Summary: After preaching three point sermon for nearly fifteen years, I am trying a much simpler style, one point, and send it home. This sermon addresses the issue of lonliness and why we can't feel God's presence in our lives.
All my sermons use illustration found at sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted.
HE’S ALWAYS THERE!
I know that I have battled with something many people in our world battle with on a regular basis, and that is the feeling of loneliness. More people in our world today feel alone, even if they are continually surrounded by people. Preachers, pastors, ministers of the gospel are extremely susceptible to this feeling because they are in a position where they must be very guarded about who they consider close friends. They are shepherds by trade and no good shepherd can show any kind of favoritism, as a matter of fact, they must guard against anyone perceiving that there is favoritism going on.
When I speak of loneliness, I am not speaking of people being hermits, or about people who no one likes, I’m speaking of the feeling of not being understood, or perhaps feeling like people are constantly judging you. I’m talking about those of us who feel mis-understood, those of us who want badly to find others who view things the way we do, who know how we feel, who know what we aspire and people who are ready to come along side us. It is when we are unable to find these kind of people we feel alone. Now I know that most people don’t want to admit that they suffer from feeling alone. People today will admit any problem - drugs, divorce, alcoholism - "but there’s one admission that people are loath to make, whether they’re a star on television or someone who fixes televisions in a repair shop. It’s just too embarrassing. It penetrates too deeply to the core of who they are." People don’t want to admit that they are (sometimes) lonely. "Loneliness is such a humiliating malady that it ought to have its own politically correct euphemism: ’relationally challenged.’ Or its own telethon. Anything to make it safer to confess. Because right now it’s a taboo, an affliction of losers and misfits. And - to be honest - of respectable people like you and me."
I have no problem saying that I suffer from being lonely, and I know that many of you here today feel the same way. The housewife who keeps house all day, does all the chores, fixes the meals, runs all the errands, she stays so busy, but she feels so all alone. The businessman who goes off to work every day, works his shift, comes home and relaxes, but he feels so all alone.
Our world has changed and there is a greater amount of stress in the world today then in days gone by.
It is correct to assume there has never been a more stress-ridden society than ours. For many, gone are the days of enjoying bubbling brooks along winding pathways or taking long strolls near the beach. The relaxed bike ride through the local park has been replaced with the roar of a motorcycle whipping through busy traffic. The easy-come, easy-go lifestyle of the farm has been preempted by a hectic urban family going in six different directions…existing on instant dinners, shouting matches, strained relationships, too little sleep, and too much television. Add financial setbacks, failure at school, unanswered letters, obesity, loneliness, a ringing phone, unplanned pregnancies, fear of cancer, misunderstanding, materialism, alcoholism, drugs, and an occasional death: then subtract the support of the family unit, divide by dozens of opinions, multiply by 365 days a year, and you have the makings of madness! Stress has become a way of life; it is the rule rather than the exception”
All of us feel the stress and the loneliness of the world in which we exist, but don’t always feel a very important part of it.
However, for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of their life and Master of their future, they are never alone, because Jesus promised us we would never be alone.
Matt 28:20 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Throughout scripture we see that God never allows His children to be all alone, He is with them every step of the way.
Moses was faced with a difficult task but God was there every step of the way.
Noah, Daniel, David and Gideon all turned to God when they felt alone. David questioned God many times in the Psalms, asking if God had abandoned him, yet he always answered his own question, knowing that God was still there and would never leave him all alone.
NOW, it is so much easier to talk about never being alone because God is with us, then it is feeling we are not alone because God is with us.
Dr. James Dobson relates a story of an elderly woman named Stella Thornhope who was struggling with her first Christmas alone. Her husband had died just a few months prior through a slow developing cancer. Now, several days before Christmas, she was almost snowed in by a brutal weather system. She felt terribly alone——so much so she decided she was not going to decorate for Christmas. Late that afternoon the doorbell rang, and there was a delivery boy with a box. He said, "Mrs. Thornhope?" She nodded. He said, "Would you sign here?" She invited him to step inside and closed the door to get away from the cold. She signed the paper and said, "What’s in the box?" The young man laughed and opened up the flap, and inside was a little puppy, a golden Labrador Retriever. The delivery boy picked up the squirming pup and explained, "This is for you, Ma’am. He’s six weeks old, completely housebroken." The young puppy began to wiggle in happiness at being released from captivity.