All loneliness resolved?

Did you agree with Selwyn, regarding the following statement, which he made in today’s study?

“One of the things that concerns me deeply about much of modern-day church life is the tendency of some to practice denial. .. Let me remind you once again what denial is all about – it is looking at things as one would like them to be rather than as they really are.”

I think the main issue with denial is that the person avoids taking responsibility for any role they may have, in addressing, and perhaps resolving the issue. The worst cases are those instances where ministers/priests  have an idea that there could be a spiritual issue developing in their church, yet for the sake of not wanting to upset anyone – they ‘pretend’ it’s not that serious and fail to do anything about it.  Perhaps, an easy way for Satan to exert his influence over a church community?

Back to today’s study, I agree with Selwyn’s conclusion: ” … those, who through no fault of their own find themselves in situations where they feel desperately lonely – can this type of loneliness be completely resolved? As I have said, it can be relieved but it may never be fully resolved. The grace of God can flow in to ensure that the loneliness is not incapacitating or disabling, but it may be that one has to live with the sharpness of it … “.

We can trust in God’s love that His grace will flow – to ensure that anything, which limits our (God-given) ability to tell people the good news about Jesus, is dealt with. I know from my own personal experiences concerning loneliness – which Jesus, by His grace, completely resolved – at the very moment, I surrendered all my feelings of loneliness to Him. Since that moment, I’ve never felt lonely  – even when I’ve been alone! 

I’ll end with some of the verses, set by Selwyn for reading and meditation – they contain much comfort for those groaning with the pain caused by the various thorns of life, including loneliness. First off, we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and to look forward – towards the fantastic future that awaits us – when, we will be free from sin and suffering.

The second point is covered by these words – ‘we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God’ (Romans 8:28). It may not feel like it now – while we are still in the groaning stage – but, one day (I believe) we will be totally amazed at the good God has done – through our suffering; if, we have sacrificed our suffering to Him. Do you agree?

Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:18-25, 28-30 (NLT): “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.

We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”

The blight of loneliness

I was surprised that when I searched for a list of emotions on the ‘net, I found that there are different lists and the majority of these lists did not include loneliness as a prime emotion. The common prime emotions I found in lists, were: love, joy, surprise, anger, sadness, and fear.  Loneliness was seen by some, to be a secondary emotion that came out of a feeling of sadness due to ‘being alone’, caused by a range of circumstances, such as –  friendlessness, isolation, rejection, grief, homesickness, insecurity, or alienation.

I think that our need to be loved or respected within our own community – are powerful needs, and results in equally powerful emotions, such as loneliness – when these  needs are not met (or, perceived to be not met). Our personal isolation may even be more evident, when we are in a crowd. It’s not so much a lack of contact with other people – it’s more, a lack of relationship with other people whom we accept as having a reciprocal interest in our well-being.

The lonely person’s constant thought is – ‘who cares about me?’ A feeling of sadness then dominates their personality – when they chronically answer the former question – with the terrifying words – ‘No one!’ [As, the American band Three Dog Night, once sang – ‘One, is the loneliest number … ‘]

Selwyn, in today’s study, talks ‘about the fact that Jesus knew loneliness as no one has ever known it – before or since.’ He goes onto say:“Loneliness is the feeling of being bereft of human companionship, the sadness that comes through the loss of a loved one or the failure to find a close or loving friend. … Christians can walk with God, even have a rich relationship with Him, yet at times feel incredibly lonely.”

In Matthew 26:36-40 (NLT), we read about a special type of loneliness – those times when your friends fail to provide support, in your times of distress: “Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed.

He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? … “

As Selwyn, mentioned in today’s study – all of us will experience loneliness at some point in our lives – Jesus understands how you feel, take your loneliness to Him in prayer – He loves you, and He will embrace and comfort, your aching heart.