The Father wants you to have an intimate relationship with His Son Jesus Christ and enriching friendships with others. Dr. Stanley will show you how God can heal the aches of your loneliness. For more messages from Charles Stanley, including this week’s broadcast, go to

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male announcer: “In Touch,” the
teaching ministry of Dr. Charles

Stanley, reaching the world
with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Next on “In Touch,”
“When We Are Lonely.”

Dr. Charles Stanley:
God does not desire that you

and I be lonely, but rather
that you and I have friends

and that we be a friend.

And most of all, that
Jesus Christ is our friend

above all other friends.

All the way from the beginning
of time God has desired that

you and I live in
fellowship, in companionship,

and intimacy with Him
and with those about us.

In fact, if you’ll go back
to the very first

book of the Bible.

And you’ll recall,
in Genesis chapter 1,

the Bible says that when He
created us He created us–

the scripture says that
God said, “In Our image,

according to Our likeness.”

Now what was that?

It was certainly not a
physical likeness but rather

an intellectual alikeness,
an emotional alikeness.

That is, so that you
and I could fellowship,

have companionship and so
that you and I could dwell in

intimacy, that is in intimate
relationship with our heavenly

Father through His
Son Jesus Christ.

That is the will of the Father.

It has always been His will.

And, when you and I look around
us today we see people who are

so very, very lonely.

We wonder, oftentimes,
why they are lonely.

Well, there are some very
specific reasons for that.

And that’s what I want to talk
about in this message entitle:

“The Source of Our
Strength: When We Are Lonely.”

And I want you to
turn, if you will,

to Hebrews chapter 13
and I want us to read,

simply a part of a single verse.

In Hebrews chapter 13
and verse 5.

You’ll recall that
in this passage,

beginning in the first verse.

This passage is
about relationships.

For example, he talks about
loving the brethren and not

neglecting strangers
and entertaining them.

And remembering the prisoners
and speaking of marriage

and so forth.

Then he says in verse 5: “Let
your character be free from

the love of money, being
content with what you have;

for He Himself has said,
‘I will never desert you,

nor will I ever forsake you.'”

“I will never leave you,
nor forsake you.”

Right in the middle of this
passage about relationships God

injects this awesome promise,
“I will never leave you.

I will never desert you.

I will never forsake you.”

The only person who could
possibly make such a promise is

God Himself and He says,
“I’ll never leave you.

Never desert you,
never forsake you.”

Well, when I think about the
Lord Jesus Christ and think

about how He went to such great
extremes in order to assure His

apostle that He
would not leave them.

If you’ll recall when He sent
them out He sent them out

on their journey two by two,
as disciples and as

witnesses and missionaries.

And then you’ll recall in the
fourteenth chapter of John

He said the night before He
was going to be crucified,

He says, “I’m not
going to leave you alone.”

He says, “But I
will come to you.”

Speaking of the Holy Spirit who
would come and live and abide

within them.

And if you’ll recall
in the same chapter,

in the twenty seventh verse He
says: “My peace I give unto you;

not as the world
gives, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.”

The Greek word for peace is
‘eirene’ and the word means

to bind together.

What was He saying?

He was saying that, “Physically,
we’re going to be moved apart

but spiritually and emotionally
I want you to be sure that I’ll

always be there, I will
always remain with you.”

When He came them the
Great Commission He said,

“I will be with you even
to the end of this age.”

Now, the Lord Jesus Christ knew
something about loneliness and

he knew that one of the things
that they needed to be reminded

of is that He was
going to be there.

They could count on Him.

Loneliness is one of those
experiences many of us face.

We’d like to avoid it at all
costs and it is an emotion

an experience that
comes our way.

It can either be like a hell all
our life or it can be something

that is short lived and that
depends upon our response to it.

And that’s what I want to
talk about in this message.

When I think about
loneliness I know,

in my own heart, that it is a
painful emotion that comes to

all of us at certain
times in our life.

Sometimes it is prolonged,
like a deep, deep dark valley.

Or sometimes it is just passing
and it is only momentary.

It may be a matter of
feeling rejected by someone,

it may be a matter of
being distant from someone

geographically but loneliness
isn’t some passing feeling.

Loneliness can be like a
cloud hovering over us.

Loneliness can also be like fog,
and everywhere you turn

it’s the same thing.

It is not just on the
outside, it is on the inside.

