the subject of loneliness. We are going to talk about loneliness today and how to overcome loneliness because loneliness is something that humans experience and it’s something that everyone has felt the impact of at one time or another. For example, have you ever been in a room filled with people and yet feel all alone and the answer is, yes, we all have at one time or another.

Now it is interesting to me, and I’d like to share with you just a little bit to show you how the world has punctuated this very problem in the songs that we sing. The world is loaded with commiseration in this area. So we’re going to look at some of the songs. Now there was an old-time classic, this is a standard from years ago, but it has been done by many different performers and one that not too long ago was revived was one by Patsy Cline and Jim Reed. And it was entitled the following…

“Have you ever been lonely, have you ever been blue? Have you ever loved someone like I love you?”

You see, there it is again, there’s loneliness involved and people identify with this. Another song that came on the scene, it was the follow-up recording to the Canadian performer, Paul Henko, who came out of Canada and made his first US debut, “Oh Diana.” That was his big number one seller, but his second on that made him very popular as well was one that went like this…

“Well, I’m just a lonely boy, lonely and blue, I’m all alone with nothing to do.”

And then he’s praying and asking that God would ascend from the heavens above, someone’s in love, he’s saying, but people experience loneliness. To add to that there was a former entertainer in the country-western field named Don Gibson, he also is deceased now I believe, but he said…

“Everybody’s going out and having fun. I’m just a fool for staying lonely and having none. A love sick fool that’s blind and I can’t see, oh happy me! Oh lonesome me.”

Lonesome me. And people identify with those thoughts. In addition to that, we have probably the King [Elvis] come in on the scene and he had one himself called…

“Are you lonesome tonight…?”

You remember how that song went, and of course, the one that captures a lot of people’s minds and he had a very tough life in the country field…

“I’m so lonesome I could die.”

I’m so lonesome I could die. Yes, that’s Mr. Hank Williams. But then there was another guy that also kind of summarizes the essence of what we’re going to talk about today named Roy Orbison. When he came on the scene, he said…

“Only the lonely know the way I feel tonight. Only the lonely know this feeling…”

So I thought I’d give you a few impersonations and give you some things to think about, but anyway it shows you that human beings identify with loneliness and our songs reflect it and these individuals have sold millions of records because people say, oh there’s somebody who understands my loneliness and if you’re in that situation you immediately identify with it. Well, taking this back to the very beginning of the human family, God addressed this subject in a very personal way when he said in Genesis 2:18 Genesis 2:18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
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, after the creation of the first man. He looked at man and saw Adam and Adam was carrying out his business there in the garden and Adam named the animals and what-have-you, but God watched him and then he said…

Genesis 2:18 Genesis 2:18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
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. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Suitable for him.

Then enters mother Eve. Wow. What a blessing from God. Because she wants to be the glory of the man. She was brought on the scene because no longer was he lonely. He had someone he would talk to, share his dreams with, his hopes, his future and that’s where womankind has complimented mankind in a very powerful and a wonderful way because men just cannot reach their full potential and fulfillment in God’s plan without the presence and the exposure to the wonderful side of femininity as pictured by woman kind. And so what I wanted to do today is to go over some of these basic areas that the scripture talks about in dealing with this problem because sooner or later you will hit a wave of loneliness for one reason or another. And you will have to deal with it and the Christian is commanded to deal with it in a certain way and we’ll address that, but we need a little bit more exploratory background here.

First of all, when people are struggling with personal problems of any kind, any difficulty that they may be going through, maybe it’s excessive drinking, maybe it’s a smoking problem, maybe it’s a personal abuse problem. It may be a wide variety of things that people are struggling with. The scripture reveals to us that people make a terrible mistake when struggling with their problems and they don’t face up to them. And how do people not face up to them? Well, when other well-meaning bring this to their attention and say, you know, I think you shouldn’t be doing this. And what does the person’s response? Leave me alone, leave me alone. I can handle it. Leave me alone, but yet we’ve already learned what? It’s not good for a man or a woman to be alone. So when you’re struggling with problems and difficulties to be alone is not the answer to find salvation to your problem.

