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A Positive Perspective

August 2008

     Loneliness is often defined as being without fellowship or companionship, and is understood by the painful feelings of sadness which accompany this experience.
     However, there is a perspective to loneliness which we do well to consider.
     The Christian is to understand that his focus is not to be too earthbound - but his eyes are to be focused on that which lies beyond this life! Like the men and women of faith who are spoken of in Hebrews 11 - concerning the promises of God, they "having seen them afar off . . . were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
     Sometimes, the heaven-bound Christian needs to put forth special effort to lighten his hold on this world, in order to place his grasp more fully upon the eternal.
     Jesus warned us about the deception of allowing the world to come too close to us. He said to His disciples, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Matt. 16:24-25).
     Within each of us is an enemy which we tolerate at our peril. Jesus called it "self".
     If we chose to allow this enemy to live, in the end we will lose everything, our souls included.
     A.W. Tozer, in his book The Pursuit of God says, "The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things. The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. They are `poor in spirit.' They have reached an inward state paralleling the outward circumstances of the common beggar in the streets of Jerusalem; that is what the word `poor' as Christ used it actually means. These blessed poor are no longer slaves to the tyranny of things. They have broken the yoke of the oppressor; and this they have done not by fighting but by surrendering. Though free from all sense of possessing, they yet possess all things. `Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'"
     If you are feeling a soul dearth - a fear that God is far away, God says to you, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you" (James 4:8).
     Along with that then, a man or woman who is truly seeking after God, does well to voluntarily place themselves into this kind of "aloneness".
     It is a good loneliness. For in it, we are not alone, but in distancing ourselves from this world and its distractions, we are drawing closer to God our Heavenly Father.
- Mervin Brubacher,
   Barwick, ON
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 5:3     (The Bible)