Episode 10: Never Alone

Abundant Life Podcast
Abundant Life Podcast
Episode 10: Never Alone
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In this episode Saso and Ben talk about the topic of loneliness. Below are some notes and thoughts directly derived from this episode. Enjoy!

Loneliness Definition

LO’NELINESSnoun

1. Solitude; retirement; seclusion from company. He was weary of the loneliness of his habitation.
2. Love of retirement; disposition to solitude.

1828 Webster’s Dictionary

Loneliness is a serious matter. Just to be clear, being alone and loneliness are two different things. One could be alone yet fell content, and another could be in a crowd of people and feel lonely. Or loneliness could be the effect of being alone. Confused yet?

There are many people around the world that will experience loneliness caused by some circumstance. Whether male or female, believer or unbeliever, nobody is immune to this state of mind. Loneliness is an emotion and a very powerful one at that. It can cause people to isolate, get depressed, experience anxiety, frustration, sadness, be angry, be bitter, be discontent, all negative consequences of loneliness.

And this state of loneliness seems to be amplified around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas because those holidays typically revolve around family activities and gatherings where people are usually together.

Why do we feel lonely?

According to a report by NPR, there was a study done in 2019 by the insurer Cigna and they found that 3 out 5 Americans are lonely with people feeling that they are disconnected, left out, misunderstood or lacking companionship.

The report also shows that men are more lonely than women with 63% of men feeling lonely vs 58% of women feeling lonely.


One statistic that caught my attention was that 73% of people who are heavy social media users were reported as feeling lonely.


Another statistic, Generation Z is the loneliest generation which would only confirm the social media trend for those who use a lot of social media.


AARP ran a study to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults of all ages, to understand levels of social isolation during the pandemic, and to assess knowledge of how social isolation can impact a person’s health.


The top 4 emotions that adults experienced were 57% frustration, 52% stress, 47% anxiety and 41%isolation. Loneliness came in at 9th place with 28% of adults who were said to be lonely. 41% of the adults in the study agree that the pandemic has made it difficult to connect with friends. Two thirds of the adults in the study were said to have experienced social isolation. We can go on and on with these stats.

But why do feel lonely? What is the root cause?

There are many reasons, but here are some reasons not yet mentioned.

  • Unbeliever – No Jesus means no peace and no joy. The feeling of being disconnected is really a disconnection from God. Only Jesus can fill the God shaped hole in your heart. No amount of money, fame or fortune can fill that hole. Typically around Christmas you see people buying lots of stuff because it gives them a sense of satisfaction, but it’s really a fleeting sense because they can’t fill hole in their heart that only Jesus can satisfy.
  • Loss of a loved one – This is especially difficult. Even if the deceased was a born again believer, and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are in heaven…the reality is that death hurts. You definitely have a sense of loss. And again, these types of losses are very painful around the holidays.
  • Being ignored – Makes you feel worthless and unimportant.
  • Alienated or rejected – Makes you feel lonely because you basically have zero sense of worth.

There are many reasons why people feel lonely.

Loneliness can then lead to things like depression, being angry, getting anxiety, feeling sad and can ultimately effect your health. According the CDC social isolation which most commonly leads to loneliness can cause things like demntia, heart disease, and stroke. Other common health concerns are high blood pressure, risk for heart attack, lack of sleep and the list goes on.


How does one overcome loneliness?

God’s family

The first and most important way to overcome loneliness for an unbeliever is to place your faith or dependence on God for what He has already done for you. Christ’s death on the cross, exchanging His righteousness for your sin, was an expression of His deep love for you. When you become a born again believer you become part of the body of Christ.

  • Galatians 3:26-28
  • Galatians 4:6

God’s promises

Hebrews 13:5-6

Who is always with you? Who promised never to leave you? Who is your helper? What can man do to you? Ignore and fight those whispers of the devil.

We have to be convinced of His love for us

Romans 8:35-39

There is nothing that can take His love for us. Do you truly believe that to be true? When you are separated from all things and pulled away, do you pull and cleave to Christ?

Death sometimes brings loneliness as we are separated from those who we love that are no longer with us but if they know Christ, they are with Him and enjoying His presence forever.

When all others forsake you, God is always there
 


Psalm 27:10-14

David was in a bad spot and not in the best of situations, but He had access to the throne of Grace by prayer. Do you realize we have that same access to the Father through Jesus Christ? In your loneliness, are you taking advantage of the power of prayer? 


People who were lonely in the Bible
 


Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet and he was constantly rejected by those He loved and sought to warn of the judgement of God. He was forbidden to marry and did not have any children but there is a book in the Bible attributed to him.

Jeremiah 20:14

Jeremiah 20:18

Makes you want to go out and conquer the world eh? How did this verse make you feel? Encouraged?

Who wants to live a life a shame, a life of opposition, a life with no family? It’s likely that not many would be up for the task. But there was one after Jeremiah that would do just that and much more. Jesus lived a life of opposition, he was poor, he was hated, he was persecuted and eventually murdered.

The Christian life is honestly very difficult. The reason it’s so difficult is because it is absolutely contrary to the world. Basically you are swimming upstream while most are swimming downstream.

Christianity is not completely negative, God does shower us with blessings and does truly give us an abundant life. The fact that we are loved by God and called sons and daughters surpasses any worldly riches that one can imagine.

