THE ANSWER TO LONELINESS
Have you often felt alone? Have you stood on the shore and gazed out into the water. . .and wondered, "Who am I? Where am I going? How can I find someone who will listen to me, understand me. . .and walk with me?"
Each of us feels alone at times. We experience this loneliness as a yearning deep within us. . .a yearning that will not let us rest in peace. We feel this deep restlessness to know and to be known. . .to reach out and feel the heartbeat of something--someone-- beyond ourselves. Maybe even someone called--God.
So often we feel torn apart--struggling on the battlefields of life--struggling to see dreams and hopes come true. And so often seeing them turn into broken bits of glass that keep hurting our memories for years. For life.
So, we must let the wars rage within us. . .and we must let the yearning for peace remain but a yearning. After all, this is the common lot of man. This must be.
Or must it? Is there a way to real peace? A way to lasting joy that comes from knowing that you are at one with the universe--at one with God? The Scripture says, "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1) There is someone who knows the way to peace and harmony! He is Jesus Christ, the one often called "The Prince of Peace." He offers the way to inner peace. And now we want to share his way of peace and joy with you.
Who is this person called Jesus? And how can he promise us so much? After all, Jesus claimed to be our strongest link with God. He said that through him we could be joined to the heavenly Father. His words were: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) When we have Jesus present with us, we are never completely alone. We are in fact in the presence of God himself, who is all life, all hope, all joy.
In Jesus time and eternity come together. The human and divine become one river as the Spirit of God flows through us. Jesus himself is the source of that river of life, for he said, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)
Jesus is a mirror in which we can behold the love of God, for he said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." (John 14:9) In Jesus we see the heavenly Father's desire to see us have eternal peace and joy beginning right now.
So, too, Jesus is the bridge over the chasms of our fearfulness, our loneliness, our lostness. He is the bridge over the troubled waters of our inner struggles and wars. As the Bible says, "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 1:1)
But do you need him? Do you really need the peace and joy that Jesus brings? That is possibly the most important question you will ever have to consider. That is why you should take time now to consider it. Let's examine the facts carefully.
When Jesus began his ministry on earth at the age of thirty, the prophet known as John the Baptist immediately recognized him as our sin-bearer, the one who would become our salvation from the power of sin. John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and announced. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)
Not with might and armies did Jesus come--but with meekness and humility. He came not to be honored by men for his greatness and wisdom--but to die as a divine sacrifice for them.
When Jesus began his active ministry, Satan, the devil, tempted him to be someone other than the lamb. To live up to his potential, so to speak. To be a miracle-worker, a political deliverer, a king of all earthly kingdoms. Satan wanted Jesus to be anything but the Lamb, the divine sacrifice. He tempted him to think of himself. . .to avoid the coming cross. But Jesus knew that unless he became the divine sacrifice there would be no life, no joy, no hope for us.
So Jesus chose the way of sacrifice, the way of the cross. He said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me." (John 12:32) So Jesus, the Lamb of God, draws us to him. If we look at him and do not resist his love, we will be drawn to him. That is the power of his love. That is the power of God against the power of sin and the devil--love. For "God is love." (1 John 4:8)
Love will win. . .if we will let ourselves be loved by Jesus. As we behold him on the cross, we will realize our own need, our own loneliness and helplessness. We will realize we are sinners, unable to help ourselves become freed from sin and its power.
The Bible sums it up clearly: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) There is no exception. There are none who are free from sin and its effects. And sin means death. For "the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) How well you and I know that this is only too true!
We have seen the graves of young and old--and we have felt the tug of grief upon our hearts. "The wages of sin is death;" so what can we do? We are in desperate trouble. . .we all are on death row. If we live better lives, will that somehow save us? If not, how can we be saved? There is no way to save ourselves. Therefore we need someone to save us--we need a Savior, someone who can come into our world, into our lives, and give us the gift of salvation and eternal life.
Romans 6:23 says that "the wages of sin is death," but thank God, the verse doesn't end there. If it did our situation would indeed be miserable and hopeless. Our road of life would be a dead end. But the verse goes on to say, "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
God has given us a Savior in Jesus Christ. Salvation is ours for the accepting--it is ours for the believing--it is a free gift. There is no way you can pay for it. As the Bible says: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8,9)
This gift of salvation and life God provided because of his great heart of love. Jesus explained this to Nicodemus, a rabbi who came to see him one night in Jerusalem. Jesus told him: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) Jesus is the gift of eternal salvation for everyone who believes in him. When God gave Jesus to this world, it wasn't a gift that he was to take away again. No, he gave Jesus to us for all eternity.
