Gen 2:18 - “God said, It is not good that man should be alone, I will make a helper comparable to him.”
- The Disconnect of Isolation. Connect is a key word in the church today. Many churches use Connect Groups - small groups that help people connect with God, His Word, other Christians, and a local church. Why? Because when we are left alone, we become more vulnerable to discouragement, deception, heresy, temptation, and loneliness. Covid19 has forced us all into some kind of social isolation or solitary confinement, leading to all kinds of negative results. David speaks of his loneliness in Psalm 142:4“For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.” Mother Teresa said, “One of the greatest diseases of all is to be nobody to anybody.” Isolation so often leads to devastation.
- The Disconnect of Broken Trust. Paul loved people and had many friends, but during Pauls loneliness in prison at the end of his life, only four of his friends are mentioned. (2 Tim 4:10) “Demas has forsaken me having loved this present world…” vs16 “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me.” When someone has given you their trust, they’ve given you a priceless gift. Don’t abuse it or misuse it! If your trust has been betrayed, confront it head on. Though you may love the person, back off until they show clear signs of repentance and a willingness to make amends. This way a restored friendship may be possible. David’s biggest disconnect and hurt came when his own son broke trust. (2 Sam 15:6) “In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgement. So, Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” Stole means he took what did not belong to him - his father’s seat of authority and his father’s followers. Hazel and I have experienced betrayal, isolation, and loneliness many times in over 40 years of ministry and it hurts deeply.
- The Disconnect of Divisiveness. (2 Tim 4:14-15) “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm, May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.” Alexander became a divisive Judas to Paul, rejecting him and the gospel. Today’s Alexanders are Divisive and Destructive to the Church.
How Paul Dealt With His Loneliness (See 2 Tim 4:9-18)
- We all need Companions. Notice how Paul cries out for his companions: vs9 “Be diligent to come quickly” … Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you for he is useful to me for ministry.”
- We all need Compassion. The prison was very cold. In vs13 Paul asks Timothy to, “Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come... vs19” Do your best to come before winter.”
- We all need Courage. “Bring the books, especially the parchments.” Meditation on God’s Word brings God’s presence, and in God’s presence is fullness of Joy. (Ps 16:11) The Joy of the Lord is my strength. (Neh 8:10)
- We all need Christ. Paul was alone, but he wasn’t lonely, because Christ stood with him. (2 Tim 4:17-18) “But the LORD stood with me and strengthened me and delivered me.” The Cross of Christ became the bridge for us to cross over and connect with our creator.
When you receive Christ, you need never feel disconnected or lonely again!
Dr. George Hill,
President and Founder, Victory Churches International