This is Part 2 of Making the Most of Isolation, check out Part 1 Here.
2. Reach Out To Others
Paul wasn’t afraid reach out for help when he was alone,
“Please come as soon as you can… Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry… and …Do your best to get here before winter.” 1 Tim 4:9,11,21
Because of pride, many of us don’t reach out when we feel lonely. Instead of reaching out, we feel sorry for ourselves. One thing I’ve learned is that if there is someone you want to connect with, ask. The worst thing that can happen is they say no and you end up right back where you started.
As great as God’s presence is, we also need other people because God made us as relational beings.
Another time David was lonely was when he was on the run, hiding from King Saul in the desert. This time he needed someone else to encourage him, so God sent Jonathan.
“And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.” 1 Sam 23:16
Jonathan and David established a special bond when David served Saul. In his moment of need, Jonathan found David before his dad could and helped him find his strength in God. Notice, David didn’t find strength in Jonathan; Jonathan helped David find his strength in God.
The best way we can encourage others is help people find their strength in God.
Sometimes we can strengthen ourselves in God; other times we need others to help us find our strength in God. Often we need both! So if you are lonely, reach out. And when you find a Jonathan, hold on to them.
Back to Paul, I want you to notice that he wasn’t just asking for help. Even in his loneliness, he was sending greetings to the people he loved. Instead of waiting to get love from others, go ahead and give love yourself.
One of the reasons some of us stay in loneliness is because we are selfish. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, start thinking about how you can share love with others and help others out. Find someone else who who is lonely; you can both be lonely together!
When Jesus came, he loved the lonely and the outcast.
- He invited a hated tax collector to be in his inner circle
- He let a prostitute wash his feet with her tears
- He touched the untouchable lepers
Jesus loves the lonely, and if you are lonely today, Jesus loves you. One of the ways Jesus shows us his love is through the church, his body on earth. David said,
God places the lonely in families. Psalm 68:6
You don’t have to be lonely. There are people who want to help you find your strength in the Lord your God. I want to challenge you to reach out, because very often you get back what you put out. Don’t let selfishness or fear stop you from investing in relationships. Solomon said,
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. Proverbs 18:1
Loneliness can lead to losing our minds in other ways, and into a spiral of selfishness. Jesus came to die so that he could bring us into his family. The day he was crucified, from noon until 3pm the sky went dark as Jesus hung on the cross, until as Matthew records,
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Matthew 27:46
In that moment, Jesus experienced the loneliness of being separated from his Father that he had never experienced.
As the song, How Deep the Father’s Love for Us says,
“How great the pain of searing loss, The Father turns His face away, As wounds which mar the Chosen One, Bring many sons to glory.”
In that moment, Jesus was forsaken temporarily so we don’t have to be eternally. His death and resurrection made it possible for him to offer us his presence, starting now, and lasting forever. Have you accepted Christ’s sacrifice?
A few moments before Jesus died, a thief who was being crucified beside him said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42–43
I don’t care what you’ve done, it’s not too late for you and there is room for you. Jesus said this to his disciples before he left them to die on the cross,
Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:1–3
There is room for you! Don’t let your heart be troubled; choose to trust that Jesus is preparing a place for you. As the song Who You Say I Am says, “In my Father’s house, There’s a place for me, I’m a child of God, yes I am.”
Today if you feel alone, remember God’s presence, reach out to others, and trust God to help you leave loneliness behind!
To listen to the audio of this sermon go to https://subspla.sh/dwcjgct