Living In The Shadows Of Loneliness – Dr Charles Stanley

[Music] loneliness is a big issue it's an awesome issue it's for many people is an inescapable issue but you can't escape it you can be cured of it you can get through it you can conquer loneliness in your life if you're willing to be honest with yourself and honest with God [Music] four decades ago we started in touch ministries to lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ throughout the years we've seen God's greatness his love and his blessings in such awesome ways that we just want everyone to know him so let's open God's Word and seek Him together next on InTouch dr. Stanley begins a special two-part message about loneliness and how to overcome it today's message living in the shadows of loneliness the title of this message is loneliness living in the shadows of loneliness you recall the very beginning of the scripture the Bible says that God said it was not good for man to be alone and if you turn to that second chapter of Genesis and you'll notice after God had created everything there was something missing created man and he said the Lord God said that is not good for man to be alone I'll make him a helper suitable for him loneliness is not God's plan for us and yet many people are living in the shadow of loneliness they can't tell you why they just know something's not right and they know that things around them are not what they ought to be something is missing in that life you can have everything in the world money can buy but if you and lonely there's something missing and that's what this message is all about that is where people are today in their relationship to each other in their relationship to family relationship to friends people on the job everywhere you turn there are people who are very lonely don't know what the problem is but loneliness is the issue it's like a shadow that covers them and so I want to think about that in this particular message and I want to say first of all distinguish between loneliness and solitude loneliness is one thing solitude is something else and you'll remember Jesus after he had been healing people and feeding the 5,000 went up in the mountains and he sent his disciples away he said and I'll meet you on the other side that's when they got in the storm so the Bible says he was there alone in solitude now he wasn't lonely but jesus knew how to worship the father to be alone with him and the sense the presence of Almighty God on the other hand you and I would define loneliness like this loneliness is a separation anxiety if something happens a separation anxiety brought on by the feeling of being disconnected out of touch it's a loss of intimacy or feeling of belonging something has happened when the person is no longer connected solitude is something entirely different it's a time that you pull away from everything to be alone talk to the father listen to God and to be rejuvenated in your own mind in art so what I want to talk about is living in the shadows of loneliness because that's what loneliness is all about and a confession of someone in this shadow may go something like this it may be I want somebody to listen to me or I feel like I'm in a dense fog somehow or I feel isolated shut out by myself I feel unimportant I feel empty I feel purposeless I feel incomplete I feel inadequate there's a feeling there's something that goes on inside of you that does what well those things are true you're not close to you're separated from and millions and millions of people are live in that shadow of loneliness something is not right separation doesn't even begin to describe how they really feel and so when you think about it you can't adequately define it probably but it's the inability to find on a human level a relationship that is satisfying that's lifting that's motivating that brings happiness and peace and joy in your heart it's not there so if I should ask you today you a happy person would you say that you're contented that you have joy you have great friends that you'd like life the way it is you can make some improvements but you feel like you belong and that sense of belonging is a great sense of satisfaction to you most people don't have that and I'll show you why as we go through this message and so it leaves us with a feeling of being abandoned disconnected something's not right and yet God destined us when he created us to walk together not alone that's why he said it's not good for man to be alone or woman to be alone and so loneliness is a big issue it's an awesome issue it's for many people is an inescapable issue but you can't escape it you can't be cured of it you can get through it you can conquer loneliness in your life if you're willing to be honest with yourself and honest with God and so what happens when people feel these ways they just build a wall and you know people like that they build a wall you can't get to them and what they don't realize is this wall they built it shut you out also shut them in they don't want to talk to you that I want to share with that life with you they're very critical they're self-sufficient self adequate they think but deep down inside of what's happened is because they don't get along because they felt disconnected they felt out they just decided I'm not gonna feel by the way so I'll just live my life for them you build a wall you're in the wall that is not the solution to loneliness yet many people think it is so let's think for just a moment what does loneliness affect in a person's life think about this for a mall now if you're lonely it has to do with an emotion a very important emotion about yourself worth about who you are who you think you are who you really are and so how does loneliness affect people well the first way it affects you is your health people who lonely are prone to become unhealthy early in life they don't know why they don't relate that how much to eat how much they drink how much they sleep where they go what they do have they spend their time and oftentimes become very unhealthy a second thing is this it has to do with their finances when the person is lonely what are they do they want to stroll the malls and they look at this and look at that and if I had this this made me happy if I had that that's exactly what I need I've been saving my money for this one over here and nobody else is gonna buy this I'm getting it for myself I am going to look like I'm somebody and so what do they do they spend their money credit cards don't satisfy the little - strolling through the mall doesn't satisfy long - all the people around you does not satisfy Lois that's something deeper than that and yet that's the way people want to cover it up and then of course there's relationships people that get into all kind of relationships and the truth is watch this they feel disconnected and so if they can get in a relationship that makes them feel like they count to somebody they are valuable to somebody somebody wants them somebody may like them some of them may love