God of the Lonely – Sermon Outline and Notes
This is a full outline with notes for you to use to minister to the lonely in your congregation.
GOD IS THE GOD OF THE LONELY
by Eddie Lawrence
HUMOROUS INTRODUCTION: “You have a very rare and extremely contagious condition,” the doctor told his patient. “We’re going to put you in an isolation unit, where you’ll be on a diet of pancakes and pizza.”
“Will pancakes and pizza cure my condition?”
“No,” replied the doctor. “They’re the only things we can slip under the door.”
Contributed by Darleen Giannini, Reader’s Digest, February, 1995, p. 59 (bible.org)
TRANSITION: I have a question for each of you. Are you lonely? Do you feel isolated for others, from God?
In his book Facing Loneliness, J. Oswald Sanders writes, 'the round of pleasure or the amassing of wealth are but vain attempts to escape from the persistent ache…The millionaire is usually a lonely man and the comedian is often more unhappy than his audience.' The remedy to loneliness is not to be found in riches or the ability to make other people happy.
Are you struggling with loneliness?
If you are struggling with loneliness, then I have some encouraging news for you today. God is God of the lonely. Today we will see in the Word of God that He tells us that His eye is on the lonely and His heart moves toward the lonely. There are many Scriptures that we could use to see these truths, but look with me for a moment at Psalm 68.
TEXT: Psalm 68:5 A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
6 God sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;
But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
1. THE FATHERLESS ARE LONELY
God is a Father to the Fatherless. Isn't it amazing how God becomes to us what we need…..what we really need.
All through the Scriptures, He voices His heart for the fatherless. Some of you here today may have grown up without a father. God says, "I'll be your Father."
Some you may have had a father you greatly loved and cherished, but death took him away. Your Father in Heaven will be your Father.
Others may have a biological father in the home but still have no father that really cares for you as a child of His. God will be your Father.
You see, there is a loneliness that grips the heart of the one who is fatherless. We were created with the need to have a Father in our lives to provide, protect and love us. Without it, there is a huanting loneliness we have to battle. One that makes us feel unsafe, unloved, and unworthy. God says, "I'll be a Father to you and give you what you need from your Father."
2. THE WIDOWS ARE LONELY
The widow is another person who struggles with loneliness. Having been at the side of a husband only to be left alone can bring great loneliness. God has a tender spot in His heart for the widows. The first leaders of the first Church were summoned to help with making sure the widows were cared for properly (Acts 6).
In today's world, there are single mothers who feel just as alone because of a divorce that left her alone without a husband. Father understands and will be there in your loneliness.
Listen widows, the psalmist reminds us in verse 5 that God will defend you. A husband may no longer be at your side but God is.
3. THE SOLITARY ARE LONELY
There are so many others who struggle with loneliness. The psalmist calls them the "solitary" or "isolated." There are those who have been cut off from the flow of relationship needed in their lives.
Do you realize you can be alone and not be lonely? Yet, you can be surrounded by people and be terribly lonely.
Illus- One day years ago, a very well known war correspondent was seen in a train depot in New York City hurrying for a train. Another man called out to him and asked him whether he was going. His response was "I'm going down to my home in the mountain in Maryland. It's too lonely here in New York."
We all can feel alone if we are away from people whom we really know and who really know us.
You see there are people surrounded by people who still live in isolation. Let me read something I ran across the other day. It did not reference the original source but it is powerful just the same:
"There is the loneliness of the midnight hour, and the loneliness of the desert and the uninhabited isle, and the heavy, depressing solitude of the mountains. But the worst loneliness of all is the loneliness of the crowd—the solitude of the city. You pass up and down the busy highways, and look into the windows of thousands of homes, and pass thousands of men and women hurrying hither and yon on their respective errands. They are men like yourself, of the same passions, hopes, fears, capacities for joy and sorrow. Multitudes, multitudes of faces! Yet your heart grows sick within you when you reflect that beyond the ordinary ties of humanity you are nothing to those thousands of persons, and they are nothing to you. If you have joy, you cannot share it with them; if you are bearing a heavy load of anxiety or care, they will not help you with it. You could lie down on the sidewalk and breathe your last, and not a heart among all those thousands of hearts would beat more rapidly, and not an eye would be suffused with tears. "No man cared for my soul" (Ps. 142:4) is the appalling realization that suddenly grips your mind."
I love the promise we see in verse 6 of our text. God sets the solitary and isolated into families. Wow! He will surround you with people who will be family to you. They will love you and help you and let you into their lives and show an interest in yours. This should be what every church is to the isolated.
4. THE PRISONER IS LONELY
Every occupied prison cell is filled with a person who more than likely battles against loneliness. Confined by bars of iron they cannot feel the touch of their human family nor can they see their faces very often or hear their voices. This isolation is permanenet for many. Jesus mentioned those in prison in Matthew 25 and also he read about those bound in his first sermon out of Isaiah 61.
All of us, should endeavor in some way to touch the lives of prisoners. Being guilty of a crime should not exempt them from knowing about a loving God is the God of the lonely. Through His Spirit, He can come into a prison cell with His comfort and companionship. He also will send us to be carriers of His love for the lonely.
He promises to bring the bound into prosperity. Those bound have lost everything and yet God says I can bring you into prosperity. There is a sense in which the man behind bars who finds God can live in the promised land in a prison cell. Paul and Silas understood this as they praised God in a prison cell in Acts 16, and God brought them out praise His name.
5. THE LOST ARE LONELY
The sixth verse of Psalm 68 ends with these words, " But the rebellious dwell in a dry land." What a sad commentary and picture of the sould of a lost man. The man who rebells against the love and goodness of God and refuses to have relationship with God. He dwells in a dry land.
The whole message of the Gospel, is that God wants to redeem and restore relationship with fallen man. Dear friend without God, you do not have to live a life filled with that internal loneliness. No matter what you amass in the world's eyes, it will not be enought to fill your heart with the peace of knowing you really are not alone.
CONCLUSION: If you are lonely, turn to the God of the lonely.
Listen to another time in the Psalms when the Psalmist struggled with loneliness and listen to what he concludes:
Psalm 38:9 Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague,
And my relatives stand afar off.
12 Those also who seek my life lay snares for me;
Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction,
And plan deception all the day long.
13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth.
14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear,
And in whose mouth is no response.
15 For in You, O LORD, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God. (NKJV)
In faith, trust Him to be who He says He will be. He will come to you and love you and help you. Will you call upon Him now?
As a husband, father, pastor, author, and web developer, Eddie lives an exciting and productive life. He holds earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees and is also the owner of Sermon Seedbed.
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