THE PRESENCE OF GOD IS SUFFICIENT TO NEGATE EVEN THE MOST EXTREME CASE OF LONELINESS
I. THE PAIN OF LONELINESS -- OF DESERTION AND ISOLATION
A. The Example of Christ -- John 16:31
not just deserted by a bunch of casual acquaintenances; these were his hand-picked disciples in whom He had invested an entire ministry of training (cf. The Training of the Twelve)
not just disciples, but friends John 15:13-15
B. Example of Apostle Paul -- 2 Tim. 4:16-18
In his first trial, no one had taken Paul's side.
especially imp. in light of the necessity for corroborating testimony;
what type of sacrifice and risk had Paul taken for others?
This was during his first Roman imprisonment or a prelim hearing;
Cf. the difference to now:
Demas had deserted him (4:10) and "all those in Asia"
had turned away from him (2 Tim. 1:15). But Onesiphorus had come from Asia and Luke remained faithful
Importance of forgiving those who let you down: "may it not be counted against them" -- Paul felt abandoned, but not vengeful
Insufficiency of human aid
C. Example of Job -- Chap. 16-17
recognizes the sovereignty of God behind the desertion he has
experienced (both comforting and painful)
D. Example of Hagar -- Genesis 16
Sarah despised her and treated her harshly
E. Example of Elijah -- 1 Kings 19
The Fear associated with Loneliness
F. Example of Joseph in prison -- Genesis 39:21 no complaint
II. THE REALITY OF GOD'S PRESENCE -- WHAT SHOULD IT MEAN TO ME?
A. What did it mean to Christ? "Yet I am not alone"
relat. He enjoyed as a Son to a perfect Father
there are times children need their father present a time to draw even closer to God
B. What did it mean to Paul? the Lord stood with me and strengthened me Phil. 4:13
purpose for this strengthening was not just to enjoy the good life, but to be empowered for continued ministry -- don't let loneliness divert us from the ministry God has called us to
C. What did it mean to Job? 42:5-6
importance of the fear of God
need for repentance of any bitterness and complaint
D. What did it mean to Hagar? "Thou art a God who sees"
E. What did it mean to Elijah? experienced the presence of God
F. What did it mean to Joseph? no deviation from faithfulness
The example of Christ on the Cross: the extreme pain and suffering when His Father turned His back on Him. We will never have to experience that type of loneliness and pain
Lonely Voices Crying in the City
Blest be the Tie that binds