Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

loneliness Archive

Tuesday

23

June 2020

Lies the devil tells us

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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"Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar." C.S. Lewis | Read more at hopereflected.com

Since the Garden of Eden, the devil’s tactics have remained the same. Too frequently, we believe the lies the devil tells us.

Isolation is one of the devil’s lies

Satan doesn’t want us to be part of a church community or communicating openly. Guaranteed that whatever we feel, there are others who can relate. This is challenging to remember, especially during times of distress. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee:” God promises (Isaiah 41:10). In the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us (Psalm 23:4). When we are brokenhearted, He is with us (Psalm 34:18). When we are acting foolishly, He is with us (Psalm 73:23). When we can’t find our way, He is with us (Psalm 139:11). We are not alone.

Satan would love for us to believe that we are alone

Satan would love for us to believe that we are alone, and he also wants us to feel ashamed. He doesn’t want us to share our feelings or to accept God’s grace. Shame is another of the devil’s lies. Satan would have us forever carry around the weight of our past sins, of our regrets, of that thing that happened so long ago that we wish no one would find out about. But God, He’s not a God of shame; He’s a God of saving grace! “For the LORD GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:7). As our Saviour, Christ removes our shame.  “Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.” (Psalm 25:3).

The devil will tell you that no one understands

Another lie Satan wants us to believe is that no one understands us. No one else gets it. Like feeling alone, feeling like no one understands us is another attempt from the devil to hinder our walk with God. But God, He does understand. “Thou understandest my thought afar off.” (Psalm 139:2). God understands far more about us than we do about ourselves! Psalm 139 is a beautiful reminder of this. Truly, as Isaiah wrote, “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding.”

Pessimism is another tactic from the devil’s toolkit

It’s easy to become discouraged when we hear about persecution, viruses spreading, and countries at war. The devil would love to see us quit. Too often we allow our discouragement to change our outlook. We are called to press on. We are called to victory! Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:57-58, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” We are to be always abounding in the work of the Lord, not giving up because we don’t think we can make a difference.  We must not believe the lies the devil tells us. As C.S. Lewis said, “Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar.”

Originally published as “Lies the devil tells us.” Independent Plus. March 12, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Thursday

23

May 2019

You are not alone

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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You are not alone in your feelings of loneliness.

You are not alone in your feelings of loneliness. "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 23:23-24) | Hope Reflected

Loneliness is not a feeling that is limited to times when we’re physically alone. While during the winter months isolation and loneliness plague many – especially those with limited mobility – loneliness is something that affects everyone at some point in their life, more than just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.

The key to loneliness is recognizing it for what it is: A feeling. Feelings come and go, and that’s why it’s incredibly important during periods of loneliness to anchor yourself in the truth.

God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere, and He is always with you. “Am I a God at hand saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 23:23-24 is just one example about God’s omnipresence. When you’re feeling lonely, it’s always encouraging to remember that wherever you go, God goes. Whatever you’re feeling, God is there. David asked in Psalm 139:7, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I make my bed in hell, behold, you art there, if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”

In addition to God being everywhere, when you’re feeling lonely, remember that you’re not the first person to feel this way, in fact, if we’re all being honest, at some point in time we’ve all felt lonely – even while surrounded by other people! Jesus is an excellent example of this. Isaiah 53 provides a picture of what our Lord experienced during His time on earth. He bore our griefs, and He carried our sorrows, He was wounded for our transgressions and was bruised for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him (Isaiah 53:4-5). It wasn’t just your sin or my sin that Christ carried to the cross; it was everyone’s sin. Christ was oppressed and afflicted, and as a result, today we understand that we aren’t alone! When you know the Lord as your Saviour, you have a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

The Bible is filled with verses on the topic of loneliness (at least 30 by my count). You can be sure that you are not alone in your feelings of loneliness. No matter how lonely you are, Christ is there. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me,” (Psalm 23:4). For thou art with me – the father of the Fatherless, the defender of widows, the one who sets the lonely into families – He is with you! As C.S. Lewis said, “Look for yourself and you will find loneliness and despair. But look for Christ and you will find Him and everything else.” In seasons of loneliness, look for Him!

Originally published as “You are not alone.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. January 24, 2019: 6. Print. Web.

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Friday

10

February 2017

Hope Reflected | The Cure for Loneliness | 3 things to do when you feel alone

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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loneliness quote c.s. lewis

At some point in life, each of us feels alone. Perhaps it’s physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. You may feel like there’s no one out there who gets what you’re going through, as though there’s no one out there who understands what you’re thinking or feeling, or as though you’re the only one who’s been there before.

As a child, in gym class – my least favourite class, btw – when we’d be playing dodge ball, or another “team building” game, group captains were assigned to create teams. Each captain got to choose who would be part of his or her team. And there was always someone who was the last to be selected. There were similar situations in class, when students were asked to form groups. There was always someone who didn’t get chosen to be part of a group.

Perhaps you feel like no one wants you to be on their team, or no one wants you to be part of their group. Maybe you’re single and you feel like you’re never going to meet “the one”. Maybe you’re an empty nester whose children are off at college or university. Maybe you’re a senior who feels isolated and misses family or like you’re constantly saying goodbye to people who are passing away into eternity. Maybe you’re someone who has plenty of friends yet still struggles with feelings of loneliness.

You don’t have to be alone to feel the force of loneliness. If you’re feeling isolated, or as though no cares or understands where you’re at or what you’re going through, take heart! There is a cure for loneliness, and steps you can take to overcome your feelings of loneliness.

  1. Admit that you’re lonely. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 The first step to overcoming loneliness is admitting that you’re lonely. Tell the Lord how you feel; there’s no one who will understand more deeply. Jesus Himself experienced the anguish of loneliness. We read about the most public display of His loneliness and agony when He cried out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46) But if we’re being real, Jesus’s loneliness on earth started long before He went to the cross for us. He spent His whole earthly life as an outsider – the only sinless man living in an entirely sinful world – Who came to redeem our sins and eradicate any feelings of loneliness and heartache we could ever experience.
  2. Enjoy the presence of God. “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 If you’re feeling lonely, take a cue from David, who, arguably, experienced more loneliness and heartache throughout his life than any of us ever will. Wherever he was at, David claimed God’s promises and declared that being in the presence of God was the fullness of joy. When feelings of loneliness flood your heart and mind, get into God’s Word; train your thoughts on Him; talk to Him. Learn to enjoy the presence of God. We are promised in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” When you feel alone, remember that there is One who truly cares for you.
  3. Reach out. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 A long time ago I heard the advice that in times of loneliness or anxiety, we should “Stop looking in, and start looking out and up.” Those are wise words. When you’re feeling lonely, reach out! It could be as easy as picking up the phone and calling someone you love, or getting involved with a local Church group or Bible study. Also, if you’re not feeling lonely, why not reach out to someone who is or who could use a friend? Visit the elderly or send a handwritten note of encouragement.

At some point in life, each one of us experiences the feelings of loneliness. C.S. Lewis once said, “Look for yourself and you will find loneliness and despair. But look for Christ and you will find Him and everything else.” Just remember, you are never truly alone; Jesus Christ longs to have a relationship with you, if you’ll put your trust in Him.

Originally published as “The Cure for Loneliness: 3 things to do when you feel alone.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. February 2, 2017: 7. Print.

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