Good morning, friends in Radioland! God bless you today and make you a blessing to someone else. We come to you with the desire to be a blessing to you and to quicken your faith—faith in a prayer-answering God.
We’re turning today to John 16:32. Jesus is speaking here, and He says, “Ye shall leave me alone, and yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” Wonderful words! “I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” I’ve been amazed in recent years to find so many, many lonely people. Multitudes of people all about, with an abundance of everything as far as life’s concerned, things that satisfy, yet so many who complain of utter loneliness.
The little town by the seashore where I live is an ideal home place for old people, many of whom drive about in these little electric cars. There are no curbs at the corners; that’s for their convenience, so they can with real ease cross the streets and get up on the sidewalks. I’ve noticed in the eating places some who seem so alone. One old man said one day, “I moved here because they say ‘howdy’ when they pass you on the street, and the waitress smiles at me.” Such loneliness in old age that even a smile meant so much!
That’s one kind of loneliness, the loneliness of old age, when the life companion is gone or old friends have passed away. Then there’s the loneliness of leadership, when because of conviction, one is opposed and rejected. Jesus experienced that when in John, the sixth chapter, you find these words: “Many of his disciples went back, and walked with him no more” (John 6:66).
Then there’s the loneliness of defeat. Elijah knew this, when under the juniper tree he wished he might die because he was so pursued (1 Kings 19:4).
There are other kinds of loneliness; it’s something that may happen to anyone through changed conditions—loss of loved ones and so forth. But the fact remains that a Christian doesn’t have to walk alone, for Jesus said in this verse for today, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
Before I knew the Lord, years ago I was traveling in Europe, and one day I found myself standing on the sidewalk in London, not daring to move, for a dense fog had enveloped the city. It was so dense that you could not see to move without danger, and so you just stand there with hundreds teeming about you, bumping shoulders with some. Still, you feel that you’re alone. It’s a frightening loneliness amidst the throngs of people. In those days before I found the Lord Jesus Christ, I’d often feel that inner sense of loneliness that would strike terror to my heart.
But I can truly say—and oh, I do want you to listen—that I have never felt that since Christ came into my heart! Even on strange foreign soil two years ago, under very odd circumstances, when I was caught in the trap of the revolution, I felt Christ’s presence near, and His sustaining promises undergirded me with strength and courage, and I had no fear then!
Do you know that some of the loneliest people, though they are constantly surrounded by many others, yet they feel that not one of the others understands them? That is, the real person that they are. They long to share with someone their interests, their problems, to sympathize with them. But it’s true that your lifelong companion, your closest friend, does not really know you, does not fully understand you after all, because in every life there’s a locked door or two where no one enters but yourself. There used to be a sonnet about two lives with a single thought, two hearts that beat as one.2 But someone once wisely said, “You watch; somewhere along the line there will be moments when those two hearts will beat only as a duet.”
Then why is there this deep craving to be understood by someone? Why is there this intense longing to have someone enter into what we feel of joys and triumphs, sorrows and defeats? But when we climb the heights of exaltation, there is no one that can fully enter into our emotions, and in the depths of sorrow, some tears are always shed alone. Why is it? Why is this cry for someone to fully understand us, to truly know us?
Why is such a cry always in the soul of man? Has God, who made us a living soul, made some mistake in this, His masterpiece—man? Has He left some void in our makeup? He’s made provision for the other hungers of our life—bread for the hunger of the body, knowledge for the hunger of the mind, love for the hunger of the heart. Has He then left the soul unsatisfied, this longing for true understanding unfulfilled? Has He left this loneliness of ours unanswered? I think there is an answer to that.
God made you for Himself, and He knew that this very sense of isolation, of not being understood, would drive you to Him. God Himself is the answer, the fulfillment. Only as He Himself fills that longing will you ever be satisfied. He made you that way. He made you for Himself, and not until He fills your life will you ever be free from that loneliness. He’s put a little sign on the table of your heart which reads, “Reserved for Me.” He knew that when man found human sympathy so lacking that he would get desperate to seek the divine.
How comforting that precious verse: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Christ Himself is touched with your every longing. As He enters your life, He becomes your satisfaction. God’s Word says so.
Christ is a satisfying portion.3 He’ll satisfy every longing of your heart. Oh, it’s true, my friend, it’s true. But impossible, you say! No, it’s real! Millions today testify that they never found satisfaction until they found Jesus Christ.
Christ is verily God, and God is big enough, great enough to fill any soul, and He’s complete companionship, ideal perfect friendship. This lack that you feel, this incompleteness, is a need of your soul for God. He who made you is the only one who can fill every part, every avenue of your life.
There’s no need to ever be lonely. Jesus said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, for lo, I am with you always” (Hebrews 13:5; Mathew 28:20). You need not be discouraged, for you have all these wonderful promises in God’s Word, with God backing them up with all His power, truth, and love. Let Him come into your lonely heart and take over. Then you can say, as Jesus said in our verse for today, “I am not alone because the Father is with me.”
Turn your lonesome heart to God. That’s what’s the matter with you: you’re just hungering for God, and this is His way of drawing you to Him—a manifestation of His love and longing for you.
Some time ago a young woman wrote this in a letter to us: “I’ve a hard time thinking of God as you do. I’ve always had the intense feeling that He’s angry with me, as if He is some great, severe judge who has His face turned away because of my failures, or a hard taskmaster just waiting to pounce on me with His judgments.” What a pity, when He says He’s loved you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), when He’s yearning in deep sympathy and understanding for your companionship. There in the hospital, on the bed of suffering, there in that wheelchair, or that aged one alone. Make friends with Jesus Christ today.
There’s an old song we used to sing, so precious:
Friends all around me are trying to find
What the heart longs for, by sin undermined.
I have the secret, I know where ’tis found,
Only true friendship in Jesus abounds.All that I need is in Jesus
He satisfies, joy He supplies.
Life would be worthless without Him,
All things in Jesus I find.—"All Things in Jesus" by Harry Loes, 1915
Is the midnight closing round you,
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He’ll give you a new, sweet song.He’ll give it and sing it with you,
And when weakness lets it down,
He’ll take up the broke cadence,
And blend it with His own.—From "Songs in the Night" by E. H. Bickersteth, 1883
I like that part so much, “He’ll blend it with His own.” He’ll take over every avenue of your life, stand at the controls and guide you, live His life through you, and blend it with His own.
We’re going to take your requests to the Lord now. Please, all that are listening who know the Lord, join with us in helping for others:
Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for Thy divine companionship this day. We thank Thee for that inner sense of Thy nearness. We pray for those who do not know it, for the lonely heart that longs for a revelation of Thy dear self. For these on beds of suffering, we pray especially that they may feel Thee near. For others that are looking to Thee today for some special need, we would add our faith to theirs and claim that promise of supply for them. For these that are sorely tempted by some sudden onslaught of the Enemy, we pray for strength, strength to resist that they may be overcomers.
Bless each one. Speak by the still, small voice and guide by Thy abiding presence. We ask it all for Thy glory in Jesus’ name.