Friday, December 6, 2013

Loneliness


Loneliness
Isaiah 40:28-29
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 

God has created us as social creatures. We naturally have the desire and capacity for fellowship with other people. We, as human beings, cannot be truly happy unless the basic need of friendship or companionship is met. Many people become extremely lonely during the holiday season leading them down the road to depression and hopelessness. Loneliness often has two aspects and will not be solved unless both of these aspects are considered. The problem of loneliness often has a human and a divine dimension. The feeling of loneliness can stem from a deeper problem––––it may happen because a person does not have or maintain a proper relationship with God and with other people. Some people are hurt deeply from those that can help encourage, edify and befriend, but choose not to leaving people feeling rejected, unloved and lonely.  

Loneliness is often associated with a poor relationship to God. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). What kind of relationship do you have with God right now? Are you struggling with trusting God with your future, or letting go of your past? Do you regard sin in your heart–––spoiling the comfort of prayer?  Your relationship with the Lord needs to be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving towards Him for His mercy and privilege of eternal hope. God, in His grace and mercy, does restore sinful, alienated man to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20-22).

Loneliness is also associated with a deficient relationship to other people. There are some qualities and behaviors that hinder good relationships with other people. Think about the behaviors that could be present in your life and the ones that may be contributing to your feelings of loneliness:

Fear of not being good enough, or being rejected by someone, even those you love.
Being impatience or irritable, and fearful of someone taking advantage of you.
Having educational and social barriers that may prompt excessive dependence upon other people or provoke a smothering or demanding personality.
A selfish––self-centered attitude that displays a critical complaining spirit causes people to feel alienated. 
Gloominess, perfectionism, gossiping, and deceitfulness will isolate you from your friends and family members making you extremely vulnerable and lonely.

Assess your relationship with others and with God. Have you been an example or a stumblingblock to the people closest to you?  Have you been faithful and loyal to your friends and family or unfaithful to those who matter most?  Have you communicated that you are sincerely interested in other people and not only interested in what they can do for you? While it is Biblical that the church exists for the purpose of worshiping God (I Peter 2:9) it is equally true that the local church exists for the mutual edification of each believer. Look at the kind of relationship the early Christians had with each other.  Acts 2:44-47 ~ And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.  Notice the deep involvement and concern they had for one another and what the early believers did to and for each other.

If a person is to overcome the problem of loneliness, he must first of all establish and maintain a proper relationship to God through His Son Jesus Christ. One’s relationship to God is maintained by studying and meditating on the Word of God, through prayer, by obedience to the Scriptures, and through Christian fellowship. But also, if one is to overcome the problem of loneliness, he must seek to establish good relationships with other people. These two dimensions of the problem can be summarized and solved by obedience to the words of Jesus when He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39). 

Thought:  For those of you who have tried to reach out to the lonely in your own time of need, but have been rejected in your attempt to encourage, love or be a friend, remember John 15:17 which says: “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”  Love then, rejoice in the Lord with them and for them. Aim for restoration gaining a friend, and bear each others burdens fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Continue comforting one another, living in peace with one another; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Who better to comfort the lonely than the Great Comforter. He knows and understands what it means to be rejected and the pain that comes from being forsaken. Isaiah 53:3 ~ “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”





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