Luis Palau Association
Facing Loneliness

20 May 2014

Facing Loneliness

Posted in Articles, Spiritual Growth

A fifty-five-year-old woman threw herself from her fourteenth-floor apartment to the ground below. Minutes before her death, she saw a workman washing the windows of a nearby building. She greeted him and smiled, and he smiled and said hello to her. When he turned his back, she jumped.

On a very neat and orderly desk she had left this note: "I can't endure one more day of this loneliness. My phone never rings! I never get letters! I don't have any friends!"

Another woman who lived just across the hall told reporters, "I wish I had known she felt so lonely. I'm lonesome myself."

You and I are surrounded by lonely people.

Who experiences loneliness and despair? The person living anonymously in a crowded city. The foreigner. The rich and miserly. The divorcee and single parent. The young person. The business executive. The unemployed.

No one is immune from loneliness. Even godly men and women sometimes experience loneliness in their pilgrimage through this world.

Elijah stands out in the Old Testament as God's most dramatic, forceful prophet. He stopped the rain, challenged a king face to face, produced fire from heaven, ordered hundreds of false prophets executed, and accurately predicted the day when a three-year drought would end.

Yet in the New Testament we read, "Elijah was a man just like us" (James 5:17). He also experienced times of loneliness and despair.

By taking four wrong steps Elijah found himself under a tree in complete discouragement (1 Kings 18:46-19:4). First, he exhausted himself physically. Second, he became upset emotionally. Third, he failed to turn to God spiritually. Fourth, he isolated himself socially.

In the end he collapsed under a tree in a desert place and cried, "I've had enough, Lord! Take my life. I just feel like dying."

Have you ever felt completely discouraged - without anyone to encourage you? Have you ever experienced the Elijah syndrome?

Notice how God met each of Elijah's needs in his time of crisis. Physically, God gave him nourishment and sleep. Emotionally, God made His presence known to Elijah and encouraged him. Spiritually, God exhorted Elijah to follow Him once again. Socially, God told Elijah about a large number of godly men and women with whom he could fellowship and receive further encouragement.

God wants to meet your particular needs as well. You cannot live the victorious Christian life alone and on your own; it's impossible. We experience victory only by the power of the indwelling Christ (Galatians 2:20). His presence and power are particularly evident when two or three of His people gather together (Matthew 18:20).

Use your loneliness or discouragement as a motivation to commit yourself anew to the Lord. Don't sit under the tree of despair any longer. Christ has promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). He wants to be our best Friend. You never have to feel alone again.

Be sure to fellowship with God's people (Hebrews 10:25), and stop trying to face the daily battles of life by yourself. Pray with others about mutual needs and concerns. Experience God at work in the body of Christ. Victory in the Christian life is a team effort!

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