It isn’t something you can
put your finger on out here,

it is something that that
you feel on the inside.

And, oftentimes, it is
overpowering and overwhelming

you think, “Is there
any way out of this?”

Well, let me distinguish for
a moment between loneliness

and solitude.

Loneliness, we say, is a
separation anxiety that brings

about a feeling of
being disconnected.

It is something that happens
to us we all like to avoid.

Solitude, on the other hand,
is a choice to be alone.

Solitude is a time that my mind
and my emotions can drain away

all the pressures and for
those moments I don’t feel

the pressure of the
demands of others.

Solitude is a time
for refreshment.

Solitude is a
time for creativity.

The most creative
moments of our life are,

oftentimes, when we are alone.

Loneliness is a
whole different issue.

Now you can be alone
without feeling lonely.

And on the other hand, you can
feel lonely and be in the midst

of a tremendous crowd; people
that you know and people

who know you but you can
still feel the ache,

the penetrating
ache of loneliness.

And I think about,
in my own life,

when I started to school,
I was too young.

I was going to be six in
September and I was only

five years of age.

My mother had to leave every
morning at seven o’clock to go

to work and so, she taught me
how to cook an egg and a piece

of bacon and piece of toast.

And so, that was my breakfast
some mornings when I didn’t eat

a bowl of cereal.

And so, she had to leave.

And so I’d get up, fix my
breakfast and when I left home

she was gone.

She worked in the textile mill
and when I came home

she was still gone.

Now, etched in my
mind, even today,

and this is about
fifty-seven years later,

but it’s as crystal clear to me,
just like somebody photographed

it and set it in
front of my mind today.

I’d reach under the mat
and get that long key,

and put it in the lock.

And there were two locks.

And I can still
remember how it sounded.

I remember what I felt.

I can see that lock right now.

Putting the key in the lock
and listening to it unlatch.

And put it in the second
one and thinking this,

“There’s nobody home.

I’m going to be by myself.”

And so, I was by
myself until she came home.

When I was about
twelve years of age,

I was playing one Saturday
afternoon with two of my

friends, both of whose
names I still know very well.

And they were my two best
buddies and they were playing

in my yard.

And so, their father drove up on
a Saturday afternoon and

called them both by name.

“Bob, you and Jim come on.”

And they went–they
just didn’t say a word.

Just got up and walked off
and got in the car

and drove down the street.

And I remember
standing there thinking,

and it’s etched in my mind
watching that car drive off,

“I’m all alone.

They’re gone.

I don’t have anybody.”

Well, I wish I could say that
those were the only lonely times

in my life, but they haven’t
been and they still aren’t.

And I know that my loneliness
does not even begin to compare

with some people who’ve
gone through periods,

deep, dark valleys of
loneliness that are

absolutely indescribable.

I understand that.

And I would not share
anything about my heart to say,

“Look at me,” but simply to say,
I do know what I’m about

to talk about.

I do understand
the ache, the hurt,

the pain, the
sense of hopelessness,

helplessness, the sense of being
in a fog and cannot see my way

out, of looking long down that
tube and not seeing any light at

the other end of the tunnel, and
knowing that it’s on the inside

of me and I can’t pull it out,
it’s on the outside of me and I

can’t get out of it.

It’s just there.

I do understand what it
means to feel loneliness.

And I want to tell you,
there is a solution.

And I want to share it with you.

The first thing that is
necessary to overcome

loneliness, whether it is in
passing or whether it is one of

those long valleys of
circumstances that you get

thrown into that you
cannot do anything about,

you can’t change it.

What is the solution?

First of all, confess it.

Admit that you’re lonely.

You see, as long as I say,
“Well, you know,

I’m a Christian.

I’ve got God.
I’m not lonely.”

Well my friend, there isn’t
anything in the Bible that says

that you and I, just
because we have God,

cannot feel lonely, or that
it’s a sin to feel lonely.

For example, if you will
look in the twenty-fifth Psalm.

And you’ll recall if anybody in
the world has been a blessing

to you and me, in the
scriptures, as a character

of God it has been this man.

This is the man about whom
the Bible says that God said,

“David is a man
after My own heart.”

Listen to this man.

In the sixteenth verse of the
twenty-fifth Psalm: “Turn to me

and be gracious to me, For
I am lonely and afflicted.

The troubles of my
heart are enlarged;

Bring me out of my distresses.”

Here’s a man who knew
God and he knew Him well,

and yet he said, “I’m lonely.”

