THE ANTIDOTE TO LONELINESS
Henry Drummond states: “No worse fate can befall a man in this world than to live and grow old alone, unloving, and unloved.”
The disciples who gathered with Jesus in the upper room the night before his crucifixion were feeling the full weight of His coming death and ultimate ascension to heaven – and their hearts were deeply troubled. (John 14:1-3) What would life be like without Jesus? Did this represent the end to their dream? For three years they had walked with him, watched him at work, and sat under his teachings. They had grown dependent on the physical and visible presence of Jesus. And now the prospects of him no longer being with them troubled them deeply.
In that final gathering Jesus modeled the heart of a servant by washing their feet. He then led them in communion and told them they were to do this often in remembrance of Him – until he returned. He then took the opportunity to teach them about the ministry of the coming Holy Spirit. Jesus knew they would need to depend on him completely to survive and finish the work he had given them to do. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” (John 14:16)
The Holy Spirit was coming not only to give them supernatural power (Acts 1:8), but to be their “paraclete” …one called alongside to help. Jesus said, “I am not leaving you comfortless.” (John 14:18) The word “comfortless” is a translation of the Greek word orphanos and where we get the word orphan. The Holy Spirit was going to be a personal replacement for Jesus among the disciples. Whereas Jesus in his physical form could only be one place at one time, the Holy Spirit was coming to presence himself among all the people of God wherever they lived on the planet. Little wonder Jesus said, “It is better for you if I go.” The Holy Spirit was coming so that they would never again have to experience the separation of his lost company.
All around our crowded world people struggle under an epidemic of loneliness. Never should a child of God ever have to feel abandoned or lonely – “Like a bird that strays from its nest...” (Prov. 27:8) The moment we trusted in Jesus as Savior, at that moment the Holy Spirit of God entered into us and serves as God’s changeless covenant seal on our new life in Him. Ephesians 1:13-14 NLT says, “And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.”
Your heart was never meant to be a hotel where God would come and go as a transient guest. God wants to make your heart his home. His desire is to indwell you as a permanent resident and to company with you for the rest of your life. (Revelation 3:20)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group (Loads of Love)
Psalm 68:4-6; John 16:5-33; II Corinthians 6:16