Many times people make a mistake even in the church of God when they’re struggling with a problem and they say, well, leave me alone for a while, I need to just be alone and so forth and yet that’s the very last place, they need to be right smack dab in the middle of the church where the spirit of God is operating so that they can see the help that they need.

Well, this really shows itself in the volatile teen years when teens are beginning to come on the scene and young, rather women, begin to have all the juices flowing and you know there minds are going and they’re thinking about things and they’re wanting to do things and maybe they want to step out in an area where Mom and Dad with experience realize this is not a thing to do and so they no you can’t do that. And they say, well, why, why can’t I? Or they’ll say, no you shouldn’t do that, well, well everybody, why don’t you just leave me alone? And that’s what they’ll say; they’ll thunder that back at their parents. Leave me alone and yet that’s the worse thing a teenager can do at the time when Mom and Dad are trying to reach out and help them with a critical difficult that they sense the teen is going through at that time. So this subject really does strike home.

There’s an old Jewish proverb that goes like this…

“Loneliness eats into the soul.”

And that’s true. A person when they’re lonely it can have a terrifying, devastating affect. Now before we get into a little more understanding of the background on this subject of loneliness, I’d like to site one more group of individuals that we’re probably familiar with, they’re a popular mother and daughter and act from the country western field called “The Judds.” Meet Naomi and Wynona Judd. Now they had to break up their career after a period of time simply because the mother, Naomi, came down with a terrible case hepatitis that threatened her life. Now from my understanding, the last that I understood is that that has been in remission or she has been healed one way or the other and that she gives God credit for it, which is smart woman. You give God credit for things like that. And what ends up happening is that she goes around and she talks to groups like ourselves and others, anyone who will listen, and she tries to explain the terrible state of affairs she nearly fell into. And it was a very bad one because when she found that she had this hepatitis it was like being served a death sentence and her world collapsed.

She couldn’t sing quite anymore, she had to finally give up singing with her daughter, which she loved to do. She was just beautiful to watch on stage, you know, she would just dance up there with all her femininity and so forth and sing in harmony with her daughter. There’s nothing-family harmonies in songs and singing and they we were good at it. They had many hit records as a result of that, but now the world had collapsed. Wynona had to go on her own and what was mother going to do? Well, after she finally came through this crisis she gave credit to her daughter for saving her life in this way as a contribution. She gave God the ultimate credit, but she said Wynona saved me in this way, that when I found out that I had this particular condition the first thing I wanted to is, leave me alone. And she wanted to back away from everything and everybody.

And Wynona noticed that and right away she begin to say, Mom, you can’t do this. You’re trying to isolate yourself. You can’t isolate yourself from people, Mom, you’ve got to stay active, you’ve got to stay involved and she gave credit to her daughter in this one way. She said, the way I was headed would have taken me down and out, but because of what she did, she helped me to understand the difference between solitude and isolation. I thought I was asking for solitude, but I was actually was suffering from isolation.

All of us need a little time, as we say, our little space where we can get away and think things through. It’s called solitude or meditation in the Bible where you just have to have time, quiet time to think things through and figure out what’s the best way to handle whatever it is you’re dealing with at that time. Well in this particular case she finally recognized that she had been drawn away from everyone and saying leave me alone even to her daughter and her daughter said, no, I’m not going to leave you alone; I’m not going to let you get that way, Mom. And it’s very important that we keep this understanding in mind the difference between solitude and loneliness.

Now learning a little bit more about this subject. Loneliness is not the same as solitude. So don’t confuse the two there is a difference and let’s go through and show you some of the ramifications of this. Now what does solitude produce? Solitude is getting away, taking time to stop and think about things. Solitude is time of reflection and it is just being involved in some enjoyable activity such as writing, drawing, reading a book. Many people like to do things of this nature in their quiet moments. Or maybe you saw the TV commercial where they have their quiet moments and they like to have their international cup of cocoa or tea or whatever it may be, those types of things, they’re quiet moments.

