sermon: Lonely, But Not Forsaken
Today there is an epidemic of depression brought about by loneliness and isolation, especially in senior citizens, who lack the benefit of transportation and supportive family members. Bible luminaries such as David, Elijah, Jonah and Job faced similar circumstances. Even Jesus Christ had to cope with feelings of anxiety and loneliness in Gethsemane before His crucifixion, a time in which He experienced separation from His Father. Thankfully, God's people can rely on the promise that, although they will receive afflictions, God will deliver from them from all troubles. Jonah knew that, even though he was trapped in the belly of a great fish, his total surrender to Almighty God would deliver him. When God's people cry out to Him in the midst of intense suffering, their focus pivots from their helplessness to God's permanence and sovereignty. At the same time, the reality of His eternity inspires them. Companionship alleviates loneliness, proving that a three-fold cord does not easily break (Ecclesiastes 4:12), especially if the third cord is the companionship of God, who serves as Parent to the orphan and Friend of those who have no friends. Loneliness can become a transformative catalyst in which awareness of one's depravity and character insufficiencies can lead to absolute surrender to Almighty God. Loneliness can also serve to augment one's sensitivity to others and create a desire to serve others, in turn preventing them from feeling forsaken.
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