The second step in overcoming
that loneliness and being able

to survive it is this; and
that is to enter into a personal

relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now listen carefully.

You may not be a Christian.

You may say, “Well look, don’t
give me this Christian bit.

I’m lonely but I
want a solution.”

I’m giving you one.

And my friend, I
know this one works.

Listen to me carefully.

God created you for Himself.

He doesn’t need you
and He doesn’t need me.

Then why did He create us?

Here’s why He created us:

fellowship, companionship,

He wants to express His love,
all of His love to you and me.

He wants to walk with us and
to live on the inside of us.

And so, what does He do?

Here’s what happened; when Adam
and Eve sinned in the Garden

what happened?

The disconnect took place.

Sin separated them.

Why do you think they hid?

You talking about loneliest
they had been walking in

the presence of God.

They had this
absolutely matchless,

uninterrupted sense of
complete and total oneness

with the Father.

And, all of a
sudden, sin disconnected,

ripped them apart,
separated from them,

no touch, no intimacy, out
of touch, hiding themselves.

And what happened?

Every single one of us
have sinned against God.

Every single one of
us got disconnected.

And my friend, when Jesus Christ
came into this world.

Here’s the reason He came.

He came to forgive you and me
of our sins and then to do what?

The Bible says He
reconciled us unto Himself.

2 Corinthians
chapter 5, verse 17, 18.

But I want you to look before
you look at the scripture.

Redemption, that is salvation is
God forgiving us of our sins

and reconciling means,
what is He doing?

He is reconnecting us.

Reconciliation is to
bring back into fellowship,

bring back into relationship.

And so, redemption,
reconciliation, salvation,

forgiveness is to bring us
back into oneness,

to reconnect us with our
heavenly Father from whom

we have been separated
because of our sin.

My friend, you
were created for God.

You were created to love Him,
to fellowship with Him,

to grow in intimacy with Him.

Nothing in this world is going
to bring you back into that

relationship but Christ.

And my friend, there is not
anything in this world that’s

going to give you a sense of
fullness and completeness

and oneness.

You may be the richest
person in your town.

You may have the most–you may
have the most preeminence and

acceptance in their eyes but I
want to tell you there’s only

one thing that can
fulfill the human heart,

only one thing that can make you
sense and experience that sense

of being reconnected and oneness
and joy and indescribable,

‘eirene’ peace, being bound
together which means to be made

whole and that is a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ

that comes about when you
confess your sins to Him,

acknowledge that you are
separated from Him by your sins

and acknowledge that when He
died at the cross He paid

your sin debt in full.

And when you receive Him by
faith and just say to Him,

“Father, I have
sinned against You.

I know that I’m separated.

I feel the separation.

I feel the this
estrangement from You.

I want this reconnection.

I want to be forgiven.

I want to be what
You want me to be.

I am asking You to
forgive me of my sins.

I’m asking You to save me,
God, from myself,

from my loneliness,
from wrecking my life.”

He always answers that prayer.

Step number one is
confessing our loneliness

because it is not a sin.

Secondly, entering into a
personal relationship

with Jesus Christ.

And number three.
Listen carefully now.

Number three,
developing godly friends.

Now listen carefully.

What kind of friends are we to
develop to bring and help us

through loneliness?

Here’s the kind.

First of all,
somebody you can laugh with.

If you can’t laugh with them
they they’re not going

to help you.

Somebody you can laugh with.

Somebody you can pray with
and know that they know

how to talk to God.

Somebody that you feel
understands you and what

you’re going through.

Somebody you can share secrets
with and you know that they’ll

never tell a soul and
somebody you can trust.

I want to say it again
because it’s so very important.

Somebody you can laugh with.

Somebody you can pray with.

Somebody you feel understands
you and somebody that you can

share secret with and never
worry about them telling.

And somebody you can trust.

Everybody needs
that kind of friend.

Now listen carefully.

If I want somebody to laugh with
me then I’ve got to be willing

to laugh with them.

If I want somebody to pray with
me I must be willing to pray

with them and understand them
and be and be able to share

their secrets and be able
to be trustworthy also.

You see, the wrong kind of
friends are destructive.

The right kind of
friends will point you to God.

Now, I want you to listen
very, very carefully

to what I’m saying.

If you’re listening say amen.

Now listen.

That friend is to be an
extension of God in your life

not a substitute for God.