  • Jeremiah 29:11
  • Jeremiah 29:13

God is not one that is elusive and unattainable, but He is One that can be found if we will seek Him with all our heart? What are you seeking today? Are you seeking Him or are you seeking that Facebook life which leaves one unsatisfied and discontented?

We look at David who lost children, sinned against God, his kids wanted to overthrow him, Saul sought his life but yet God used Him to pen some of the Psalms which has been an encouragement to many.

  • Psalm 42:11
  • Psalm 55:22
  • Psalms 34:4
  • Psalms 28:7

These are verses of hope as we go through loneliness in our lives. God is ever present and available.

We look at Elijah who experienced a great victory but then was discouraged and lonely as Jezebel sought his life

1 Kings 19:1-4

He had just commanded fire from heaven and slew all the prophets of Baal but he was scared for his life and was all alone in the wilderness and sought the LORD to take away his life.

Did God take his life? No, he sustained Him
 


1 Kings 19:5-8

1 Kings 19:9

Obviously God knew why he was there. Elija respons in verse 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Then the Lord passed by along with a great wind, a great earthquake and a great fire, but the scripture says that God was not in the wind, not in the earthquake and not in the fire but a still small voice said, “Elijah what are you doing here?”. Elijah repeated that he was the only one left and that his life was being sought out in order to kill him. Then God begins to tell Elijah His plan to anoint a king and another prophet. Then he tells Elijah in verse 18 – Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

In other words, Elijah thought he was the last one alive that worshiped God hence making him to feel loneliness. But God told Him his great plan and also told him that there were still 7000 that have not bowed the knee to Baal.

In times of great loneliness, God provides substance even in the wilderness of life. 
 


Our thoughts control our actions and what we think and focus on plays a part in our disposition, so what are you thinking about?

Philippians 4:6-8

What is your focus on? What are you thinking about? I think it would be a great idea to put verse 8 on a 3×5 card in your pocket to remind you of what good things to think about. The Devil always will remind you of your loneliness even though you are the child of the King of Kings. 


Sometimes we just need to get the focus off of ourselves and back on to Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Taking the focus of yourself and putting on Jesus, changing your mindset, will blast loneliness out of the water.

The hope we have in Him

Paul was trying to be an encouragement to the weak which is us when we get lonely
 


Romans 15:13

Only God can fill that loneliness, only God can give you the joy and peace that this world cannot offer. Only God gives you the hope

Nehemiah 8:10

In times of loneliness may the joy of the LORD be our strength, may we not forget that.

He is ever with us, may we not forget that we cannot separated from His love. 
 


May we rest on His promises and may we ignore the whisperings of the Devil. May we remember in our weakness

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

May we become strong through Him in our weakness and may we know the truth that we are never alone.

I’ve seen the lightning flashing, I’ve heard the thunder roll.
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, which almost conquered my soul. I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, bidding me still to fight on.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

Chorus

No, never alone, no never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
He’ll claim me for His own;
No, never alone, no never alone.
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

The world’s fierce winds are blowing, temptation sharp and keen. I have a peace in knowing my Savior stands between—
He stands to shield me from danger when my friends are all gone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

When in affliction’s valley I tread the road of care,
My Savior helps me carry the cross so heavy to bear;

Though all around me is darkness, earthly joys all flown;
My Savior whispers His promise, never to leave me alone!

He died on Calvary’s mountain, for me they pierced His side.
For me He opened that fountain, the crimson, cleansing tide.
For me He waiteth in glory, seated upon His throne.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

Never Alone Author Unknown

To sum this up, Jesus is the key to conquering loneliness.

We could end the podcast here, however, I want to take an opportunity to speak to those of you who may not be experiencing loneliness at this moment or may not experience loneliness at all.


Being part of the body of Christ, it is our responsibility to minister to those that are lonely. We should be encouraging people in the Lord.

  • Galatians 6:2
  • Philippians 2:4
  • Romans 15:15

We spoke about getting the focus off of ourselves and ministering to someone in need is a great way to do that. The reality is that many times people that are experiencing issues like loneliness will not reach out and ask for help. When you are in a depressed state, or feel like your disconnected, the last thing you feel like doing is asking someone for prayer, or help. We need to have our eyes open and minister to others. When you are at church on Sunday just remember that 3 out of 5 people, according to the study, is experiencing loneliness. I realize that in church that number might be slightly lower, however, loneliness is real, so let’s have compassion for others.

4 Comments

  1. Dora Ulici on December 15, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    This podcast is such a blessing! I love listening to you guys before I read my book for discipleship groups… The Taco Talk is so wholesome as well, Haha!

    • Ben on December 28, 2020 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you for your encouragement Dora! 🙏 God bless. 😊

  2. pivoinepage on December 30, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    What do you do when you feel dejected, alone and misunderstood? From the research part, you should not feel sorry for yourself. It makes you enter a dangerous slope of self destruct: it causes you to be depressed, which in change causes people to make bad choices, then more bad choices to make them forget about the bad choices they made, and ultimately gets people further away from God, because the last thing you want to do is face God… The cure for loneliness is found in growing that relationship with God. We tend to think God doesn’t care, but at closer inspection in his Word, the opposite is true, and if it could, it would scream at us! Don’t throw a pity party, investigate your relationship with God! That’s my take on this. Awesome podcast, guys! I am looking forward to more of these in the next year!

  3. Rosendo Mendez on January 12, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Georgie it sounds like we need to have you on the podcast. Dora thanks for the encouragement!

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