Deliberately Fleeing Loneliness (Ps T L Mukumba) 18-04-2021
Deuteronomy 31:6-8 6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. 8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Proverbs 18:24. 24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Loneliness is a painful inner emptiness that everybody experiences at times. Loneliness doesn’t always depend on whether others are present. Some people feel lonely even when they are surrounded by groups or crowds; others can be by themselves and not feel lonely at all.
There is moment David cries to Lord about loneliness in Psalm 25:16, he says "Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted." This show us that loneliness is a common thing that can happen to us all.
From the account that we have read, Moses is now 120 years and Joshua is 80 years old (Deut 31:1-3). The Lord speaks to Moses that He is not going to get to the promised land. Moses is handing over the task to Joshua and Israel. Joshua is supposed to lead the children of Israel to the promised land from the wilderness. He is supposed to lead everyone to the land that flows milk and honey. I can image the mixed feeling that is in the people when they received this sad news from Moses. "What's happening?" I believe one of the feelings was a feeling of loneliness and being left out. They could have felt as if the Lord was abandoning them all of sudden. You know when you have such a leader and hear such news, sometimes it's jaw dropping. You know that feeling of shock and trying to make sense out of everything. Moses had crossed the Red sea with them, he turn the water of Marah and they became sweet, they enjoyed manna together. In my thought I believe they were wandering, "Where do we go from here, Lord. Will this Youngman be able to carry on and execute this task?" What comforts my is that the Lord was in it all and He was taking care of business. This is the same feeling that we might be having even this prolonged and uncertain times of Covid. Yet the Lord is in it all. Imagine the News that we getting from various areas including authorities. Everyone is try to make sense of this all, looking around and saying. "So what Lord,... where do we go from here."
Loneliness is not the same as solitude. Loneliness is a negative experience that comes when a person is forced to be alone. Solitude is a voluntary withdrawal from others that most often is positive. I believe some started questioning what had happened but the Lord was with them. They had a friend that sticks closer than a brother and this the friend that I like to introduce you to my dear brothers.
Jehoshaphat had the same feeling of loneliness when he was being attacked by the Moabites and the Ammonites. 2 Chronicles 20:3 3 "And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. In his prayer Jehoshaphat said, (2 Chronicles 20:7) "Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?"
In unprecedent times such like this we need to turn to Lord ladies and gentlemen. When loneliness comes to you, I want to urge you to pray Jehoshaphat references Abraham here and He says, He was a friend of God. Someone should know that, you are special and a friend of God. What differentiated Abraham was faith.
Reference to scripture God said in Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
There are things that can causes of loneliness in our lives, and these can be divided into five categories.
Social causes such as technology, the Internet, television, mobility, changing demographics, and busy lifestyles can cause loneliness.
There are also developmental causes such as unmet needs for attachment, acceptance, and the development of competent social skills which can result in loneliness.
Some are psychological issue which causes low self-esteem, self-defeating attitudes, depression, inability to communicate, lack of control, hostility, and fear depending on the person’s perceptions. I just want you to pray and say Lord change my perceptions. If we are not careful we can be the sum total of what we think
Situational causes such as illness in the family, the role of care-giver, leadership that separates leaders from followers, the loss of a spouse or loved one, or moving to a new and unfamiliar community can also result in loneliness.
There are also spiritual causes that may result in loneliness especially when a person is feeling cut off from God.
Psalm 68:5-6. 5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. 6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
1 Peter 5:7. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Effects of loneliness include feelings of isolation, low self-esteem, depression, substance abuse, use of pornography, violence and physical symptoms. The word of the Lord says;
Matthew 28:20. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 27:10 "Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me." David understood that there is a time his own father 'Jesse' forgot about him, when Samuel came to anoint the next King of Israel. His father left him herding sheep when he called all His other sons except of David. He understand that it was the Lord the receive him despite of the circumstances. I just want to tell you that despite of the circumstance Jesus love you and He loves you dearly.
When we feel and realize that we are lonely, let us consider the causes and the problem. Considering the causes helps us to change our thinking, developing self-esteem, teaching or educate ourselves new behavior and social skills, encouraging and guide ourselves in risk-taking in Jesus name. We need to take cognizant of our spiritual needs.
Romans 8:31-38. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ...
Romans 12:22 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
To prevent loneliness, we we should be more caring and inclusive. As a brothers we should be more caring and inclusive. Let's take care of each other and become brothers keeper. The other thing is to encourage each other to cope with change. Let's hold each others hands in Jesus name. Let's encourage the development of healthy self-esteem and greater competence. Find something to study that is profitable to you online. Take advantage of the situation. We should simulate spiritual growth, including the value of solitude. Halleluyah, let's add value to ourselves and soar high like eagles. Eagles they take advantage of the storm. Far more importantly and above all, there is a friend whose bonds of love prove stronger than those of nature, and, when it comes to the trial, He will do more for us than a brother will. I would want to speak words that Moses spoke to Israel and Joshua; “Be strong and courageous” in this season and let us hold each other’s hand. Let's look after each other and soar high.
As I close I would like to pause this question to us all. Who is your friend? I would like introduce you to another friend whose doesn't discriminate. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Christ is a friend to all believers that sticks closer than a brother; to him therefore let them show themselves friendly.
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend." Let us believe and trust in God when everything else does not make sense.
Let’s consider this friend, He paid it all for us. God offers us friendship with Him. We can have God as our friend forever if we will do all that He tells us. On the night before He died, Jesus told us what a good friend He would be if we met one condition. He said to His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. Jesus knew that a true friend is someone who is willing to sacrifice for their friends they love and care about. And what a friend Jesus really is! He loved us so much that He sacrificed Himself so that we could have an avenue to heaven. That took an incredible amount of faith and courage for Jesus to do something so amazing for all of us. John 15:13-15 Jesus said, Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 14 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
In the old testament the bible describes friendship that was between Jonathan and David in 1 Sam 18:1, it says, “the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” May the Lord knit our heart to Him. May accept His friendship.
2 Sam 1:26 says David was distressed because brother Jonathan because how they were; he said, “thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” May our love for God pass the love of the human realm.
And may you know this, that the Lord says in the Scriptures; quoting from 1 Samuel 12:22, “For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.”
When everything else does not make sense, stick to Jesus he is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. My brother and sister, stick to Jesus he is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.