Loneliness

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.”

 

Matthew 11:28-30

Loneliness has been defined by one writer as “ … the painful realization that we lack meaningful and close relationships with others.” 1 This realization can be very despairing and lead to feelings of emptiness and low self-image. A man or woman in this state will feel rejected, unwanted and left out. There is an inner cry within each one of us to belong. Loneliness sometimes is a result of our own choices. Some people shy away from communication with others because of a lack of self-confidence or poor self-esteem. For others, a desire for friendship is sacrificed for greater privacy or independence. Any number of traumatic life experiences can cause a person to close up to others and enter a social paralysis. Our society also promotes loneliness. The occupational world, in many ways, grooms people into specialized fields and creates competition between them. In such an environment, personal diversity, and even personal contact with others, is sometimes limited. Mobility, and changes of residence, also makes it difficult for people to sink down roots. In our modern world, time, which might be otherwise spent with family and friends, is many times spent commuting on a busy freeway. There is less face-to-face time and more cell phone communication.

All of the above mentioned causes for loneliness in our lives will not likely change our situation without a determined effort on our part. In the first instance, a change of self-image is needed to overcome insecurity. In the other situation, it may be a choice of sacrificing privacy or independence. In the last situation, it may mean reorganizing our life-style or place of residence. All of these choices need to be weighed and none of them are easy.

We have talked about different kinds of choices that need to be made in order to remove the circumstances and attitudes which lead to loneliness. However, there is another kind of loneliness which is greater than any of the already mentioned kinds of loneliness. This loneliness is separation from God. Billy Graham has said; “There are thousands of lonely people who carry heavy and difficult burdens of grief, anxiety, pain and disappointment; but the loneliest of all is one whose life is steeped in sin.”2

The fall of mankind is recorded for us in Genesis, Chapter 3. Adam, the first man, was privileged to know God as his friend. God communed with Adam. God gave Adam a beautiful world and a beautiful wife. God also gave Adam a commandment not to eat of a certain fruit, and warned him that to do so would mean his death. Adam ate the fruit, after his wife had done so first. He did lose his physical life, in time. However, he lost something even more precious than physical life; he lost spiritual life and communion with God.

Mankind was meant to have a relationship with God. However, because of sin, he finds himself separated from the Lord. This separation, or alienation, from God constitutes the greatest loneliness that can ever be experienced.

 

 

Friend, if you suffer from this kind of loneliness, this kind of separation, the Bible has good news for you. You, like Adam, have sinned against God and stand awaiting judgment. That is not the good news. The good news is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come to earth to die for you and

for me. He paid the penalty of death that we deserve, and then He rose from the dead. Now, His Word calls for all who will hear to come to Him, repent of their sin and self-rule, and put their faith in Him. Jesus said:

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.”

 

Matthew 11:28-30

Coming to Jesus, and finding rest for your soul, is the greatest imaginable opposite to the state of loneliness. Jesus comes into our lives and comes to stay. He said to His disciples; “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'” (Matthew 28: 19, 20). Also, the Scriptures say:

 

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being  content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,’ so that we confidently say,

‘THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE ADRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?’

 

 

Hebrews 13:5-6

 

 

When Jesus is living in us we have fellowship with Him. We read; “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1.9).

Friend, the Lord loves you. If you do not know Him, or His forgiveness, make your surrender today. Let the Lord come into your life and turn you around. You will be able to say like the Psalmist:

I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD.

 How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.

 

Psalm 40:1-5

After you have committed your life to Christ, join a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. Here, you will grow spiritually and socially. You can build meaningful relationships with other Christians and fellowship with them. You can participate in ministries in the church. This will be a great source of friendship.

Also, after coming to Christ, the Lord often does a work in us so that we begin to seek the healing of family relationships. This does not always occur. Sometimes, a decision to follow Christ will create division between family members. Other times, such a change provokes respect and there is a healing.

Friend, whether we have our natural family at our side or not, if we are the Lord’s we have a spiritual family in the Church. Greater yet, we have Jesus within us. This is the answer to loneliness. God bless you.

 

Shawn Stevens

 1 Quoted in The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications,1984),159.

2 Billy Graham, quoted in The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1984), 159.

 

REFERENCES :

 

The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook, Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1984.

“Scripture   quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
  Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
  1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
  Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)

 

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