Sermons

Summary: A message on the topic of loneliness and how to solve it.

“Why can’t we be Friends?”

Matthew 26:36-45

In my early twenties I moved to another city and state for my first BIG job. I was hired by a construction firm in Baton Rouge to do payroll and keep up with Job Costs at Exxon Chemical. The plant was massive. It stretched for 11 miles. Several miles wide. Employees about 5000 people. I was single when I moved there. I was hired from Arkansas and when I got there to Baton Rouge I recall that when I laid my head down that night in my hotel room that I knew absolutely no one. Surrounded by thousands of people in the city and about to be surrounded by thousands at work but I had not yet met a single person. It was the first time in my life that I began to understand what it is like for people who feel lonely.

So I found an apartment the next day and moved in and I thought I gotta get to church Sunday. So I can get to know some people. I started looking for a church and found myself in a very large church with a lot of people. I attended every time the doors were open and several weeks later I still knew no one.

{1} We can be surrounded by tens of thousands of people and still feel lonely.

When Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane the night before he would face his death by crucifixion, it seems evident that he experienced loneliness. He begged the disciples to wait up with him and to pray with him and yet all they wanted to do was sleep. He needed some support. He wanted company. He went away a second time asking them again to stay up and pray and then even a 3rd time but the response was the same all 3 times…they had nothing to say and simply went back to sleep. It seemed as though they could care less.

It seems a bit strange to consider that Jesus could perhaps feel lonely. This is the

King of Kings…God Himself in the flesh, the one that thousands tried to get to in the height of his popularity…so busy that he had to often run away to spend some time alone with the Father only to find that there would be people waiting for him when he got there. He often found Himself surrounded by thousands of people yet loneliness could still set in. We can all likely identify with that. We can go to a large venue, a ballgame or got to the mall or to some other huge event and feel while we are there that we are completely alone.

{2} Loneliness is never based on the quantity/number of people we know. It is based on the quality of relationship we have with individuals. We can know many people but still not have any depth with any of them. Here is a question. When you hurt who do you talk to? That is your true friend. For many of us we might say, I have no one. Or we might say I have one or two. But the list is not usually a long one.

I think that to overcome loneliness we must deepen two kinds of relationships.

{1} We must deepen our relationship with Jesus. How would you like to have a friend who would say these things to you…..

• When you are facing a storm and feel like an orphan, I will not leave you. John 14:18

• If your Mom and Dad leave you I won’t. Psalm 27:10

• I won’t leave you until the world ends.

• The mountains might disappear but I will always be kind to you. Isaiah 54:10

• I will be with you whenever you are afraid. Isaiah 41:13.

• I will never let you down or leave you. Deuteronomy 31:6

How would you like a friend like that? What I have done there is to summarize 6 verses out of the Bible of words Jesus/God has spoken to us. Those are 6 promises our Father makes to us in the scripture. If you are struggling with loneliness you need to deepen you relationship with Christ. Because He wants to be your best friend. Everything you need in a best friend, He has it.

• Patience.

• A listening ear.

• Will never break a confidence.

• Will never gossip about you.

• Will never throw you under the bus. That is the kind of friend we have in Jesus.

{2} We must deepen our relationship with others. Now I want to place the ball in your court. I am fairly certain if I were to ask you if you have a friend you can count on no matter what that many of you might say…”I didn’t know there was someone like that”. Many people go through life looking for someone like that and never find them. You know why? Because they sit back expecting them to just walk into their life. Expecting someone to just show up at your front door and say hey I am here to be your best friend! And it will not happen that way. The same thing you are looking for in a friend is probably the same thing they are looking for. Someone who listens; someone who cares. Someone who encourages.

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