(Ecclesiastes 4: 1 – 12)
Selwyn Hughes, the writer of Every Day with Jesus explained loneliness as “the feeling we get when we are bereft of meaningful human companionship; it is a sense of isolation, of inner emptiness, deprivation and inner emptiness.” These feelings can result in illness and may even lead to suicide. One way to overcome the challenge of loneliness is to do the following:
Stay Connected: The Bible says in Ps. 133: 1 that “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”. Staying connected is a solution to loneliness which according to a writer is more of an attitude than a circumstance; more self-inflicted than outwardly caused. According to him, lonely people build walls around themselves and then complain about their loneliness. How then can we stay connected?
Steps to Staying Connected:
1. Be a Friend: The Bible says in Prov. 18: 24 that “a man that hath friends must show himself friendly and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” What this means is that there has to be a willingness on our part to be a friend to others. It is not enough for us to want the friendship of others if we are not willing to be their friends. A good example is the friendship of Jonathan who was the king’s son and David, a poor shepherd boy (I Sam. 18: 1 – 4). Jonathan went out of his way to engage in a covenant relationship with David and he was willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of their relationship. Jonathan was a good example of what the Bible says in Prov. 17: 17 “A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity.” Ruth and Naomi were also very good friends even though they were years apart. Finally, the Bible calls Jesus a friend of publicans and sinners (Matt. 11:19). These examples teach us not to show prejudice when it comes to our relationships. If Jesus is willing to be our friend, who are we not to be friends to others.
2. Remove the Barriers: There are many barriers that stand in the way of our making an enduring friendship and these could range from pride, selfishness to anger problems. We have to remove these and other barriers if we want to stay connected with others
3. Go the Extra Mile: It is not enough to remove barriers, we must be willing to go the extra mile. This can involve making phone calls, paying visits, buying gifts and doing other things that will promote a healthy relationship.
The Value of Friendship: There are many benefits we stand to gain when we engage in God’s kind of friendship. We receive support through our friends (Eccl. 4:10); we receive correction (Prov. 27:6); encouragement (Prov. 27:17); and the greatest friend of all, our Lord Jesus Christ gives us salvation.
A. Ministering to God: This is an area of our lives we need to be conscious of. Ps. 47: 7 says praise the Lord with understanding. Jn. 4:23 says the time will come when the true worshippers will worship God in spirit and in truth. Now is the time for us to worship God with all sincerity. How do we minister to God? When we make mention of the power, effectiveness, excellence and greatness of God’s name, we are ministering to the Lord (Ps 69: 30-31, Heb. 13: 15, Ps 68: 4). The Holy Ghost moves when we minister to God (Acts 13:1-3, II Chr. 20). A very important requirement for ministering to God is to give Him our full attention and not let the weight of our circumstances, pains, need or sicknesses hinder us.
B. Ministering to others: God has called us to intercede for the unsaved, our brethren and our ministers. Samuel considered it a sin if he did not pray for God’s people (1Sam 12: 18-23). Paul encourages and asks us to pray for the brethren and our pastors and teachers (Col 4:12, Eph. 6:18-20, Rom 15: 19-31).
C. Ministering to ourselves: This where you speak the promises of God concerning your life, speaking life, blessings, health, prosperity, increase, success and victory. You can also make your request known to God.