With roughly 7.5 billion people as our neighbors, it might seem as though one could never feel alone. Yet that is not the case. Even surrounded by others, we may feel isolated, ignored, and insignificant. Have you ever been in a roomful of people and yet you could have just as well been in the wilds of Siberia because everyone was texting on their phones? When it’s the middle of the night and you can’t sleep, problems multiply and grow in our minds, and who’s awake to know or care? The disapproval of family or friends can leave one feeling cut off to face life alone. When you are weighed down by an especially heavy burden of sickness or some other trial, does it seem as though everyone else is happily going along without even noticing you? Perhaps the worst kind of loneliness is when others stay away because of some fault on your part. The guilt then becomes all the more painful and hard to bear. Sin has made the world a lonely place.
But then God comes in His Word to assure us that by faith in Jesus, we are truly never alone. David said, “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar…even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Ps. 139:1,2,12). Jesus promises, “Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age. I will never leave you or forsake you.” In the middle of the night the Lord is awake to invite, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor me” (Ps. 50:15). He is the Friend who will never abandon you just when you need help the most. “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me” (Ps. 27:10). And when we deserve to be left to rightful punishment, the Lord says that rather than keep us at arm’s length, He came to earth to suffer the shame and punishment for all people. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21).
When you feel alone, remember that you’re really not. Read a Psalm. Talk to the Lord in prayer. Count on Him for help in every circumstance. “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Ps. 145:18).
In tomorrow’s sermon text (Lk. 3:15-17, 21-22) we will hear how at His baptism Jesus identified with sinners and set out on the path to the cross where He would die for us that we might live with Him.
Services will be at the usual 8:00 and 10:45 a.m.
Bible class thought-starter: What would you like to see as the topic for next fall’s outreach seminar?
Tomorrow at 6 p.m. there will be an open meeting to talk about all aspects of our school’s kindergarten program which has been on hold for the past couple of years. Come and share your thoughts!