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Sunday, August 6, 2017
Loneliness Is Longing for Relationship with God BY RICK WARREN — AUGUST 6, Sunday
“It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18b NIV).
What you often call loneliness is really homesickness for God. You’ve just never recognized it. You were made to have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, a relationship that God is dying to have with you. In fact, his Son did die so you could have it. Nothing is ever going to compensate for that — no person, no experience, no drug, no success, no thing, no possession. Nothing is going to fill that aching hole in your heart that God created for himself. He wants you to know him.
How do you get to know God?
Open your life to Jesus Christ. Say, “Jesus Christ, I want to get to know you. I want to learn to love you the way you loved me, even before I knew it. I want to have a relationship with you.” You were made for a relationship with God — not a religion of fear, rules, regulations, and rituals, but a relationship where you talk to God all the time and he works in and through you. That is the antidote to your deepest loneliness.
Join a church family. We weren’t meant to be Lone Ranger Christians. Find a spot where you can get involved. Join a small group where other people get to know you and where you find the support network you need when you’re going through those tough times. Take a chance. Take a risk. Join a small group.
The real reason so many Christians are lonely is because they’re sitting when they should be serving. All around us is a world full of people who are lonely and waiting to be cared for. That elderly person who hasn’t had a visit in two years. That teenager who is all messed up and wonders, “What am I going to do with my life?” That single adult who goes home every night to a lonely apartment. That widow who has just buried her husband. That employee who heads for the bar every night after work because there’s nothing else to do.
The world is full of people waiting to be loved. Stop saying, “I don’t have any friends!” and start saying, “God, who can you use me to minister to? Who can I show your love to?” If all you do is commit yourself to being a friend to lonely people, you’ll live a significant life. That would be a valid, worthy life goal. Get involved in ministry.
You will go through lonely times in your life, but you’ll never go through it alone if you have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you don’t have that relationship with Christ, I invite you to pray this prayer. Say, “Dear Jesus Christ, I don’t understand it all, but there’s a hole in my heart that I realize only you can fill. I recognize that I was made to be loved by you and to have a relationship with you. Today I want to step across the line and establish that relationship. I ask you to come into my life and my heart and replace my loneliness and my hurt with your love. I want to become a part of your family, the Church. I want to give my life to helping others who so desperately need your love and your help.” If you prayed that prayer, God heard you, and you’ve taken the first step in the Christian life.
Everyone can pray, “Father, thank you that you meet our deepest needs, that you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, so that we could have a relationship with you that would never be taken away and we would never be completely lonely because you’re in our lives. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”