I am one of the few here on earth who has never felt alone. I have on occasion felt forsaken but never alone. I am never alone because God is with me and his Word abides in me. In 1984 I was unfortunate to have been bitten by a brown recluse spider. What makes this horrendous was that I was deathly allergic to its venom. Doctors said I was one of six in the world who had suffered the same effect. Diagnosis, prepare to die in 1 year as the previous 5 had died. At that moment I felt forsaken by family and friends. Some made fun of my condition as I withered away to almost nothing. Others showed no empathy or signs of caring. I suddenly knew who were my enemies and what was shocking was that they were all around me. Yet, despite suffering in pain night and day with little to no sleep for the next nine years, I never felt alone for God was with me. Despite doctors unable to give me any medication that would help, and giving me a fatal diagnosis of no more than one year to live, God saw fit that I live, even prosper in the Lord. I still suffer from its effects till this very day and other rare conditions on top of that. Yet, God has showed me that he has made me perfect in weakness. I have been allowed to do more for the Lord in distress than many who have perfect health. The question I want to ask of you is: Have you ever felt alone, forsaken or forgotten?
1. Consider Job: “My brethren (are) far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me . . . . they whom I have loved are turned against me” (Job 19:13-19). Have you suffered the loss and agony that Job endured while still praising God?
2. Consider David: David’s son, Absalom, led a treasonous revolt and rebellion against his own father (2 Sam. 15)! To be deserted by one’s family is an awful burden, but “when my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up” (Psa. 27:10). Remember, too, “He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37).
3. Consider Jesus: “He comes unto the disciples, and finds them asleep, and says, . . . What, could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matt. 26:40) “Then the disciples forsook him and fled” (Matt. 26:56). “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (Jn. 6:66). Jesus suffered a death that is unthinkable and yet he endured it. He felt forsaken when he said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46) Yet, he never felt alone for even in death he called upon His Father and completed his mission here on earth (Lk 23:46 f; Jn 19:30).
4. Consider Paul: “All they which are in Asia (are) turned away from me” (2 Tim. 1:15). “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me” (2 Tim. 4:16). When he suffered his thorn in the flesh he asked God three times that it might be taken from him but all he received was “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). Instead of cursing God, he embraced his weakness. “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor 12:9,10). The next time you feel “left out,” ask yourself this question, “If even the great apostle was forsaken, why should I be surprised when it happens to me?”
Conclusion: Loneliness and sorrow affect us all. When we feel abandoned, let us recall that better and greater saints have suffered much more than have we. Remember that all faithful Christians shall suffer persecution for the cause of Christ (2 Tim 3:12 f; 1 Pet 4:16). “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Pet 5:8-10) The fathers and prophets suffered, Christ and his apostles suffered, and so must we. We must bear our cross and follow Christ (Lk 9:23). Take note, we are never truly alone, “for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18).