them and so what do they do they get into relationships that sometimes do not work and then of course it affects a person's morals how many people have gone to bed with somebody else and began to live an ungodly adulterous life a sensual life trying to fill up something they listen to me no buddy else can take the place of God in your life it doesn't make any difference how handsome he may be how beautiful she may be how which they maybe nobody no one the God didn't build us to be satisfied with sex he gave sex as a pleasure and for creation of course but not to satisfy a person simply this without Christ and so we have a whole world of people who are living a life of immorality trying to find something somebody that somehow would satisfy this emptiness longing yearning in their heart they hope you're not alone live but I want to give you some characteristics of what happens when the person becomes lonely shut down what you think you need to look at it and think about because in the group this size there's a lot of lonely folks in there listen many long let people go to church and the tragedy is they go to church and nobody nobody recognizes that they're looking for something they're looking for friends don't you think that in the church you would find friends you'd find somebody who cares but not necessarily and so I want us to think about loneliness and think about if it happens to be a part of your life and I'm gonna give you a long list and you can think about it so how do we end up in this shadow of loneliness what happens first of all by separating ourselves from other people and choose them to be alone I just don't bother that just want to be by myself when I go home from work I want to be all myself I sit and watch TV I want to be by myself secondly feeling deserted by the people naturally when there's a breakup of marriage somebody feels deserted by the other one deeply hurt and there's separation a disconnect emotionally physically and every way and likewise when the person is forcefully removed from a safe and secure environment whether it's the home or whatever it might be they feel lonely because listen God said it's not good for man no woman to be alone he made us not to walk alone but to walk with each other to be together to feel the awesome sense of being wanted loved and as we say for example when you saw is when your children come along you hug them why do you hug them you want them to feel something that you feel for them you want them to feel safe secure loved you talk to them about how sweet their and how loving only known you go all you doing is building security and them strength and the feeling wanted a Charlie Rose have been the home unwanted indifferent and all the rest they spend the rest of their life unless somebody gets to them trying to overcome that infamous and let me just say this fathers you have an awesome responsibility to your family to be the dad that and that's a part of that connect that makes that child always feel he or she's connected with my daddy my daddy this and my daddy that you can meet any woman any woman who is loved by her father and she feels it you talked to her she smiles well you have you met my dad you met my daddy my dad did this my dad did that because God made us this way and the sense of security is often found there like in no other place then of course that people who suffer from burnout they work and work and work until they the health is hurting they didn't have time to build friendships and so they feel very lonely they've done everything you can do to succeed in life but somehow they left it the most important thing and that's really our relationships and then of course as the loss of a loved one you've lived with somebody when it's 20 years of 30 years of 40 or 50 and then the other person is gone and naturally the loss of a loved one is going to cause that feeling of loss but you know what I meet people who've lost their loved ones saw that as a rock they have memories that they'll never forget every relationship that not even death can separate them because what when they were together they genuinely loved each other they planted something in their hearts that'll keep on growing past this life you don't have to give up and quit because somebody you love dies but you build a relationship while they're here then of course they're people who feel very in theory and unworthy and insecure that's that's feelings I have probably because they got that from their parents who was skilled with them and scold them and said well you know never meant anything why don't you do this and so and what they did they tore down some of that person's self-image and what did they do it it's the billing relationship listen if your son or daughter doesn't have it like you want it build them up don't tear them down don't criticize don't tell them what they're that they'll probably end up in prison you tell somebody that more than likely a kid that may be exactly what happens because you've planted the idea in that kid's heart they weren't worth anything so therefore they let's end up in prison our words they're awful awesome results and sometimes terrifying results and of course there's the feeling of being ostracized by being different because you don't conform you don't think the way certain people think you don't do what they do and so they just ostracize you they don't they don't have any particular care for you and so they just ignore you and a lot of people who feel ignored ignored by their parents ignored by their family ignored by the people they work with which is a very demeaning thing everybody has some sense of self-worth God made us that way when he died the scripture says he died for all of us that means every person has worth but when a person doesn't feel like they do they grow through life damaged they never reached the optimism that God wants something to have they never reached this stage in life that God wants them to reach emotionally and originally the awesome thing about becoming a child of God is that the Lord comes in your life in the ceilings you as a child of God you know forever a child of God listen you have a security that is eternal security because God loves you enough to save you forgive you of your sins no matter what you've been through and there there are people of course who will judge you because of what you've been through in life or where you were all those have been somewhere and by the grace of God we're where we are God wants us to sense his love for us that we no matter no matter what's happened in your life God loves you anyway and you don't have to give up and quit and say well I'll never be anybody I'll never amount to anything if you say that you program your mind that programs your whole system and your actions begin to follow what your mind tells it then of course they have conflict with people and misunderstandings and instead of trying to settle that that's walk away and so all of us will have misunderstandings about some things but God God has given