Feelings of isolation or alienation are as old as time. They can seem unique to us—like we’re the only ones—but the truth is, they are almost universal. We all get a little lost at times. We all feel alone now and then. But our feelings are not the truest thing about us. They don’t define or limit us. How we feel is not who we are.
In his book Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen, pastor Scott Sauls writes, “Many of the world’s greatest souls became their best selves not in spite of but because of their distress. Cowper wrote hopeful hymns and Van Gogh brushed epic paintings while contemplating suicide. Spurgeon preached some of his best sermons while depressed. Lincoln, Churchill, and King battled melancholy. Beethoven went deaf. C. S. Lewis buried his wife after a short, cancer-ridden marriage. Frankl, Wiesel, and Ten Boom survived the Holocaust. Ann Voskamp lost her sister and Joni Tada her ability to walk in tragic accidents. Christine Caine suffered abuse and Tim Keller got incurable cancer. John Perkins endured jail, beatings, and death threats from white supremacists. Sometimes the deepest, truest faith feels more like defeat than it does victory.” We don’t always feel victorious, but for those who are in Christ, victory is assured. When our story is joined with his story, his present reality and glorious future become ours.
The apostle Paul says it like this:
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.”1
When our feelings begin to overwhelm us, it’s important to remind ourselves of what we know, and who. Maybe the words of the Heidelberg Catechism will reassure us. The catechism asks, “What is your only comfort in life and in death,” and wisely answers, “That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.”
1. 2 Corinthians 4:8-11
Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-11 “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.”
Video Segment: (1:33 – 2:10) “I don’t know. I just feel lost. Alone. Like, yeah, I have friends, but they all feel like – fake friends. If there really is a God and He really does love me… then, how come I feel this way? What’s the point?”
“What we truly long for is to know that we are God’s beloved child, to know, and I mean really know, that [we’re] loved with a love that is so steadfast, so safe, so pure, so good, and so abundant that [we] can rest deeply in it.” ~Courtney Doctor, Identity Theft
“Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” ~Augustine, Confessions Book 1
“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” ~C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity