"Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).


Archived Devotionals

July 13, 2020

 

To The Lonely

My Dear Friend,

    God has a cure for every wound, even loneliness. As Jesus informed Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Cor. 12:9), or enough, and then some, for any thorn, cross, burden, or wound. Has loneliness wounded you?

     Loneliness is “sadness because one is cut off from others, rejected or ostracized by friends, family, or neighbors, and left without warm companionship.” It is, in brief, the pain and grief of unrequited love or unreturned friendliness. We reach out to others for love and friendship, yet they will not reach out to us. And nothing we do changes it. However conciliatory we are, they remain cold, callous, aloof. And we remain alone. And lonely!

     Our response is crucial. Three responses are typical: denial, obsession, and dealing with it. If we deny our loneliness, it remains an open wound on our souls … and dangerous festering begins. If we obsess over our loneliness, we invite the deadly cancers of self-pity, bitterness, and hardness of heart, which destroy our capacity to walk closely with Jesus and bear kingdom fruit. But if we will, we can acknowledge our loneliness and deal with it. Quickly!

     That begins when we realize God knows all about our loneliness. He’s experienced it, personally and repeatedly, long before we did. The whole world has rebelled against the Father’s love, crucified His Son, and spurned His gracious Holy Spirit, leaving Him abandoned and alone in His own universe! We will never experience as much loneliness as God has.

     God is the lonely Creator, calling after His wayward son, Adam, “Where art thou?” (Gen. 3:8-9). The Creator created the creature for warm companionship, so, when the creature walked away, the cold separation wounded the Creator’s loving heart. God is the lonely Lover. He chose, courted, and married Israel in the wilderness, but Israel left Him for other lovers, worshiping Canaan’s gods. Every time God remembered “the love of thine espousals,” loneliness pressed in with fresh pain (Jer. 2:1-2). God is the lonely Parent. He raised Israel like a son, but, after Israel became established and blessed, he “did not want me around” (Ps. 81:11, NLT), or “wanted nothing to do with me” (GW).

     God is the lonely Savior. When Jesus turned to pursue His primary mission - dying on the cross - He had to walk alone. His prayer partners fell asleep, one of His disciples betrayed Him, and the rest “forsook him, and fled” (Mk. 14:50). God is the lonely mother Hen. Jesus testified He “often” wanted to gather the Jews under His wings of loving fellowship and protection, but “ye would not” (Matt. 23:27). Ultimately, their religious leaders publicly denounced Him, pressed for His crucifixion, and pitilessly mocked Him as He died the loneliest of deaths, separated from His people - and Father!

     God is the lonely Teacher. The renowned rabbi, Nicodemus, visited Jesus secretly at night to avoid detection by his peers. He confided that he, and others, knew Jesus was “a teacher sent from God” because of His astounding miracles (Jn. 3:2), but neither he nor they would join Jesus’ followers for fear of retaliation by their peers, who had officially denounced Jesus as a demoniac (Mk. 3:22). How lonely Jesus must have been, ministering heavenly truths to those who spurned His earthly company! God is the lonely Intercessor. After launching His disciples across Lake Galilee, Jesus ascended a mountain to pray “alone” (Matt. 14:23). With no other like-minded intercessors present, it was a lonely prayer meeting, but He single-handedly prayed His disciples safely across the storm-torn lake.

     God is the lonely miracle Worker. Jesus healed a paralyzed man only to have him report Jesus to the hostile Jewish leaders, who then sought His arrest (Jn. 5:8-9, 14-16). Thus, this man who loved Jesus’ power loathed His presence - and a sharp arrow of loneliness pierced His loving heart. And God is the lonely Head of the church. Though Jesus was their Head, the body of Christ in Laodicea was very content to live without Him and run their own affairs, boasting they “had need of nothing” (Rev. 3:17). So, Jesus found Himself outside their church, alone, knocking on its door, offering forgiveness and fellowship to any who would listen (Rev. 3:20). Leadership is always a lonely business, and the church’s greatest Leader experienced the greatest loneliness.

     To rise above loneliness, and live and lead, as He did, you should practice five simple, biblical steps of obedience.

     First, believe and obey God’s repeated biblical commands to accept every situation we meet - including loneliness! Give Him thanks “in” every situation, because it is part of “the will of God in Christ Jesus” for you (1 Thess. 5:18; see Prov. 3:5-6; Jas. 1:2-4; Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 10:13). This immediately brings peace and keeps us spiritually linked with God so we may receive His elevating comfort and guidance in our loneliness.

     Second, Remember Jesus knows all about your loneliness. In deepest grief and utterly alone, Job professed, “He knows the way that I take…” (Job 23:10). Then, as Job did, believe your loneliness test will produce in you the pure gold of mature faith and knowledge of God: “… when He hath tested me, I shall come forth as gold [refined, highly valuable]” (23:10). By conquering loneliness we immediately become more valuable to Christ: He can now use us to deeply comfort His deeply lonely people (2 Cor. 1:3-6).

     Third, remember Jesus is with you to help you, this moment, as He promised, “Fear thou not, I am with thee…I will strengthen thee … help thee … uphold thee” (Isa. 41:10). Realizing He’s with us stops the pangs of loneliness. Then He strengthens and helps us by sending timely wisdom and new assistants; and if we’re sick or exhausted, He carries us until we recover!

     Fourth, we “draw near” Jesus so, as promised, He may “draw near” to cure our loneliness (Jas. 4:8). Fellowship in His presence is a supernatural healing balm.

     Fifth, we increase fellowship with the believers He has given us, our spiritual family. This fellowship with other committed Christians also powerfully restores us. When Jesus’ natural family rejected His ministry, He retreated to His spiritual family - His fellow believers (Mk. 3:31-35). When the apostles were rejected by the apostate Jewish leaders, they “went unto their own company” for rich spiritual fellowship, edifying conversation, and Spirit-refilling prayer (Acts 4:23-31).

     So when loneliness visits, deal with it, and quickly, so it won’t deal with you. Then rest in Christ and thank Him that He has provided a cure for every wound, even loneliness.

Thankful for His cure,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645