Loneliness at Christmas

December is almost here and the shops have been promoting Christmas since mid October! It is also appearing in adverts in newspapers, magazines, online and TV.

For most of us it is a happy time spent with families and friends but for some it is the loneliest time of the year. They live alone. Their loved ones may have died or are living far away. They remember the years gone by when they were surrounded by so many who loved them. Most of us can’t imagine being so isolated and unhappy.

We know, of course, that everyone struggles with loneliness at some point, even in the midst of a crowd.

The problem is so prominent in our society that the Government is proposing the setting up a Minister and a team to see what can be done.

The Bible, God’s Word, can provide hope and strength if we are prepared to let its message filter into our thinking. Please think about the positive flow of thought that comes from the Bible passages listed below. They are just a few of many.

King David wrote: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8)

“O Lord, all my longing is before you ; my sighing is not hidden from you.” (Psalm 38:9)

“He (God) heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)

Jesus, God’s beloved Son, appealed to the people: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you , and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The apostle Paul wrote: “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Peter, Jesus’ disciple, also adds to the message:” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

So David, Jesus, Paul and Peter, although at times feeling lonely, found their solace and comfort in God, knowing that His purpose with them would be fulfilled . The power of meditating on the Word of God, prayer and actively applying God’s principles in their lives provided the stimulus to keep going. We, with them can look forward to the promise of God’s Kingdom on this earth (Hebrews 11 to 12:1 and 2) and in that Kingdom feelings and experience of loneliness will be a thing of the past.

May those of us who are blessed with families and friends and looking forward to their company this Christmas spare a thought for the lonely and, if we can, invite them to share our happiness.

All quotes from English Standard Version. To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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Loneliness

In spite of Facebook, Twitter and Skype, tools that help us to stay in touch with friends and relations, loneliness is one of the great evils of the 21st Century. This is particularly so for many elderly people. Some do not have any meaningful contact with others for weeks.

Yet God created us to be ‘social’ creatures, caring for one another. This is where Bible based Christianity can help. Take the creation of Eve for Adam.

imagesGod says “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). That ‘helper’ was Eve (v 20).

One of the main purposes of marriage is companionship, being like minded, particularly if both are Christians. Thus the Gospel brings the believers into fellowship with God and the Lord Jesus Christ. This unity gives a real meaning to life.

Jesus said “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The spiritual mind finds outlets in helping others come to the Gospel, knowing that this life is a pilgrimage to the promised coming Kingdom of God.

Having established that there is a resurrection to everlasting life for the faithful Christian, the apostle Paul writes “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that, in the Lord, your labour is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58). The Christian’s work is ‘not in vain’. There is a time of peace and righteousness coming. The regular reading of the Bible and prayer will provide spiritual stimulation, comfort and peace of mind (please look at Philippians 4:6 – 9). We all appreciate the depths of loneliness a wife or husband feels when their beloved partner dies. But they know and are comforted because they know that they are “… heirs with you of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7), so that, by God’s grace, they will be together again when Jesus returns.

Christianity is about God’s plan for this life and the future. Paul wrote: ” …godliness (trying to be like God) is of value in every way as it holds the promise for the present life, and also for the life to come” (1Timothy 4:8). Our world, with all its problems, including loneliness, is comforted by God’s promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. What a prospect!

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*To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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