Facing Our Loneliness, Part 2
Charles F. Stanley
A. Introduction: As followers of Jesus Christ, we may feel lonely from time to time. How can we escape loneliness and reach out both to God and to other people?
Definition: Loneliness is a feeling of separation anxiety that results when we sense disconnection from another person or group of people. It is not a sin but can lead to sinful behavior.
B. How do we overcome loneliness?
1. Recognize that you are lonely.
- Some people feel that loneliness is a sign of weakness, or they fear others will label them.
- When people feel unworthy of acceptance, their outward behavior reflects that belief. As a result, such individuals often have difficulty making friends and are more likely to be rejected.
2. Reconcile yourself to God.
- Adam and Eve's sin disconnected humankind from the Creator.
- Loneliness drives some people into immorality, dishonesty, and ungodly relationships.
- Jesus came to reconcile us to God (2 Cor. 5:18-19; Col. 1:19-22).
- You will never overcome loneliness until you reconnect with the Father through Jesus Christ.
3. Recall the promises of God.
- When you feel really lonely, claim the promises of God, which are ammunition against Satan's lies. Go, not by what you feel, but by God's truth. A few examples:
- Psalm 23 – God is with you, even in the valley of the shadow of death.
- John 15 – Jesus abides in us, and helps us bear fruit.
- Hebrews 13:5 – God will never leave us.
- Romans 8:35 – Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
- John 16:32 – Jesus knew Father was always with Him, even when all His disciples deserted him.
4. Reach out and develop relationships.
- Seek out godly companions. In the end, ungodly relationships make loneliness worse.
- Look for people who will understand you—friends with whom you can laugh, pray, and share secrets.
- Build a relationship that expands your awareness of God's presence, not one that obscures it.
- No person can meet all your needs, not even a spouse. If you depend excessively on another person, he or she will pull away and leave you feeling lonelier.
5. Refocus your attention.
- Loneliness makes us self-centered. Overcome it by seeking to bless another person.
- Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. Example: The night before His crucifixion, He selflessly cared for the needs of His disciples.
- If you are lonely, one of the best things you can do is encourage or help another person.
C. Conclusion: Are you attacked by feelings of intense isolation? If you are a believer in Jesus, loneliness simply doesn't fit who you are. Put these five steps into practice, and God will help you escape loneliness.