Not somebody who takes the place
of God but somebody who is

an extension of God.

Somebody who’s walking with
you through those moments of

loneliness, who’s doing what?

Who is reminding
you, “God understands.

Remember He’s with you.

Here’s what He said.”

Someone who is
pointing you to God.

When you have a friend
who points you to God,

they’re an extension of the
life of God in your life!

And you see, if you make that
person a substitute here’s what

happens; if that person becomes
a substitute for God in your

life you begin to cling and you
begin to lean and you begin to

draw out of them and to sap
out of them their strength.

Until finally, you
know what happens?

They can’t handle that.

And so what do they do?

They just back off the
relationship and then you have

two problems.

You were already lonely.

Now you have another reason for
thinking that you’re not worthy

of having a friend.

And so, what happens is,
when you back a friend off

you intensify your
own loneliness.

So, it isn’t a matter of seeing
that person as a substitute

and just sapping
everything out of them,

because you and I
are to lean upon God.

Listen to me.

He will never
back away from you.


He will never
back away from you.

You can’t sap infinite strength.

Isn’t that wonderful?

You can’t sap infinite strength.

He wants us to lean upon Him.

He wants us to depend upon Him.

He wants us to draw
what we need from Him.

But He also wants us to have
godly friends who can talk to us

our language, who can
feel what we can feel.

You see, I wonder how many of
you are the kind of friend

some lonely person needs?

Can you laugh with
somebody, pray with someone,

understand them?

Can you keep secrets
and can you be trusted?

Here’s what happens.

When we go through periods of
loneliness and God teaches us

these things what happens is we
become more valuable servants

to other people who are
going through those times.

So, first of all,
there is confession;

entering into a personal
relationship with Christ;

developing godly
friendships and then,

there’s something about
anchoring your soul

to passage of scripture.

And there’s something about
having that verse or that

passage that God anchors you to.

Because you see, all of us,
at different times,

are going to are going to feel
loneliness for some reason

or the other.

So what do you do?

If you take it God’s way
he you’ll let loneliness

drive you to Him.

Listen, and loneliness,
when responded to properly,

drives you into
the most intimate,

rewarding, indescribable sense
of relationship with God for

which there is not
explanation or no description.

And what happens?

Our loneliness can make us
richer in our understanding

of the ways and the
love of Almighty God.

Well, for me, personally,
that verse of scripture

that’s my anchor.

My mom gave it to me the Sunday
before I preached my

first sermon, Joshua 1:9.

“Be strong and of
a good courage;

fear not, neither be thou
dismayed: for the Lord thy God

is with you wherever you go.”

How many times I’ve had
to have that as my anchor.

In fact, it is burned in wood
and hanging over my study door.

Every time I walk in and
walk out I walk in and walk out

under that promise.

“Be strong and of
a good courage;

fear not, neither be thou
dismayed: for the Lord thy God

is with the
whithersoever thou goest.”

When the winds and the cloud and
the fog of loneliness begin

to just assail us there’s
something about having an anchor

in the word of God.

The last thing I
would say is this;

and that is, when
those things hit you.

Listen to me carefully.

You have the privilege of
crying out to God the Father.

And you can simply say
to Him what I say to Him,

put it in your own words.

“Lord, I am lonely.
I am hurting.

And God, You know that
I desperately need You

at this moment.

You promised You would
never leave me nor forsake me.

You said when I had
You I had everything.

I just need You to put Your
loving arms around me

and hug me good, God.”

Now why do I say all of that?

To say this: because I know that
there are a lot of you who are

feeling the same thing and
maybe a whole lot worse.

And I want to tell you, you
don’t have to go to drugs and

alcohol and affairs and illness
and television and videos

or schedules that will break
your health or suicide.

If you will confess your
loneliness and enter

into a personal
relationship with Christ,

He will enable you to develop
godly friends and He’ll give you

and anchor for your
soul in the word of God.

And my friend, He’s always
there for you to cry out to Him.

And when you do, He will
lift you and help you,

strengthen you and overwhelm you
not with a cloud but with

the most awesome sense
of indescribable love.

Listen, and the awareness of His
presence that will lift you

out of your loneliness.

It begins with confession
and enter into a personal

relationship with Him.

And then, just trusting Him to
do and to be what He promised.

You can turn every moment of
loneliness into a short lived

moment, embraced in the
arms of a loving Father

who loves you unconditionally.