you the spirit to be able to deal with issues in life without giving up surrendering and turning away walking away as we said building this fence around your life because God loves every single one of us and he wants us to walk together in oneness and in harmony and yet some people never will and then of course you choose to take a stand about your conviction you get rejected listen Jesus got rejected the Apostles got rejected down through the ages people who have biblical convictions of the truth they're going to get rejected and then of course there are those people who retire and they act like nobody cares anymore you don't work to return you work the satisfy the will of God in your life become the person God wants you to be he may let you live to be 50 60 70 80 oh ha but the issue is does your life count are you giving yourself away and there's some people that you probably think well I could never relate to so and so and everyone someone I meet somebody that my first thought maybe that and then I just get so surprised because I can't wait to see them again because they didn't let age cuddler language anything else define them they're who they are that who God has made them to be and they have given themselves away in friendship fellowship and they're willing and ready to talk about it in fact one place I usually go once in awhile to eat I was there not too long ago and over on this side next to the window or a file of elderly men they all I don't know what - how old they were all looked a whole lot older than I am anyway they looked it away but but they were having the best time and I I thought I would just love to get over there and listen to what's going on they were laughing and talking to each other and carrying on and one of them recognized me and he came up and sat down and then it was on he had he had to tell me about himself and had to tell me how long he lived there what he had done it was no thought fish - I hunted I play God he has me all these questions then when he found that everything he was I went back to them and start telling them and so here were five men who'd retired and they had some a job but they were happy you know while they were happy they had at least four other people with whom they had a great relationship that's what friendships about that's what being yourself and opening the door of your life to somebody and then of course we cease to be who we ought to be because we get betrayed by somebody husbands and wives betray each other and what happens to the relationship he gets marred he gets broken and it becomes a very very dismaying thing then there people with whom we relate to that we a lien eight we are cocky we are prideful we don't care about them and so we a lien ate them in the process for alienate ourselves if you feel left behind what happens if you left behind you feel like somebody doesn't care and especially if somebody you care for doesn't seem to care for you that's painful they ignore you they don't include you whatever the reason making this what the reason is if you feel shut out uncared-for not included it's painful what happens emotionally there's a disconnect and you're gonna feel lonely you may promise that you will do this and so that's not the issue all of us have this little bit inside of us that needs to be fulfilled by love understanding forgiveness and all the rest and so they're people who feel like they're shut out because of age and many people I think probably you can walk in some hospital rooms and some areas for many many people there with a lot of age on them some people feel loved and accepted and cared for and the elders don't now think about this who of us is too important too busy to care for somebody listen to me carefully all of us one of these days can find ourselves in that same position but you want if you learn to live and forgive and forget and reach out and smile and love and you care for and understand and forgive it's a matter of attitude when I'm genuinely connected to our Lord I can connect to other people if I'm not I'm gonna be so self-conscious about I need what I want why don't you do this for me why don't you do that for me I'll never have any joy in life and many people who have everything but joy happiness and a sense of fulfillment got everything else but they going about in the wrong way if you get so independent you don't need anybody you've made a miserable mess of your life all of us need to feel needed wanted loved Amen and then I mentioned in one last thing listen carefully by the destructive habits of drugs alcohol illicit sex gambling and many others people live in the inescapable shadows of life trying to find a sense of contentment and peace and joy if you are miserably unhappy instead of looking around somewhere else ask yourself the question how did I get this way why do I feel what I'm is this because of the way somebody treated me is it because I've allowed somebody to treat me or I've allowed to be mistaken I'll feel the way I feel I'm never excused by God for being bitter never excused by God that being hateful being insensitive and caring because we are followers of Jesus Christ our heavenly father has built within every single believer that capacity to love forgive to be loved to be understanding to be caring for all who are willing to accept it so ask yourself this question are you lonely are you covering it up the best you can why don't you just stop and say Lord made a mess of my life shut myself out built myself and so in this wall I made you set me free Lord if you willin to confess your sins confess your errors confess your failures and confess that you've just made a mess of your life and you want God to forgive you and to cleanse you bother you on a new beginning you want a new start you oughta join the peace and the happiness and the contentment that God promised if you willing to ask him to forgive you wash your hands of all of that tear down the wall and say Lord Here I am I'm asking you to forgive me I'm asking you to begin to work in my life help me to begin to reach out to other people to be loving to be understanding and see what happens God will change your life in the most awesome fashion if you'll name father how grateful we are that you love us you care for us you concerned about us thank you died for us and you came in the Holy Spirit to live within us a life of joy peace heaviness troubles trials heartaches yes but you said you'd never leave us nor forsake us would you feel empty hearts today with yourself and let those who are involved in every kind of activity that they've tried to fill up this empty place lay it all down and trust you to be their Savior that Lord in their life and we praise you in Jesus name Amen [Music] if you've been blessed by today's program please visit us at e in touch leading people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and strengthening the local church this program is sponsored by in touch ministries and is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers and gives