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We Are Never Alone

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Lesson 1

We Are Never Alone

Loneliness is one of the great thieves of joy in life. The words, "No man is an island," apply to individuals in varying degrees according to personality. But the fact remains that we all have a need for intimate companionship. Loneliness has no favorites: a person can be married or single, in a metropolitan or rural setting, be young or old adn still experience loneliness. This is because loneliness has little to do with these specifics of life. Loneliness stems from the need each individual possesses to be appreciated for their strengths and loved in spite of their weaknesses by at least one person. For the human heart, understanding and unconditional love are as necessary to emotional health as food and water are to physical well-being.

Many look to family, friendships or perhaps social affirmation to fill the need for love and recognition. But God created the human heart with a need for a deeper companionship that only a relationship with Him can provide. The French physicist and philosopher Pascal addresssed this need when he said, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which only God can fill through His Son, Jesus Christ." Along with the rest of Scripture, the Psalms declare that the Lord waits in longing to fulfill this deepest need of the human heart.

In the context of these truths, the first reason to celebrate is that we are never alone. Proverbs 18:24 says, "There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." The Psalms declare that God is near to care, to understand, and to quench the thirst for unconditional love and companionship. We will begin our study in the Psalms with reflections on this wonderful truth.

1. What factors make lonliness a significant problem in our society?

2. What are some negative ways people seek to escape loneliness?

3. What needs of the heart are associated with feelings of lonliness?

4.a. Through His Word, God has revealed that He is omnipresent (everywhere present) and omniscient (knows everything). This means that God is always with us and knows us intimately. How do the following verses describe this truth?

Psalm 139:1-4; 7-10

Additional references: Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:24

b. Why are these truths about God uncomfortable for some?

c. Why is God's presence and knowledge comforting to others?

d. What must a person first grasp about God in order to long for closeness to Him?

Psalm 86:15

Reference: A.W. Tozer excerpt, bottom.

5.a. What needs of the heart do the following Psalms refer to when can be met by closeness to God?

Psalm 34:18

Psalm 139:17-18

Psalm 117:2 (86:5)

Psalm 147:5b

b. The nearness of God can dispel the hopelessness and fears of the future generated by loneliness. What do the following Scriptures promise?

Psalm 73:24 (48:14)

Psalm 121

Psalm 16:7-11

6.a. The Psalms model honesty with God and encourage us to come to Him for help without reservation. What points did the Psalmist make as he asked God for help?

Psalm 86:1-7

Psalm 40:11-13

b. How did David describe the result of honestly asking God's help?

Psalm 40:1-3

c. What is God's promise in Psalm 91:15?

Additional verses: Isaiah 65: 24; Jeremiah 33:3

7. Just because God is near does not mean we will experience the benefits of His presence. As in a crowded bus, we may be close to people, but not know them. According to the Psalms, what choices must we continually make in order to nurture close companionship to God?

Psalm 16:8

Psalm 40:8

Psalm 86:11

Psalm 105:3-4

Psalm 145:18

Summary:

8. Why is the presence of God a reason to celebrate? What can He provide for you that no one and nothing else can?

9. What must you do to experience the joy and strength of God's presence in your life?

10. Is there a particular situation in your life today abotu which you have not honestly prayed? What can you expect as you share your deepest feelings and desires about this situation with God?

Excerpt from "God is Easy to Live With" by A.W. Tozer:

"It is most important to our spiritual welfare that we hold in our minds always a right conception of God. If we think of Him as cold and exacting we shall find it impossible to love Him, and our lives will be ridden with servile fear. If, again, we hold Him to be kind and understanding our whole inner life will mirror that idea.

The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of the unspeakable pleasures. He is all love, and those who trust Him need never know anything but that love. He is just, indeed, and He will not condone sin; but through the blood of the everlasting covenant He is able to act toward us exactly as if we had never sinned. Toward the trusting sons of men His mercy will always triumph over justice.

The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He is not sensitive nor selfish nor temperamental. What He is today we shall find Him tomorrow and the next day and the next year. He is not hard to please, though He may be hard to satisfy. He expects of us only what He has Himself first supplied. He is quick to overlook imperfections when He knows we menat to do His will. He loves us for ourselves and values our love more than galaxies of new created worlds.

How good it would be if we could learn that God is easy to live with. He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust...

Some of us are religiously jumpy and self-conscious because we know that God sees our every thought and is acquainted with all our ways. We need to be. God is the sum of all patience and the essence of kindly good will. We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfects, and believing that He understands everythings and loves us still."

A final note:

While the Lord is everywhere present, He is a gentleman adn waits to be invited to share life with us on a heart level. The NT explains that a personal relationship with God begins with faith in His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:12; 14:6). In Revelation 3:20, Jesus states His desire to have fellowship with us: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." If your desire is to open the door of your life to Him, the following prayer may help you express this desire to Him:

Lord Jesus, I open the door of my life to you.Please forgive the sin that makes me feel awkward in your presence. That you that this is possible because of the cross where you paid the penalty for my sin. Help me begin to know and experience the joy of your presence. Amen.

Reference: Romans 3:23-26; 6:23; Colossians 2:13-14

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