But anyway, loneliness has a different reaction. For those of you who find yourself lonely at any given time you are going to find yourself struggling with a spirit of dissatisfaction and you’ll have to get a grip on that fast and quick because it can really go in a direction that is not good. It comes in different ways. There are things and I like to break it down into these categories to help us understand. There’s a thing called social loneliness. Social loneliness. We’ve all experience this. When a person, say, goes to college like a young person might do or take on a new job, a new responsibility or move to a new city, you don’t know anybody. You don’t know anybody at school, you don’t know anybody on the job, you don’t know anybody in any place, so you feel all alone yet you’ve got all of this that’s going on around you. So what’s the answer? You find a friend. As soon as you find a friend it’s amazing how the world changes. It just takes on a different color all together.

It’s the same way like in our youth camps. Our young people come to those camps and in sense it’s all these people around them and they maybe not know a whole lot, but as soon as they make contact with a couple friends, bingo, the world changes. Now they see it from a different perspective, somebody else to buddy-up with, somebody else to have fun with. So you have the social loneliness, then you have emotional loneliness. This is something that we from time-to-time experience and that is what? When you desperately want someone to talk to, somebody that you can just kind of as we say “unload” and you can’t do that to everybody, you just cannot because it’s dealing with emotions and emotions are very tricky things and have to be handled with tender love and care because, again, when people are pouring out their innermost thoughts and feelings, they want somebody who will be patient, loving and considerate not somebody who’s going to stand there and judge them, criticize them, and say well you ought to know better than that. That’s not the time they want to hear things, they want to talk to somebody because they are lonely and struggling with something.

All right the comparison between loneliness then and solitude. What have we learning thus far? Solitude does what? It enriches, it energizes, it makes us wow, okay, now I’ve got a new thought something here can you get excited about it? Now, what does loneliness do? It does just the opposite. It debilitates, it takes away your strength and energy and causes you to feel, oh, oh, what’s the use? And that becomes a very dangerous trend. Solitude can build a desire to improve your life while on the other side of the coin loneliness robs you of motivation. And I find that that’s quite interesting today that so many people have problems with motivation. They can’t seem to get themselves stirred up. Even the Bible tells that we are to stir up the spirit of God in us that he has given to us so that we stay motivated in high state of mental readiness to serve God.

Now the church of God supplies one of these great needs for all of us by God’s great wisdom. It provides for us a support group where we are bound together in the spirit of God so that we might learn to understand, we all experience these things, we’re all having to overcome loneliness and many other things. I mean we could add other topics, but we’re talking about loneliness alone today. And that becomes a very important area to deal with, it affects everyone. And you have to get up to deal with it accordingly.

Now how do people react to loneliness? How do they react to loneliness? Well, they react in different ways. They can react in loneliness by such things as a positive way or what we call proactive way. They like to use that buzzword today, proactive. Well, how would you do that? If you’re kind of feeling lonely, well, some people go to the music and use music as a source they turn it on the radio. If you happen to have Paul Harvey advertises a Bose wave machine then you really get a sound of music like you’ve never heard before, but the price is too high, I suggest you stay with AM and FM radio or your stereo system, it’s a lot cheaper, but if you could ever afford it they say it is really wonderful as far as the sound that is brought forth from a Bose wave machine.

Some people enjoy just reading a book, reading a book. Here’s a book, for example, that would be most helpful to anyone it’s called A Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, a former atheist. Reading a book like this would be very beneficial because what it would do it would give you biblical ammunition from a scientific point of view. Not only do you know the biblical understanding of things, but you would have scientific proof to back up shut the mouths of those individuals who say Darwin says we all happen by accident and then you just merely quote some of these individuals and say, you haven’t got a clue, my friend, because the scientific community says you’re way off base on that. So that’s an important aspect of these things.

I’d like to take you to a scripture first before we get too far into other aspects here. Let’s go to I John if you would. I John 5 is where we want to begin. I John 5 because this sets the tenor of something that we want to keep in mind throughout this message today. I John 5:4 John 5:4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatever disease he had.
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.

I John 5:4 John 5:4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatever disease he had.
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. “For whatsoever is born…” or begotten it can be translated either way “…of God…” meaning you have received the spirit of God, you have come under his guiding hand now “…overcometh the world: and this is the victory…” Now here it defines the victory for overcoming and we’re discussing the subject of overcoming loneliness when we are confronted with loneliness. Now notice, it says “…this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith.”

