Victory over Lonliness
What a journey this has been about how faith (strong conviction) in Jesus Christ can bring victory over a variety of things that Christians can, and often do face.
Victory over sin to become a Christian
Victory over anxiety
Victory over boredom
Victory over depression
Victory over despair
Victory over discontent
Victory over fear
Victory over grief
In this series what have you learned, what have you taken away from this? What scripture (hint hint, 1Jn5:4-5) can you lean on about victory)? Has it taken on a new, or deeper meaning for you?
4 Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. 5 The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.
Victory, faith (strong conviction) is a victory that overcame, overcomes the world, this world, the world as we know it. The world that one day will pass away.
As a Christian who has faith (strong conviction) we are to be faithful to the end (Rev2:10) even when we suffer things .
Maybe not the same as the church of Smyrna who were facing many sufferings, and much blasphemy because of the Jews.
10 ‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Look at the verse, BE FAITHFUL TO THE END.
If you are tried, be faithful
If you are tested, be faithful
If you are weak, be faithful
If you are filled with anxiety, boredom, despair, discontent, fear, grief, be faithful.
Today we are going to conclude this series with one more topic that can be just as crippling as all the others we have covered in this series - loneliness.
“Loneliness and the feeling of being uncared for and unwanted are the greatest poverty.” (Teresa of Calcutta)
“Loneliness eats into the soul” - Jewish proverb - It can have adverse effects on the mind and the body.
Feeling alone: Everyone may feel alone at times, and that is natural (wife, husband, friend is away)
Solitude: alone by choice. a time to reflect, to read, to write, to meditate, etc.
Everyone needs some solitude from time to time
Oftentimes preachers schedule times when they get away for prayer, meditation and planning
Loneliness: a feeling of dissatisfaction with quality of life or of life’s relationships.
Social loneliness - maybe new social situations, move to new area, new school, etc. separated from familiar things, family etc.
Emotional loneliness - when we feel we have no one to talk to, or no one cares, no one who understands, or discounts our deepest cares or concerns.
Loneliness detracts and debilitates where solitude enriches and energizes
Loneliness robs motivation; solitude builds up such motivation
Loneliness can be part of a vicious cycle of despair, discouragement, depression that can lead to isolation from any social contact at all to get of the support so desperately needed.
“Loneliness and solitude are quite different. One is defeat - the other victory.” - soc. support.loneliness
Peoples reactions (and everyone has them)
a positive way, do something, get involved in something, some activity
Go see someone, people, invite someone, people, friends, relatives. May help someone less fortunate than you.
Get your mind off it, Go shopping (if can afford it); take a walk, go for a drive or a bike ride, etc.
All of these are positive actions, reactions to loneliness, now maybe a negative one
Do nothing, sit in it, dwell in it
this reaction can lead to further feelings of depression, anxiety, despair, other things such as sleeping too much, over eating and in some cases self-harm or self-medicating and/or drug use to numb the feelings
Some of this is summary from article “in search of intimacy” by Rubenstein and Shaver
A Christians response (what it should be)
Acknowledge it maybe symptom of larger problem
“Loneliness is being unaware of the One who is with us everywhere.”
Forgetting who God is, where God dwells
“Many Christians suffer from loneliness for they are sitting instead of serving.”
Forgetting God’s purpose beyond salvation
Remember when walking with God one is never alone
Jn16:32 “32 “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”
Check out this quote:
“The soul that has been enriched by communion with God will never be dismayed by isolation but will welcome solitude. He will seek not the crowd but the closet, and emerging will never will walk alone, for he has unseen companionship.” - Frances Roberts
Loneliness can be in indication that there is something lacking in your relationship with the Lord.
Faith is a victory over Loneliness
Faith is a victory over Loneliness
Faith (strong conviction); not just any faith, particular faith, faith in Jesus Christ who has overcome the world and offers to others to be more than overcomers (Rom8:37)
We know that faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God. We are saved by grace through faith, so now comes the heavy word section, so strap in, here we go.
Jesus reconciles us back to God (2Cor5:18-20; Jn14:6, 21, 23)
Ministry of reconciliation was given to the apostles and then passed to the believers through the word.
18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
We are not ambassadors (sent with authority; though some would say we are) but we are sent with a message, God’s message from God’s word, begging people to be reconciled to God.
Jesus is the way to be reconciled back to God as we have heard many times
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Jesus assured the apostles through obedience that the love of of the Father will be in them too, and in turn in us when we love the lord and love the Father
21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.
Jesus adds us to His family (Act2:47, 1Tim3:15)
We do not add to the church, the Lord, Jesus adds to the church
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
It is by faith (strong conviction) one is saved, is reconciled, added to the church. When added to the church one is never alone, and loneliness is solved!
Paul describes the church, defines the church, and it is not a building or a denomination; its the people, its a living, breathing, speaking organism
15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
It is THE household of God, the pillar and support of the truth, and Jesus is the TRUTH.
Jesus’ presumed response to loneliness (Lk18:1; Mt6:5-6, 20:25-28)
Pray, be persistent in it
1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,
Pray and do it personally, privately and not publically
5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Remember don’t sit, serve! when you serve you can’t be alone, it builds companionship with others.
25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,
27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
(Invitation slide inserted here)
Jesus may have felt alone, but was not (Jn16:32); Paul may have felt abandon; but did not give up hope (2Tim4:16-18)
Christ promised Christians to be with them always (Mt28:20); to never leave them, never forsake them (Hb13:5-6)