Summary: Comfort from the Psalms for those who struggle with loneliness.
No, Never Alone
Intro song – Stand By Me
After a ship sank in the ocean, three men ended up stranded in a lifeboat. They floated around for days without food or water. One afternoon a bottle floated up to the boat. The men grabbed the bottle and when they pulled the cork out of the bottle, a genie appeared.
’I’ll grant each of you a single wish,’ said the genie.
’I wish I was home,’ said the first man. Then, poof! he disappeared.
’I wish I was home, too,’ said the second man. Poof! He disappeared too.
The third man looked around. ’I’m kind of lonely,’ he said. ’I wish my friends were here with me.’
a Midwestern newspaper: "I will listen to you talk for 30 minutes without a comment for $5.00." Sounds like a scam, doesn’t it? It was not. Person placing ad received 10-20 calls a day.
Swiss woman who lived in a large apt. house and worked in a shop with many people. Each evening she tuned in to the sign-off of the radio station just to hear a voice say, "We wish you a very pleasant good night." She imagined that voice speaking just to her.
Hector’s story about his lonely grandmother (Felt impression to call. She was waiting by the phone. Had prayed that someone would call. She wept. She was lonely.)
The man of sorrow:
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (Joh 1:11)
I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: …(Isa 63:3)
Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. (Joh 16:32)
Christ alone on the cross “why hast Thou forsaken me?”
Elijah in the wilderness “I, only I am left of all the prophets;”… “Let me die” (1 Kings 19)
John all alone in prison…
Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? (Mat 11:2-3)
Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (2Ti 4:9-10)
At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (2Ti 4:16-17)
Job had no comfort from his “friends”
“when I do the best I can and my friends misunderstand”
Even animals Pit of Despair or Well of Loneliness (Harry Harlow) – effect of isolation on animals
I. God Knows Us
a. God knows you! (v. 1-4)
i. Downsitting and uprising – merism
ii. Knows our thoughts
b. We are known imperfectly except by God
i. Ever wish the people you love were mind readers?
c. Importance of being known
i. one study says 90% of suicidal teens feel that their families don’t understand them
d. Remind yourself that God is constantly aware of you
i. To be God’s ministers on the earth we must get to know people
II. God Loves Us
a. God is all around you and has His hand on you (v. 5-6)
b. Illustrations of God being “tangible”/providence
i. Spirit baptism
ii. Divine healings
A Norwegian missionary, Marie Monsen, who served in China in the 1950s. She testified to the intervention of angels when Christians were in great danger. They had taken refuge in the mission compound only to be surrounded by looting soldiers and they were astonished to find that they were left in peace. A few days later the hostile men explained that they were ready to break down the flimsy wall when they noticed tall soldiers with shining faces on a high roof in the compound. Marie Monsen wrote, "The heathen saw them, it was a testimony to them, but they were invisible to us.”
c. Long-distance relationships not the same as face-to-face relations
i. There are times when, even if we know we’re loved, we don’t feel loved
ii. Anti Deism
iii. He is with us and IN us
d. We must remember that God is a real person
i. There is a great difference between kind feelings and kind actions
1. “be warmed and filled”
ii. We must reach out to those who need to feel God’s love
III. God Won’t Let Us Go