Posts Tagged ‘Loneliness’

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Leave Alone, well enough…

May 30, 2012

“But I don’t feel alone”, you might say, “I have a great family, many friends, I love my church and I never really feel isolated.” First off, praise God in His mercy He has allowed you to enjoy what few in this world have for any long period of time. There are three VERY important things to remember if you find yourself in a period of emotional relational satisfaction.

First, give God the glory everyday for the blessings you have received, rightly ascribe glory to Him in your situation. The fact that you feel satisfied relationally is not due to the fact that you’re so stinkin cute, or that you’re the nicest person on the planet. The fact that you experience the blessing of good relationships is because God has so blessed you, do not add to this blessing the sin of pride by trying to take the credit for what you enjoy.

Second, Be a comfort to others who are less fortunate, there are two ways to comfort:

-One, take care of those who have, through circumstances or situations, lost relationships and now are experiencing isolation and loneliness. Being part of a community, ie the church, or your family, comes with responsibilities. Both Paul and James admonish those in the church to look after widows and orphans, those who are truly without anyone to rely upon. This can occur by inviting a widow in your neighborhood over for dinner, taking the time to have conversations. This might even mean adopting an orphan who has no one to call father or mother.

-Two. Be sensitive to those around you who may be less secure in their relationships and may not be as satisfied. This is akin to the weaker brother/stronger brother discussion in Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8:13, we do not flaunt our freedom in the face of others, we don’t lord over others, rather we are sensitive to the fact that we may have those among us who need prayer and care.

Third, Be on your guard. Loneliness is not something that we leave in the dirt behind us when we reach some plateau of relational perfection. Many things can suddenly afflict us with a sense of isolation and a feeling of loneliness. Outside factors can contribute to sudden isolation: deaths, being fired, being dumped, being betrayed, business travel. Inner factors can also lead to the lonely experience: sin against God, harboring bitterness and resentment, fatigue, illness, and anger can all make us feel isolated from God and others. The Bible calls us to be sober-minded and prepared for action. In times of plenty we take in a harvest and store up provision for times of famine. Build your life around the Word of God and take comfort from the promises contained therein, commit them to memory for there will come a time when you will need to call to mind the promises of God. Those who meditate on the Word of the Lord day and night will be like trees planted by streams of waters, able to weather any draught. (Psalm 1)

Continually live in Christ, striving to enjoy the peace of God that passes all understanding, His peace will guard your hearts and minds. (Phil 4:7) Remember to put away all matters of deceit and strife, anything that puts difficulty between yourself and others, so that you might continue to enjoy the body of Christ, being of one mind with others, having among yourselves the mind of Christ. (Phil 2:5-11)

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Alone No More: His Provision for Us…

May 30, 2012

Fighting loneliness.

Loneliness grows out of isolation, whether that isolation is real or just perceived.  Ultimately our human relationships are greatly affected by and governed by the state of our relationship with God.  It is the goal of the enemy, since the beginning, to separate us from God and from each other.  From the moment Eve sinned and Adam ate the fruit,  they hid from one another and from God.  They covered themselves with leaves and hid behind bushes.  Prior to sin all existed in peace with one another without shame, living in harmony with God.  Post sin, we hid in shame from each other, and hid in fear from God.  God, being gracious and abundant in steadfast love, gave us the law, and the prophets pointing to the ultimate reconciliation to come through the gift of His Son.

God does not want you to be alone, God does not want you to FEEL alone, He has literally moved heaven and earth to reconciled you with Him for His glory.

He has given us His Son so that we are not isolated from Him.

He has given us His Spirit, so that we might feel His presence internally forever.

He has given us His church, brothers and sisters in Christ, so that we might always have a family no matter where we are, so that we might feel His presence externally forever.

He has given us His word as a record of His power and promises to sustain us in down times, so that we might reflect on His promise to Never leave us, nor forsake us, to be with us always even to the end of the age; these promises insure that we might intellectually experience His truth forever.

All of this is done that we might humble ourselves underneath this truth, casting our anxieties upon Him because He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Consider that the next time you feel alone, the omnipresent God of the Universe, knows you, Loves you, calls to you, and CARES for you.

