Summary: After preaching three point sermon for nearly fifteen years, I am trying a much simpler style, one point, and send it home. This sermon addresses the issue of lonliness and why we can't feel God's presence in our lives.
All my sermons use illustration found at sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted.
HE’S ALWAYS THERE!
I know that I have battled with something many people in our world battle with on a regular basis, and that is the feeling of loneliness. More people in our world today feel alone, even if they are continually surrounded by people. Preachers, pastors, ministers of the gospel are extremely susceptible to this feeling because they are in a position where they must be very guarded about who they consider close friends. They are shepherds by trade and no good shepherd can show any kind of favoritism, as a matter of fact, they must guard against anyone perceiving that there is favoritism going on.
When I speak of loneliness, I am not speaking of people being hermits, or about people who no one likes, I’m speaking of the feeling of not being understood, or perhaps feeling like people are constantly judging you. I’m talking about those of us who feel mis-understood, those of us who want badly to find others who view things the way we do, who know how we feel, who know what we aspire and people who are ready to come along side us. It is when we are unable to find these kind of people we feel alone. Now I know that most people don’t want to admit that they suffer from feeling alone. People today will admit any problem - drugs, divorce, alcoholism - "but there’s one admission that people are loath to make, whether they’re a star on television or someone who fixes televisions in a repair shop. It’s just too embarrassing. It penetrates too deeply to the core of who they are." People don’t want to admit that they are (sometimes) lonely. "Loneliness is such a humiliating malady that it ought to have its own politically correct euphemism: ’relationally challenged.’ Or its own telethon. Anything to make it safer to confess. Because right now it’s a taboo, an affliction of losers and misfits. And - to be honest - of respectable people like you and me."
I have no problem saying that I suffer from being lonely, and I know that many of you here today feel the same way. The housewife who keeps house all day, does all the chores, fixes the meals, runs all the errands, she stays so busy, but she feels so all alone. The businessman who goes off to work every day, works his shift, comes home and relaxes, but he feels so all alone.
Our world has changed and there is a greater amount of stress in the world today then in days gone by.
It is correct to assume there has never been a more stress-ridden society than ours. For many, gone are the days of enjoying bubbling brooks along winding pathways or taking long strolls near the beach. The relaxed bike ride through the local park has been replaced with the roar of a motorcycle whipping through busy traffic. The easy-come, easy-go lifestyle of the farm has been preempted by a hectic urban family going in six different directions…existing on instant dinners, shouting matches, strained relationships, too little sleep, and too much television. Add financial setbacks, failure at school, unanswered letters, obesity, loneliness, a ringing phone, unplanned pregnancies, fear of cancer, misunderstanding, materialism, alcoholism, drugs, and an occasional death: then subtract the support of the family unit, divide by dozens of opinions, multiply by 365 days a year, and you have the makings of madness! Stress has become a way of life; it is the rule rather than the exception”