On the cross, Jesus died to assure us of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Jesus came as an ambassador of peace and joy to reconcile us with God. As the Bible says, "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." (Romans 5:10)
Through Jesus Christ we can be at peace with God. . .and that means being at peace with ourselves, and God longs to have us know that peace. He took the first step to bring us back to him, the source of peace. The Bible says that "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
But how can you get this gift of life? Is it enough to just say- -Yes, I'll take it? The Bible tells us the only way to receive this gift: "God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 John 5:11,12)
Life is in Jesus. It is not something that we can provide ourselves. Eternal life can only come from him. Jesus said of himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) So, when we have Jesus in our lives, we have life in our lives. As Paul said, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27) Christ in you means a fuller, more abundant life now, and eternal life to come. It means peace and joy now. . .and an eternity of joy to come.
Knowing Jesus is what the Christian life is all about. Through him we can have a living, vital connection with God. Jesus described the Christian life this way: "I am the vine, ye are the branches." (John 15:5) To believe in Jesus means to trust him to give us strength and guidance. It means maintaining a close personal relationship with him--letting his life flow throughout your life.
To be a Christian means to live the life of Christ, to obey him as far as you know how. It means to follow his example and teaching in every part of your life. To be a Christian means to daily surrender your life to Christ and allow him to help you meet the problems, joys, sorrows, and sufferings of life.
Do you feel you need power to defeat sin, doubt, temptation? Do you need power to live for Christ? Do you need power to rebuild a broken home, power to restore a broken life? Where and how can you find that kind of power? Here is the secret: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12)
Power comes from being connected with the divine Power-giver, Jesus Christ. Without a living connection with him, we would be like a disconnected lamp, unable to shine. Only when we're connected to the electricity of Christ's power can we have his power flowing through us.
How powerful is the power of Christ? Powerful enough to raise the dead. Listen to what Jesus said: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." (John 11:25)
His power is strong enough to help us overcome any evil habit. Through his power we can be born again and start a new life right now. Through his power our motives, desires and goals can be changed and redirected toward a godly life.
The amazing fact is that this power comes to us through death--the death of Christ and our death to our own selfishness. As we behold him dying on a cross that really belonged to us. . .dying for sins that were not his but ours, we are drawn to such a lovingsacrifice. We are moved. . .shaken. . .changed. Jesus said this would happen: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32)
As we look at Jesus, our Savior, we sense the power of his goodness and love toward us. We realize that we are just as responsible for his death as those who drove the nails into his hands and feet. His love and goodness lead us to feel deep sorrow for our sins. . .sins that put him on the cross. And as we feel his love, we will want to repent of our sins. The Bible says, "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance." (Romans 2:4) Repentance means to be sincerely sorry for our wrongdoings, and to turn away from them and turn to God.
But, you know, we can't even repent on our own. It is the goodness and love of Jesus that lead us to repent and confess our sins. The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
Friend, why not turn to Jesus now? Allow him to become the source of goodness and love in your life. He wants to forgive your sins: he wants to remove all guilt from your heart. He wants to give you a new life, a free conscience. He wants to give you strength to keep your life growing for him. As the apostle said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)
You may think the temptations are too strong. . .but Christ will give you power to overcome every one of them. You may think that the Christian life is too difficult--but Christ will give you power to live it joyfully and successfully.
Is it worth living for him? A thousand times yes! He and he alone can take the discords out of your life and bring harmony. He can settle the great sin problem in your life and give you peace. You know, much of the worry and lack of peace in our hearts comes because of a guilty conscience. Our sins worry us. Though we often will not admit it, our sins become a terrible burden on our hearts.
With sin and guilt in our lives, there can be no peace. The Scripture tells us, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (Isaiah 57:21)
But if we confess and forsake our sins, we need never worry about them any more. Our promise is this: "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13) Jesus wants to take your sin and bury it under his blood. He is our Savior from sin. He died on the cross for our sins.
Friend, come to Jesus with all your sins. Accept him as your Savior. Believe that he died for you and rose again to give you forgiveness and eternal life. When you believe this, then you will find a new peace flowing through you. Jesus promised: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . .Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)
Jesus Christ is the only hope of a lost and ruined world--but he is a gloriously sufficient hope. He is all we sinners need. He died for us. He rose for us. He lives now for us, and he loves us. These are the facts as the word of God presents them. What you do with them will make an eternal difference for your life.
Do you love life? Do you want the happiest most fulfilled life possible? Then friend seek it from the Life-giver, Jesus. He is the only way to life, for "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) Jesus Christ is your only way to complete peace and joy, to everlasting life.
So, the greatest question that you can ever answer is this: Do you know Jesus as your friend and Savior? Have you let him come into your life? Do you want him to be your Master and Lord?
Jesus is the loving Savior who comes to you. He comes and asks to be invited into your life. He says, "I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in." (Revelation 3:20)
He promises you that, if you invite him, he will come in. All you have to do is open the door of your heart to him, and let him in. For when he comes in, you will find the answer to loneliness.