First Baptist Church of Minneola
Letting Loose Loneliness
  • Go Tell It On The Mountain
  • INTRO - We are pausing our in our study of the book of Daniel to focus on this year’s Christmas and New Year’s season.
    I want to share something about being lonelily at Christmas time.
    I’ve noticed how what is expected to be a joyous time of year, for some, is not what most expect.
    I hope, that by preaching this message, you or perhaps someone with who you spend time, will enjoy this Christmas time a little more than if I weren't to preach it today.
    Peaching styles vary from serious exposition, which is what I normally do, to the more devotional type. Some pastors will only do one or the other. I believe the church needs variety; only God knows the best way to a persons heart.
    MSG INTRO - It’s great to get excited about Christmas. After all, we a celebrating the time when Jesus was given to humankind to save us all.
    Still, for some people, they feel lonely. In fact, some people feel lonely all year long.
    Loneliness wears on a person until they are completely drained and defeated. The feeling is a strong desire for being one or being complete and a feeling of being less than whole or unnoticed.
    Perhaps that is why the Bible warns us about trying to deal with life all alone:
    Ecclesiastes 4:10 CSB
    For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.
    God does now want people to feel alone and He does provide the cure.
    Let’s see this verse in context.
    READ Ecc 4:9-12
    People who claim to go it alone need to read the Bible. God does not intend, nor want, loner Christians.
    TRANS - Let’s begin with identifying types of loneliness.

    Feelings of Loneliness

    All of us know what its like to feel lonely. However, some people are much more prone to loneliness.

    Singles

    Cooking for one and nobody to talk with about what’s on TV. Single folks don’t have anybody.

    Spouses

    God created man and woman to be with one another. Still, when one or both work all the time they rarely see one another. Emotional needs are not met and intimacy is overlooked. This sort of loneliness leads to tremendous feelings of hurt.

    Survivors

    When someone dies, the leave behind friends and loved ones. The pain that accompanies grief is unlike any other. It is intense. BTW, divorce causes similar pain.

    Seniors

    At not other time in history have so many seniors been living at the same time. People who once ran our country, worked in our businesses, and raised children who are now adults often wonder if anyone needs them.

    Sufferers

    With COVID people are quarantined. Some, like my dad, have know nursing home life for nearly a year. Many can’t leave their small rooms. Families are told to say at home during the holidays. Others wait in hospital rooms where few are permitted visitors. They see the busy world outside, but only know the stillness of their present circumstances.

    Servants

    Then there is the one leading others. Look at this verse:
    Numbers 11:14 CSB
    I can’t carry all these people by myself. They are too much for me.
    Too often leaders feel a sense of having to go it alone. They see the vision, yet fail to see others joining the work.
    TRANS - Now that we have some ides of types of loneliness. Let’s look to the Bible and see some examples of people who are lonely.

    Folks of Loneliness

    King David

    Pick up and read about Kind David and we see he understand loneliness:
    Psalm 102:6–7 CSB
    I am like an eagle owl, like a little owl among the ruins. I stay awake; I am like a solitary bird on a roof.
    Can you hear the sadness?
    AND this:
    Psalm 142:4 CSB
    Look to the right and see: no one stands up for me; there is no refuge for me; no one cares about me.
    Lonely people often feel others don’t care.

    Jeremiah

    Jeremiah is sometimes called the weeping prophet.
    Both Jeremiah and Lamentations are full with words that express deep loneliness:
    Jeremiah 9:2 CSB
    If only I had a traveler’s lodging place in the wilderness, I would abandon my people and depart from them, for they are all adulterers, a solemn assembly of treacherous people.
    Jeremiah speaks what so many lonely people feel; just wanting to go hide someplace - run away.
    Then there is this:
    Lamentations 1:16 CSB
    I weep because of these things; my eyes flow with tears. For there is no one nearby to comfort me, no one to keep me alive. My children are desolate because the enemy has prevailed.
    The weeping prophet can’t stop crying. He has nobody to provide him comfort.
    He even feels the enemy has won.

