BY REV. DR. PHILIP CRAIG
Greater Springfield Community Church
Scripture: Psalms 102:1-17
Loneliness has been called the most desolate word in the English language. It is no respecter of age, race, economic status or intelligence. God made us for intimacy and companionship with others. Even before sin entered the world, He declared that “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).
That’s why many people often feel so empty inside when they are operating life as a single person. I use the words “single person,” rather than alone, because you can be single and not be alone when you’re faith is in God since God reminds us that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Even Jesus experienced loneliness. He felt it when His disciples deserted Him (Mark 14:50). However, God’s presence more than compensated for this. He said, “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone—and yet, I am not alone because the Father is with me” (John 16:32).
Intimacy with God is available to all who put their trust in Christ, according to John 14:16-23. We can reduce our feelings of loneliness by reaching out to others. But even more important, we must reach out to the Lord. He is always with us, and He wants us to find fellowship with Him throughout the day.
A recent poll concluded that four out of 10 Americans admit to frequent feelings of intense loneliness and depression. Has loneliness ever crept into your life?
What does the Bible say to those who are going through those dark times? Difficult times came to many in the Bible. Paul in his letter to Timothy said, “Everyone has deserted me,” three different times. His method of coping was to ask for his parchments and friends. The fact is that many “good” Christians battle depression. Most of us face situational depression at some point. There are times in life when depression is a normal response to a difficult situation, such as the death of a loved one, disappointment, relationship issues or health challenges.
Depression can be devastating. The Psalmist in today’s scripture felt many things during a time of loneliness—for example, God seemed far away (verse 2), life seemed meaningless (verse 3), his bones burned and he didn’t feel well (verse 3), he experienced loss of appetite and weight loss (verse 4), he felt alone (verse 6), he felt persecuted and rejected (verse 8), he experienced sadness and tears (verse 9), he was painfully aware of his failures (verse 10) and then felt tossed aside (verse 10).
A person reading this sermon might admit that these feelings are familiar. If that is the case, I encourage you to decide on making a change immediately by implementing the following three steps below. Start by:
Turn off the tunnel vision (verses 3-10). Depression often occurs when we focus on the circumstances surrounding a situation instead of the situation surrounding the circumstance. We become unable to see “the forest for the trees.” In these times, we must learn to dwell on the Lord’s goodness—and not our pain.
Concentrate on the creator. Surrender to God’s sovereignty (12-15) and concentrate on God’s character (17-22). God is in charge. He knows where you are and what you’re going through. He knows what he is doing, even if we don’t. We must learn to trust God. God perfects us by means of the furnace.
Focus on the future (16, 23-28). Look past the present. God is preparing a great place for those who trust Him. Concentrate on your potential, gifts and talents that God has given you to put into action.
Below are my personal seven laws for living a life free of depression. I pray it will be a blessing to you or share with someone you know who may benefit from it.
Commit yourself to the purpose of glorifying God in all things. Spend time daily meditating on God’s Word and applying it to your life. Deal with grudges and anger daily. Concentrate on building close relationships with your family.
Develop solid Christian friendships and spend time each week enjoying these people. Be involved in a daily routine that brings personal satisfaction to you. Do something nice for one special person each week.
177-06 129th Ave, Jamaica NY 11434
Email Pastor Craig at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org