By Rob Pue
As we endure life in this globe, walking by faith and not by sight, walking in the Spirit of God and not in the flesh, searching for to serve the Lord and His Kingdom, performing that which He has commanded us — and entrusted us to do — it can get quite lonely from time to time.
I think of the apostle Paul, whose letters — which he wrote from prison — are filled with sound doctrine and teaching but also his deepest private feelings, as he endured terrific lonliness, becoming separated from his buddies and fellow believers in Christ.
Appear at Second Timothy 1. He clearly missed his young pal, as he wrote: “I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I recall you frequently in my prayers evening and day. As I recall your tears, I lengthy to see you, that I might be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt 1st in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am positive, dwells in you as effectively. For this explanation I remind you to fan into flame the present of God, which is in you via the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of worry, but of energy and adore and self-handle.
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the energy of God, who saved us and referred to as us to a holy calling, not simply because of our operates but simply because of His personal objective and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus just before the ages started, — and which now has been manifested via the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light via the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I endure as I do.
“But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is capable to guard till that day what has been entrusted to me. Adhere to the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and adore that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells inside us, guard the excellent deposit entrusted to you.”
And then Paul added, “You are conscious that all who are in Asia abandoned me.” Yes, Paul was there, writing to Timothy from prison. He was jailed for preaching the Gospel of our Savior, and he was alone. No 1 stood with him. All had abandoned him.
Then in Chapter four, we have this: “Do your very best to come to me quickly. For Demas, in adore with this present globe, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is quite beneficial to me for ministry…. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me terrific harm the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him oneself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my 1st defense, no 1 came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May possibly it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that via me the message may possibly be completely proclaimed and all the Gentiles may possibly hear it.”
In Second Corinthians, Paul describes what Christian ministry is Seriously like. Beginning at verse 24: “Five occasions I received, at the hands of the Jews, the forty lashes much less 1. 3 occasions I was beaten with rods. As soon as I was stoned. 3 occasions I was shipwrecked a evening and a day I was adrift at sea on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my personal individuals, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers in toil and hardship, via numerous a sleepless evening, in hunger and thirst, typically with out meals, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other factors, there is the day-to-day stress on me of my anxiousness for all the churches.”
There are numerous now, who will inform you the Christian life is all joy and happiness. “Just stroll the aisle,” they say, “repeat the ‘sinners prayer,’ and Imply IT,” they’ll inform you… And “Jesus has a fantastic strategy for your life!” “Just ask Jesus into your heart and you will go from misery to ‘your very best life NOW!” But buddies, this is not accurate. This is a false Gospel… The truth of the matter is, the Christian life is NOT an simple 1. It is NOT all happiness and joy. If you are Genuinely living out your faith and serving Christ, you will come across oneself in frequent persecution, you will be mocked and ridiculed. You will shed your buddies. You might even come across oneself becoming sued in court you might shed your company, your property, your freedom, and yes, in some instances, even your family members.
Jesus Himself mentioned in Matthew 10, “Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have NOT come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be these of his personal household.”
You completely will NOT match in with the contemporary culture if you are following Christ now. It is at that point you have a selection: preserve your mouth shut and practice your “religion” in secret, in which case you will NOT endure any persecution and you can just “get along” with every person — or you can be a faithful servant, obey the commands of Jesus and season this globe with salt — becoming a beacon of light in a dark and dying culture. Yes, you HAVE that selection. So what will you decide on?
These who decide on the latter typically come across themselves quite lonely and quite misunderstood. Simply because they stroll by the Spirit and not by the flesh, the globe can not recognize them. Spiritual factors are spiritually discerned and these with out the Holy Spirit Can not recognize. It is not that they do not want to… they just do not have the Holy Spirit inside them, and as a result they Can not recognize you.
“Religious” individuals will not recognize you either. Several occasions you will even be viewed as a “troublemaker” or a “crazy zealot” by these in your personal church, if you dare step outdoors the box and essentially DO the perform Christ referred to as you to. You WILL endure hardship and you WILL practical experience persecution if you are openly and faithfully and unashamedly living the Christian life. These who preach “health, wealth, prosperity, happiness, roses and rainbows” are lying to you. You should really ask oneself what their motivation is… and oftentimes, you will come across it is quite uncomplicated: it is so that THEY can be effectively liked and well-liked amongst the people… and effectively PAID.
How lonely it have to have been for Jesus Himself — Several occasions — as even His personal disciples had a challenging time understanding some of His teachings. However He patiently taught them and explained to them the parables the globe could not recognize. And although they walked closely with Him for three 1/two years through His earthly ministry, on the evening of His arrest, they all abandoned Him, when He required His buddies the most.
Appear at Luke 22. Right here, Jesus was on the Mount of Olives, following the Final Supper. He went there to pray with His disciples. But His disciples couldn’t remain awake and watch with Him even 1 hour. How lonely our Savior have to have been as He prayed, “‘Father, if You are prepared, take this cup from Me but not My will, but Yours be completed.’ An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And becoming in anguish, He prayed a lot more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Not precisely “health, wealth, prosperity, happiness, roses and rainbows”… is it? That was In no way Jesus’ message. That is a false Gospel, that creates false converts, who immediately fall away. As it has been mentioned, “everyone desires to comply with Jesus — till they come across out exactly where He is going.” Now, I am NOT saying that the Christian life is miserable. As a matter of truth, I do not know how Everyone can make it via this life with out Christ. There IS a peace. Even though the globe about you continues to spin out of handle into chaos and evil, as a accurate believer in Jesus, you DO have peace in your heart.
As Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Be anxious for absolutely nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be produced identified to God and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds via Christ Jesus.” Buddies, we would NOT NEED “peace that passes all understanding” if the Christian life had been Quick. But Simply because we know Christ as our Savior, Simply because we have His Holy Spirit inside us, we can have a peace of thoughts and heart that the globe just can not ever comprehend. But it is nonetheless, typically, quite lonely.
In the ministry perform I do, I get a terrific numerous telephone calls, emails and letters from these who are searching for answers, and typically searching for my counsel. Some have grown youngsters who have develop into wayward and left their faith behind. Some have unbelieving spouses who are carnal and worldly, rather than spiritual. Some deal with ridicule from co-workers. Most all of them have quite shallow “friendships,” with only a couple of at the churches they attend. They typically have NO ONE they can fellowship with, or commune with or speak to about the deep and wealthy factors of God. They really feel so ALONE.
All of us, who carry the name of Christ and reside out our faith — FOR Actual — have endured terrific emotional and physical hardships. It typically appears we’ve been in 1 battle immediately after a different, and we have the battle scars to prove it. And it is when we are alone in the battle that factors are most tricky and heart-wrenching when all have abandoned us, when even these we believed had been our buddies turn away. This is also the time when the enemy likes to come and attack and unless we stay in prayer and communion with GOD, we can quickly develop into discouraged and depressed.
This is why we are exhorted — in the book of Hebrews — “Let us hold speedy the confession of our hope with out wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us think about 1 a different in order to stir up adore and excellent operates, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves collectively, as is the manner of some, but exhorting 1 a different, and so a great deal the a lot more as you see the Day approaching.”
How sweet it is to have Actual, Great fellowship with like-minded believers. Not shallow smaller speak, fake smiles and handshakes through “greet your neighbor time” at your Sunday service… but deep, meaningful fellowship and friendships with the saints of God. How fantastic to have a assistance technique like that. It is so refreshing to our souls when we have buddies we can be open, sincere and transparent with as we share our Christian stroll collectively. We can “compare notes,” and we can relate to 1 a different as we let our “Battle Scars” show.
When I quoted from Hebrews about not forsaking the assembling of ourselves collectively, I’m not just speaking about GOING to church. I’m speaking about Becoming the church — all in 1 accord — with fellow saints you KNOW are accurate believers and accurate buddies that stick closer than a brother.
Some of the greatest occasions in my personal spiritual stroll have been with buddies like this. Not too long ago, 1 evening, following a busy day at a Christian conference, I sat with a pal, 1 on 1, and we just talked collectively. We shared with 1 a different our experiences in ministry, as effectively as the heavy burdens we each carry. Even though our ministries — and our battles — are various, and although some of our battle scars run deeper than other people, they are all aspect of the identical spiritual warfare we’re each involved in.
And then, immediately after we talked a lengthy time, we PRAYED a lengthy time, with every single other and FOR every single other. I’ve by no means felt such peace in my heart as I do at occasions like this. As disciples of Jesus living in the occasions we are living in, I UNDERSTAND what the writer of Hebrews meant when he mentioned, — “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” — how it is even Additional critical as we see the Day of the Lord approaching.
The spiritual warfare continues to wage all about us. These of us who are engaged in this warfare Have to have 1 a different. We require true, deep, intimate friendships fellow believers we know we can TRUST in any and just about every circumstance. We require to KNOW they “have our backs” in our occasions of require. We require such buddies we can speak to and pray with on a deep, intimate level — and not have to be concerned about gossip becoming spread. We require Additional than shallow, vain, repetitious corporate prayer time. We require a lot more than “small talk” — we require Actual brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is like a small glimpse of heaven through these intimate occasions with our fellow believers. As Jesus mentioned in Matthew 18, “For exactly where two or 3 are gathered in My name, there am I amongst them.” If you do not have this in your life, I encourage you to seek it out. Pray that the Lord open these doors for you and then, even although you might have deep wounds and battle scars, let oneself be vulnerable sufficient to let them show, and let other people know your requirements. Fellowship collectively, PRAY together… develop an intimate, close bond of friendship. Simply because it is Challenging living a faithful and obedient Christian life. And it is even tougher performing it all alone, with none who recognize. So stand firm to the finish, fellow believers… and if you require or want to speak with ME, I’d be honored to be your pal. God bless you.
Audio CDs and transcripts of this message are readily available when you contact me at (715) 486-8066 or e-mail [email protected] Ask for message quantity 253.
© 2019 Rob Pue, Publisher
WISCONSIN CHRISTIAN NEWS
PO Box 756
Marshfield, WI 54449
About Rob Pue
Rob is an ordained minister and the founder and publisher of Wisconsin Christian News, a national Christian newspaper primarily based in Wisconsin. He writes a month-to-month commentary for WCN, and can also be heard twice weekly, (Tuesdays and Saturdays) nationwide on the VCY America Radio Network, with his “From the Editor’s Desk” commentaries. Rob’s messages offer you special teaching and insights from God’s word, dealing with the most critical concerns of our day. He is also readily available for speaking engagements for conferences and social events. View his web-site at WisconsinChristianNews.com
Categories: Finish Occasions / PROPHECY, EVANGELISM, FAITH FOR Nowadays, INSPIRATIONAL ARTICLES, OUTREACH, SPIRITUAL WARFARE, THE WORD OF GOD FOR Nowadays