So faith becomes a critical key that has to be utilized in combating these type of things that we’re to overcome, and as we’ve seen, loneliness is a very powerful thing; it really can work a person over pretty bad if they let it run amuck. Now how do people deal with it? Well, we’ve already talked about active solitude and now I want to talk about social action. Social action is another way that people deal with it. Now what we’re talking about that means when you’re feeling lonely you pick up the phone and you call a friend. That’s social action. You interface with other people. You don’t sit alone home, but you get on the stick and you get busy and you call a friend or a relative, someone maybe who is even less fortunate.

When you find, you know, the old saying, you think you’re in a bad state of affairs until you talk to somebody else and you find out, hey, you’re not so bad after all as to what you’re struggling with and what you think you’re dealing with. So that’s a very important asset, how people deal with it. Another way is distraction. People deal with loneliness by distraction. What does that mean? That means it’s, I’ve got to do something to take my mind off of this thing that’s making me lonely. And so what are the kind of distractions people do? Well, some of them go for a drive. Have you ever gotten in the car and just say, I’ve gotta go for a drive? A lot of people have. You know, I got to think; I got to get away. And so they try to get away in a car and just spend some time away from this thing that is dealing fits to them and that is, of course, what a distraction is.

Some people go shopping. Have you seen the bumper sticker, I’d rather be shopping? That’s a distraction, why? Because you’d rather go buy something, rather than deal with the problem. You might want to stop somewhere and have a bite to eat something and that’s a distraction. And people eat to distract themselves from, I feel better when I eat, we all do. That’s called comfort food. Comfort food makes us feel better and it distracts us from the problem and difficulty we’re struggling with. All right now this is the one now we want to avoid by all costs. We’ve seen these other ones. See that last one? Distraction is more neutral type of action. It’s a neutral action involved. It doesn’t necessarily solve the problem, but it does get you off doing something and it’s better you do something than nothing and that’s where we come to the last portion here. It’s what I call sad passivity or a person becomes so passive in his or her approach that they just sit there and do nothing.

God has not called us to sit and do nothing; he’s called us to be active. He’s called us to be moving. This could be defined in the following manner. God does not want us to get on our pity pot because the pity pot is easy to get one and once you get on it, it’s hard to come off. Or you might end up with what we call, jokingly sometimes, the woe-is-me syndrome. <inaudible>. So what you see is basically the fact that human beings can get trapped in these areas and what God wants us to understand is that he doesn’t want us when we’re feeling bad to get a downward spiral and do nothing. There are things we’ve got to do and Christians are in need of responding in positive manner to loneliness.

So let’s take a look at some of these things that we want to discuss here. Now as far as how faith operates in this whole equation and how you and I as individuals must apply these very, very principles. When one suffers from loneliness this is a prime indicator at those moments when we suffer at that for whatever reason that’s bringing it on, it’s time to investigate our relationship with God. Why are we feeling lonely? Do we have a reason for feeling lonely? Is there justification for it? And what am I doing about it now that I feel lonely? How am I handling this particular problem?

Well, the Bible addresses and that’s where we’re going to get into some of these things right now, if you’ll turn with me please to II Corinthians 5. II Corinthians 5:18-20. And here the apostle Paul shares with us a very important principle that it is our understanding of our relationship with Jesus Christ that brings reconciliation to bring us back to God. This is necessary in our thinking to grasp this concept.

II Corinthians 5:18-20. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”

You see God is putting things back together in a harmonious fashion; he’s bringing us back into a relationship to Jesus Christ so that we understand certain basic things. There’s a reason why we’re lonely. Without God in our life we’re always going to be lonely. We can plug those holes like the boy plugging the dike, you know the old story about the Dutch boy plugging the dike with his fingers until finally there’s too many holes and not enough fingers to go around. You can’t solve those problems apart from God. God has provided through Jesus Christ and he has given us this wonderful gift of reconciliation through him.