    Paul

    Paul seems to always be around people, yet he still feels a sense of loneliness:
    2 Timothy 4:10 CSB
    because Demas has deserted me, since he loved this present world, and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
    Paul hurts for the one who left him backsliding. And, he speaks of those who once with him now are in other places.
    And then we see this a few verses later:
    2 Timothy 4:16 CSB
    At my first defense, no one stood by me, but everyone deserted me. May it not be counted against them.
    Alone, Paul wanted someone to stand with him, yet not had. Alone, but not vindictive.
    TRANS - People feel lonely. If from what our biblical examples provide, it sound like the work to change this is an inside job?
    Rational Emotive Therapy, RET, you’ve heard me say is not something new. The Bible is full with examples of taking control of our feelings.
    Now, I’m not talking about someone with a brain chemical imbalance. That’s a case for medical treatment.
    I am talking about the person who feels lonely and does not want to continue to feel that way. If they do, well, I’d suggest they need a good consoler. That’s not normal.
    God created human beings to want to be with one another. Recall that in Genesis God does not want Adam to be alone.
    Therefore, God wants people to stop feeling lonely.
    Let’s see how a lonely person can make that happen.

    Fixing Loneliness

    Each of us will, at one time or another, feel lonely. As we noted, some are more vulnerable, but unless there is some brain chemistry challenge, people are in control of their own feelings. And, it is what you think that will determine how you feel.
    I came across this outline in a message written by David Jeremiah. I made several changes to adopt it to our message and want to share it with you.
    Notice how these suggestions all start with thinking.

    Acknowledge you are lonely

    I know that Jesus is always with me. He tells me that in the Bible.
    So, how come I “feel” lonely sometimes?
    Let’s remember that feelings just are and they are neither right nor wrong.
    All people, and our God, have feelings.
    So, avoid the triteness and do not doubt the sincerity of your soul.
    Yes, God is with the Christian, but that does not exempt us from all the feelings that go along with being a human.

    Accept God’s help for loneliness

    All people are made with a emptiness that only God can fill.
    Recall Jesus cried out “My God why have you forsaken me?”
    It was at that moment when Jesus took the punishment for our sin, experienced the pain that comes with punishment, and bore the loneliness so we might know the love of God and get our hearts filled.

    Allow Scripture to fill your mind

    The Bible is filled with comforting passages.
    Let’s look at just a few:
    Psalm 27:10 CSB
    Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me.
    Hebrews 13:5–6 CSB
    Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you. Therefore, we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

    Activate your Christian friend network

    Recall I said loneness is a feeling and we control how we feel?
    I don’t want to offend, but loneliness is a choice.
    The moment of feeling alone or being alone might not be so much a choice, but certainly staying in that state is one.
    God gives us Jesus, the Bible, and the fellowship of believers. All of these are cures for loneliness.
    If you sit around and hope someone will take notice of you, that is not someone else’s fault.
    There is Sunday School and worship every week. Most everybody has a cell phone and even social media accounts.

    Conclusion

    Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook, 2006 Edition Stats, Stories and More

    In Anne Frank’s diary, along with the descriptions of dangers and despair, she recorded the feelings she had in her heart. Somehow despite all the suffering she experienced, Anne found joy. In fact, in 1944 when she was a young girl, she wrote these words: “Nearly every evening I go up to the attic, and from my favorite spot on the floor, I look up at the blue sky. As long as this exists, I think, and I may be able to live to see it, as long as I can see this sunshine and the cloudless skies, while this lasts, I cannot be unhappy. Riches can all be lost, but that happiness in your heart can only be veiled.”

    I want to say with authority today that we have something far better than blue sky and clouds. We have Jesus Christ living in us. Though the world may crumble around us, He is the blue sky, He is the light from on high that thrills and encourages our hearts. I can look beyond my circumstances into the face of the One who loves me more than I know, and the One who would never allow anything to happen to me that was not for my own good, and I know with certainty that He cares and that if I will trust Him He will help me through the experience of life. He will never leave me alone.

    Jesus came to give you everlasting life.
    He waits for people to accept that gift.
    His gift is free, forever, and for His people.
    In Jesus there is life abundant.
    Look to Him as He is the author and finisher of faith.
    (end)
      • Ecclesiastes 4:10CSB

      • Numbers 11:14CSB

      • Psalm 102:6–7CSB

      • Psalm 142:4CSB

      • Jeremiah 9:2CSB

      • Lamentations 1:16CSB

      • 2 Timothy 4:10CSB

      • 2 Timothy 4:16CSB

      • Psalm 27:10CSB

      • Hebrews 13:5–6CSB

  • Silent Night! Holy Night!

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