Here are eight  Biblically prescribed solutions for loneliness

(From: http://www.christinyou.net/pages/loneliness.html)

1. Regeneration, reconciliation with God. Col. 1:21,22

2. Confess known sins – I Jn. 1:9

3. Accept God’s forgiveness – Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14

4. Forgive others – Eph. 4:32

5. Recognize and affirm the presence of God in Christ – Josh. 1:9; Ps. 23; Isa.                         41:10; 43:2; Matt. 28:20; Jn. 16:32; Heb. 13:5

6. Accept the work of the Comforter, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit of Christ –                           Jn. 14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7

7. Participate in the fellowship and community of the Body of Christ, the Church –                         Heb. 10:25

8. Participate in the functional ministry of the Body of Christ in using your spiritual                         gifts – Rom. 12:4-6; I Cor. 12

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Only the Lonely: Our Need, His Provision…

May 29, 2012

“Loneliness was the first thing that God’s eye named not good.” – John Milton

(Photo Credit: The National Geographic)

From the very beginning of time, recorded in scripture, we see that mankind was created to reflect the image of God.  Fundamental to making that image complete was the creation of relationships.  “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR own likeness…” (Gen 1:26)  God is a relational being, a Triune God who is three persons in one being, each one relating to each other in perfect harmony.  Mankind reflects this relational reality.  God look out upon His good creation and behold it was all good.  The earth beneath; the sky above; the birds in the skies; the fish in the seas; all of it was very good.  And yet one thing in the litany of divine creation was not good.  After creating man from the dust of the earth and tasking him with the dominion of earth, it was determined that it was “not good” for man to be alone.

Now it is important to note that the Bible does not record that man was lonely.  There is no sign that Adam wandered about God’s good creation bemoaning his status.  Eden represented perfect harmony between man and creation, God and man. It was God who looked upon the scene and determined that man needed suitable help.  So man and woman were created in the image of God to exercise dominion and aid each other in the multiplication of the image of God across creation.

We were created to be together.  Men and women, in marriage.  Parents and children in families.  Brothers and sisters in harmony.  Individuals in communities, clans, cities, nations.  This tendency to group is as evident in natural general revelation as sunshine and seasons.  Every corner of the globe reflects man’s tendency and propensity to gather into groups, multiply and exercise dominion over their space.  This is seen in marriage, which is by far the most universal human cultural institution.  All of this was greatly effected by the Fall.  The Fall radically reoriented all human relationships. As we see in Genesis 3, the very act of procreating became marked by pain, and all relationships fell victim to enmity and strife.  Brother’s would kill brothers, Husbands would rule over wives, wives would undermine their husbands.  The contention would spread out into cities and towns and entire nations through wars and feuds.  But from the outset, a seed was planted and promised, One who would crush the head evil and shatter the scepters of the wicked.  One who would draw all nations to Himself and break down barriers of political and relational strife.  Upon the cross, there was such a man.

We need each other because we were created to be in relationships, reflecting the image of the triune relational God.  Where sin marred this reality of our relationships, the gospel of God’s grace literally breathed new life into the dry bones of our communities.  The Gospel is power.  Power to overcome the greatest strife, power to dissolve the most intractable debates, and power to sooth the deepest hurt.  God sent His son to that we might have life, abundant life, together in a body called the church.

Christ, himself reflected this, in that He did not act alone.  Supernaturally He was attended by the Father, empowered by the Holy Spirit, doing nothing apart from their will or ability.  Naturally, He formed a community, calling disciples and tending to His family.  He equipped not individuals, but groups.  His great commission was not given to any one man, but to the whole body of those who called upon Him as Lord. Through Jesus all of our constructed barriers are removed and our relationships are restored; so that, whether we are rich or poor, Jew or Gentile, Servant or master, we are all one in Christ Jesus.  We have now a foretaste of what is to come, when we will exist peacefully together in relationships living solely for the glory of God.

So it is not good for you to be alone.  If you are alone in spirit, know that there is One who stands ready to rush in and provide eternal comfort to your forlorn soul, if only you would call upon Him, confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that Jesus is Lord.  If you know God but are alone relationally, then seek out the other members in the body of which you are apart, the church.  For they exist, as your brothers and sisters, to share your burdens as well as your joys; to give you a foretaste of Godly community to come.d