Summary: The general belief is that if we can find that "special someone" we can cure our loneliness. Genesis 2 tells us why that isn’t true.
OPEN: Being as this is the Valentine Weekend I wanted to share a few quotes by children about love:
- Glenn, age 7 - If falling love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.
- Tom, age 5 - Once I’m in kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife.
- Kenny, age 7 - It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.
- Regina, age 10 - I’m not rushing into love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough.
- Angie, age 10 - Most men are brainless, so you might have to try more than once to find a live one.
- Dave, age 8 - Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I’ve been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me.
- Ava, age 8 - One of you should know how to write a check. Because, even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills.
- Manuel, age 8 - I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be painful.
APPLICATION: Today, we’re going to be talking about the painful side of love.
The dark side of affection...
The flip side of friendship...
Today we’re going to discuss a painful experience known as loneliness.
How many of you can ever remember being Lonely? (A vast number raised their hands). You’re in good company. A recent Gallop poll said 4 out of 10 Americans admit to frequent feelings of intense loneliness.
ILLUS: Charles Swindoll mentioned an ad in a Kansas newspaper. It read, "I will listen to you talk for 30 minutes without comment for $5.00." Swindoll said, "Sounds like a hoax, doesn’t it? But the person was serious. Did anybody call? You bet. It wasn’t long before this individual was receiving 10 to 20 calls a day. The pain of loneliness was so sharp that some were willing to try anything for a half hour of companionship."
I remember being lonely. I wasn’t well liked at school. I couldn’t seem to get a date (in fact, if a girl talked to me… that was sufficient ground to consider her a girlfriend). I had a few friends, but for the most part I was a very lonely teenager. And looking back I can remember how that made me feel.
I. And looking back, I can see how God healed me of that loneliness. For, you see, God promises to heal us of loneliness:
Psalms 68:6 tell us that “God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”
God sets the lonely in families. He seeks to heal them of their feelings of isolation.
Why would God do that? Why would God commit Himself to this task of helping the lonely? Why? Because God knows that loneliness is not a good thing. He declares in Genesis 2:18 "It is not good for the man to be alone."
Now, that’s not to say that God’s people have never experienced loneliness. Giants of faith, like Jacob, Moses, Job, Nehemiah, Elijah & Jeremiah…they all had their times of loneliness.
· David once cried out to God “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” Psalms 25:16
· Paul, at the end of his life noted that his friends had left, that some had forsaken him, and that he pleaded with his young colleague Timothy to “make every effort to come to me soon.” (II Tim. 4:9-12 NASB).
· And, of course, Jesus cried out on the cross the most lonely comment of all “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Being religious, doesn’t mean we’ll never be lonely.
AND being lonely doesn’t mean that we are somehow being punished for our sins.
Nor does it mean that we are suffering because of our lack of faith
BUT, the fact of the matter is – if you’ve ever experienced loneliness, you know that you don’t ever want to feel like that again. You don’t ever want to experience the emptiness, the feelings of rejection and isolation ever again.
And the good news is God doesn’t want you to experience it either. That’s why in Genesis 2, God declared “it isn’t good that the man should be alone.”
So, what can be done to alleviate loneliness?
I. The first place to look for the healing of the pain of loneliness is God
But that isn’t generally how its done. The 1st place people generally look for the answer to their emptiness… is "somebody else." If we can just get “somebody else” into our lives, then we won’t be lonely. And so there is a constant struggle to get that “somebody else” into our lives, so that we won’t be by ourselves anymore.