Verse 19-20. “…that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world…”

This is how we are overcoming. It says…

Verse 19. “…to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”

So the ministry is given the purpose of trying to share the understanding that God is reconciling us to himself and there is no reason ever to feel that God does not want to have a relationship with us. And there are people in the world and say well God doesn’t love me. Oh yes he does. More than they’ll ever know. And when they make a statement like that it shows how lacking they are to truly understand what it means that God is love, that he gave his only begotten son and that’s the critical key component because with Jesus Christ we find as it says in John, the gospel of John 14:6 John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
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, that that, he is the only way. The only way to get back into a harmonious relationship with God and that’s why we need to keep that concept in mind.

We keep Jesus’ commandments, and what does that do? In John 14, let’s go back there to John in the gospel accounts in verse 21.

John 14:21 John 14:21He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
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. “He that has my commandments and keeps them he is the one who loves me and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

How does God’s son manifest himself to us? Through the study of the Bible. The Bible is the written word of God carrying the personification of the very life of Jesus Christ as he lived as human being and how he had to deal with problems and difficulties in his life. Remember it says he was tested in every point like we are, it means he had common denominators that he faced. Does that mean that he ever faced loneliness? Oh yes. He sure did. Did he ever have times where he went out and practiced solitude? Oh yes. Early in the morning he’d go out and pray in the mountains before he got the busy day going. But what ended up happening in terms of Jesus, well, he tells us very plainly that we are to keep in mind that he is the one that is our connecting point, and in this case, verse 23 notice, he says of the same chapter…

Verse 23. “…if any man love man and will keep my words, my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our abode with him.”

That sounds like somebody else is moving in. Abode is your home. Somebody else is coming there to be with you. To love you, to care for you, to watch over you and these are things that world denies us today. It does not give us a clear picture of how God does this, only the word of God gives us this understanding. We get bits and pieces from historical Christianity, but we don’t get the biblical picture from that because they are too busy teaching other doctrines and other commandments of men that take us away from the fundamental truths of what God is saying that there is great understanding in this area of life.

Do you remember that very popular song years ago, it starts out with “…climb every mountain, face every ford…” well, you go onto that one and what does it end by saying? “You will never walk alone.” It emphasizes that. You never walk alone because God is too involved in our lives. He always has been. The problem with humankind today is they can’t see God. All creation around them is shouting there’s a God. Everything around us tells us God exists, but human beings rationalize and their foolish hearts are darkened by turning around and saying this all happened by accident. Well, again, that’s where this book convinced an atheist, a confirmed atheist, hey, there’s something out there that needs to be dealt with and acknowledged. There’s just too much involved here. And so we see very plainly that God is telling us as human beings loneliness is something to be combated and the world will bombard you with loneliness from time to time. But you have to fight as Jesus fought, the good fight of faith to deal with that particular problem.

Now if you will, excuse me, let’s turn to Acts, the book of Acts 2:47 Acts 2:47Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
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. In Acts 2:47 Acts 2:47Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
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, this was the famous day of Pentecost when a lot of material was really being brought to the fore in the first time in the minds of many people. They were hearing an inspired message by Peter under the inspiration of the spirit of God and it so moved those people that they took positive action; they didn’t get on the pity pot. Now you know men and brethren, what must we do if what you’re saying is true, we’ve got to take action, what do we do? And it goes onto say in verse 47…

Acts 2:47 Acts 2:47Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
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. Praising God and having favor with all people and the Lord added to the church daily as should be saved.”

So it is God who is adding to the church and who is the head of the church? Jesus Christ. He is the one who is actively heading this on Pentecost and making sure that people who were being called at that time were added to the body of Jesus Christ, a spiritual organism of which men and women can become part of. And so down through time God has used that basic approach in dealing with many other individuals. You and I are brought into a spiritual family for a very special reason. We are spiritual family that needs to understand something. Notice Mark 10 if you will. Mark 10:28-30 Mark 10:28-30 28 Then Peter began to say to him, See, we have left all, and have followed you. 29 And Jesus answered and said, Truly I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundred times now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
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. You know in our day and age today many times people whether they’re doing something, they will put it this way, they say all right I’ll listen to you, but what’s in it for me? They want to know what’s, what’s going to come back to help them. But notice what Peter said in his particular day. He says, in verse 28…

Mark 10:28-30 Mark 10:28-30 28 Then Peter began to say to him, See, we have left all, and have followed you. 29 And Jesus answered and said, Truly I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundred times now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
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. “And Peter began to say to him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.”

