The times in which we are currently living are creating more lonely people.
COVID-19, the fear of catching COVID, civil unrest, election uncertainty, churches and restaurants limiting seating, and other gathering spaces altogether closed; these have created spaces in our hearts to feel incredibly alone.
Maybe you have felt it too?
I know I have felt lonely. Throughout the world, there are major signs of increasing loneliness.
I miss gathering together at church, singing worship songs in one loud, united voice. I have also felt lonely for seeing Bright Hope’s ministry firsthand. Unable to travel overseas, which had become a routine part of my ministry life, has me tossed up-side-down. Also, not meeting in person and working in my isolated office makes me struggle to stay connected and has increased the feelings of loneliness.
In our world,
extreme poverty rates are rising sharply. People who had jobs have lost them; people who had their daily needs met are now scavenging for enough money to buy just one meal a day for their family. The Bible states it clearly, Proverbs 14:20, and studies of the poor have reinforced that the poor are some of the loneliest people in our world.
In our nation,
I have been disturbed by the unrest happening in some of our nation’s cities. Watching the rise of the cancel culture, the forceful Black Lives Matter movement, and young people driven by anger and hate toward police and law and order. It honestly confused me for quite some time; I kept asking myself, what am I missing?
Having a background of ministry in former Soviet bloc countries has helped. I have studied how movements like these set the stage for totalitarianism to gain a foothold in political systems—a very dangerous and threatening precipice for all believers who hold Christ at the center of their lives.
History shows us that one of the social factors that welcomes the rise of totalitarian regimes, just as it did in Germany and Russia in the early 20th century, is a pervasive loneliness in young people. Loneliness drove young people into the arms of Nazism and Communism because those leaders were offering a place to belong, a clear purpose, and a sense of (warped) social justice.
I ask the question, is what we are experiencing in our culture and country a cry for connection to something or SOMEONE greater? Are young people involved in these movements lonely for connection and purpose? I believe the answer might be yes.
Thankfully Christ holds the answer to loneliness.
His Spirit is within every Christ–follower. And when we share our resources with the poor or reach out to a young person and remind them of His great love for them. It can set people on a path to meet God personally.
When you give to Bright Hope, you are supporting churches and pastors living in poor communities. They are daily reaching out, listening to, engaging with, and sharing the Words of Christ with the poor, their own neighbors.
As for young people in our nation, can we do a better job of sharing expressions of God’s love?
Even in the face of hate, can we pray for them to get connected to a Christian who can share about Christ’s desire to know him or her?
Do we back away because we feel rejected when we should be leaning toward those that speak against us?
Sharing the love of Christ is an antidote to loneliness for someone else, but in doing so, I also find more purpose and fulfill the higher calling to “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Pray for me, and I’ll pray for you.
Together we can pray for our nation and the world’s loneliness people, the extreme poor.