Thought for the week, by Geoff Duncombe: Say goodbye to loneliness

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Recent surveys show that the number of people living alone in this country has increased dramatically over the last decade to well over 7 million. Of those, 60% say they feel lonely most or some of the time. Loneliness doesn’t affect everyone living alone, but for those who do suffer, it can bring continuing heartbreak and despair with no end in sight.

While loneliness statistics simply show numeric proportions, they cannot begin to convey the extent of suffering experienced by every lonely person hidden behind the numbers.

There are many lonely people who would love to have more contact with family members, neighbours or friends, but making the first contact can be difficult for those who have had to cope with loneliness for some time. The good news is that God is in the business of turning lives around for the better; as many can testify; and it begins with us realising that God loves us and His love for us will never end.

God sent his beloved Son Jesus into a lonely world where he suffered extreme loneliness and rejection from his own people, even His friends betrayed him and left him to face false accusations and persecution, before suffering the most excruciating pain when he was crucified on the first Good Friday. Jesus was constantly strengthened in the knowledge that he was loved by his Father God, with whom He would soon be reunited.

Jesus knows all about your loneliness because he suffered far more than any of us could ever imagine. The Bible tells us in the book of Acts that God has his own special family which came into being just after the risen Jesus ascended into heaven and sent his promised Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of those who love and follow Him.

God’s family is known as the Christian church, which has grown worldwide since its birth in the first century AD. Because the church is God’s new creation on earth, He gave it the mandate to share His love and truth in practical ways with everyone, and just as Jesus had a particular compassion for those who were sick, broken-hearted, anxious, lonely, bereaved or just alone, so God has handed the 
mantle of compassion to His church to care for those in need.

Being connected to God’s family can take you from a life of loneliness to being accepted and welcomed as new friends are made. Most Christian churches have websites that you can browse to find out more information including contact details.

So why not say goodbye to loneliness; take that first step and make a call today.

The Gateway Church, Lynn