We’ve given up everything to follow you. He says…

Verse 29. “And Jesus answering said, Verily I say to you, There is no man that hath left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or fields, for my sake, and (for the sake) of the Gospel.”

A combination of understanding who Jesus Christ is and what the gospel was all about not only about salvation, but about the coming kingdom of God whom Jesus said he went into city after city preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. So people who now understand who Christ is and the kingdom of God and how it is going to apply are going to inherit things. Why? Because they will have had to make sacrifices for Jesus Christ and the truth and they have maybe given up things, maybe relationships with their families that once were very close, but they can’t be as close as they once were. Why? Because Jesus said it himself, I did not come to bring peace. I came to bring a sword and a man’s house shall be divided in these areas. And a person will be at variance with his own parents and his own brothers and sisters, why? They would look at things differently that’s all they saying.

They would stop and comprehend things differently and because of that difference many times individuals do not understand where the saints of God are coming from. They think that, well, you just don’t love us any more or you don’t want to be with us that’s why it is so important to set the right example and to demonstrate that love. Not just among ourselves but to everyone we come into contact. Let that light shine. We just don’t love our own. If you do that, you’re like the Pharisees they loved their own, but they didn’t love anybody else out there and Jesus kept commenting all the time about these important ways that we translate the knowledge of his truth into everyday life.

So Jesus then is doing what? First, by of our acknowledging him we come to recognize that we are in a reconciled relationship with God. This brings us into a close, personal family relationship. And that’s what Jesus adds us to as we just saw in Acts 2:47 Acts 2:47Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
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. We have become part of a family, a spiritual family. We are called a temple in some places, we’re called the house of God, but it’s a spiritual family, but how would God have us respond in the final analysis in a positive way to loneliness.

Let’s take a Psalm 107. Psalm 107 if you would. The psalmist records something here for our learning, Psalms 107:19-20 Psalms 107:19-20 19 Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, and he saves them out of their distresses. 20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
American King James Version×
. It says…

Psalms 107:19-20 Psalms 107:19-20 19 Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, and he saves them out of their distresses. 20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
American King James Version×
. “In their distress, they cried to the LORD, who saved them in their peril, sent forth the word to heal them, snatched them from the grave. “

Now it’s interesting to not that when we pray to God it’s important to cry out to God. If you’re struggling with problems or difficulties be it loneliness at that moment it’s important to cry out, remember that God said, what, about the Israelites when he talked to Moses. He said, Moses, I have heard the cries of my people. You see when people cry out to God that means they’re really involved in their prayer. If it’s just a passive prayer, Lord, I’ve got a problem here would you please handle this, would you help me please? As opposed to Lord, please, I’m struggling with this difficulty and it’s becoming overbearing, I can’t stand it, I need your strength. I need your help. I’m crying out to you. Please, Lord, hear my prayer.

This is how you read the Psalms and you see how David cried out to God when he was fighting with problems and difficulties in his life. So here again prayer to be an activating force. Remember prayer activates the power of God and that’s what it says here. When they cried out to him, he did what? He sent forth his word. What was his word? Heal them! And when they were in their straights as the count goes through they received healing. And so you know what did Jesus, what does it say about that centurion? I have this servant, he needs to healed. Jesus said I’ll come heal him. He says, no Lord, just say the word. That’s another way of saying send the word, just say the word Lord, make it happen. You can do it. All things are powerful in your position. You’ve got the power to do this. The authority.

So here we see then, very clearly that Jesus would have us respond positively to loneliness and he does want us then to in any way shape or form allow ourselves to draw back and fall backwards in terms of not listening to what he has to say. Remember Luke 18:1 Luke 18:1And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
American King James Version×
? It was the parable given. It says that men might pray always. Why would Jesus keep emphasizing the importance of prayer? To activate the power of God. If you have keys to an automobile, what’s the key for? The key activates the ignition. Once the ignition has been activated, vroooom, you’ve got power now surging through the vehicle. Now it’s your responsibility to use it. The same way that key is like the key of faith and prayer. All of these things can be likened to keys, the key in this case here we’re talking about is faith that overcomes the world. So when you’re struggling with loneliness in this world you activate the key of faith and what does it do? It causes God’s power to come into play and God responds when he hears you crying out for help through his word and he has the capacity then to do that.

All right. Let’s take a look at a few other things here in Matthew 20, if you would please. Matthew 20. In Matthew 20:25-28 Matthew 20:25-28 25 But Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
American King James Version×
. Here he talks about how the world operates, how the gentiles rule. He goes onto say, but that’s not going to be you. He talks about the greatest to the smallest and then he says in verse 28…

Matthew 20:28 Matthew 20:28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
American King James Version×
. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many .”

So it becomes very important for all of us to do what? To recognize that Jesus Christ took positive action in his own life to deal with problems and difficulties he had to face. Notice John 16. This is when Jesus was faced with an ultimate loneliness in many ways. John 16:32 John 16:32Behold, the hour comes, yes, is now come, that you shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
American King James Version×
. It says…

John 16:32 John 16:32Behold, the hour comes, yes, is now come, that you shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
American King James Version×
. “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone…” notice you shall leave me alone “…and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”

So here we see again an awareness that the Father was with him. And you and I are told in the same aspects of scripture that God has promised he would be with us always even to the end of the age in Matthew 28 in the closing verses. And so you and I have to keep in mind this very important blessing of God that when you think you’re along, the truth of the matter is, you’re not. You may feel like you’re alone, but that’s only how you feel with the knowledge of God, you’re given the understanding that the spirit of God is with you. That God overlooks and oversees and watches over you from day to day. He does not want us to ever get into a frame of mind where we think he has forsaken us and yet it’s so easy to do in this world, it gets lonely feelings and there are various things that can make you feel lonely.

And you don’t want to end up doing what? Turning the radio on and listening to songs like, Only The Lonely, well, wait a second, God knows how that feeling is, he felt alone on the cross, but he wasn’t alone. He understood that the Father was there with him. But for a split second remember what he cried out in the moment of his human agony, why have you forsaken me? In loneliness don’t people feel sometimes forsaken? Oh, yes they do. But how do you get out of that? You have to be active. You cannot be given to isolation. I’ll just mention one aspect of how the military operates and they have to train their men in this area that when they get into situations when they’re captured by their enemy, what does the enemy try to do? They put you in isolation to try to break you. They try to break you. They won’t let you be with your friends, your comrades. They try to pull you off to the side.

Law enforcement practices the same thing with hardened criminals, they have to, they have to put them in what they call solitary confinement, away from everybody else and that is to do what? To break that rebellious spirit at that point that that troublemaker is causing in, say, jail or what have you, or prison. So anyway you and I are told that God is our helper. We’re reminded of that in Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5-6 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.
American King James Version×
. And I’ll close on that very scripture because that says it all. In Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5-6 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.
American King James Version×
.

Hebrews 13:5-6 Hebrews 13:5-6 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.
American King James Version×
. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

Now man can put the fear into you by doing a lot of things, but we are told don’t fear men, oh, yes, even the man that can destroy body and soul, but fear him that can destroy body and soul in Gehenna, namely God. God can destroy the matrix of life. Man can only temporarily interrupt the flow of life, but God is the one is to be feared in all things and God says, please my sons and daughters, when you are struggling with those moments of loneliness and you’ll always have them facing you in this world, just remember you’re not alone. You’re not alone at all. And when you thought you were alone remember the so-called poem that they call Footprints in the Sand? Who was carrying who? We thought we were alone, but God has always been there because it’s been his intent to be there for us a loving parent and God wants us to appreciate that and to cry out to him because he knows how we feel.

Jesus is our high priest. He knows exactly that feeling. So when you feel alone, when you feel like, oh, here’s one of those moments again, make sure you cry out to God and thank him for being there because really you’re never alone. You’ll never walk alone with God.

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