You Are Not Alone

Have you had a moment in your life when you have felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness? It can take over your mind and senses. Some of us may have experienced this feeling before we became believers in Christ, but many of us have also experienced it as Christians. How do we respond when we are told that God is always with us?

The book of Isaiah explores the pits of despair for God’s chosen people, Israel. The prophet Isaiah tells Israel of a time that will come when they will experience a loneliness beyond their imagination. What will soon happen is that the Babylonians, an enemy nation, will completely conquer Israel and topple the nation. Even worse, after the destruction of their government, Babylon would force the Israelites out of their own country.

Have you ever felt abandoned by God before? I have. Are you in that place now? What you need to know is that there are two questions we need to ask ourselves in our loneliness:

  1. What is the truth that I need to hear?
  2. How should I respond?


So, what is the truth that you need to hear?

Isaiah 41 answers the first question for us. My life verse is Isaiah 41:10. There was a moment in my life when I was a young Christian, fresh out of high school. I fell right back into old, hurtful habits of pleasure-seeking. In my darkest hour of life, I found myself flipping through the Bible and my eyes landing on Isaiah 41:10. This was God’s truth to me, and this is God’s truth to you today, tomorrow, and forever.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

In my moment of truth, this was the truth of God spoken to me through His Word. I was not alone, I never was. When I knew that I was falling right back into the way I was, He reminded me that He wasn’t done with me. Though I had felt lonelier than ever and thought that God had abandoned me due to my sinful ways, He spoke to me. He reminded me. He convicted me. To see that God is with me, even at my worst, gave me a relief I had never experienced before.

If you’re in a similar place, this is the truth you need to hear. God is with you. The presence of the Creator of the universe, the one who has complete control of everything, this powerful God is a personal God, and He is with you. With His presence comes His strength. He will strengthen you in your time of weakness. He will keep you up with His hand.

Now, how should you respond? 

It comes back to the first two words of the passage in Isaiah 41:10. Do not fear. You don’t need to be afraid. There is the option to not be stuck in fear but to walk in the truth that, because God is with you, you have not been abandoned and will never be. Take the time to reflect and meditate on the truth that God is with you. Right at this moment, He is with you. Take the time to worship God and praise Him for His unconditional love. Be assured that even in your darkest moments, God is with you.

Guest Contributor,
Pastor Bryan

The Cure For Denominational Divisions

Division and tribalism are as old as the church itself for the problem at Corinth was one of blatant sectarianism, i.e., budding denominationalism. In the opening four chapters of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul exposed and repudiated such party lines existing in the church. The emergent denominationalism at Corinth was organized around party names, such as Paul, Apollos, and Cephas. Today we have Lutherans and Wesleyans, Baptists and Brethren, Methodists and Presbyterians. The Gospel is weakened, and the name of Jesus is betrayed for the sake of our favourite personality cult. The names have changed, but the effect is the same. The work of the ministry is partitioned and stalled in the name of our carnal separation. It’s tough to find churches that are cool with being “local” churches rather than outposts of a mother ship back at headquarters. 

Paul offers the cure for denominational divisions and local church disruption in 1 Corinthians chapter 3.  He simply asks, “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.”  Do you see it? SERVANTS! The transliterated Greek word is “diakonos.” Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s the word for deacon. A deacon is a servant-waiter. No one should be admitted to leadership in the church until they have proven themselves as a deacon. No one! Those who bypass a servant role in the church are more apt to be a problem later on. The apostles viewed themselves as mere servants through whom the church came to believe on the name of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, they viewed the results of their service to be a matter of Divine appointment. 

Paul reinforces his argument by reminding the Corinthians how God viewed both the apostles and the people. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s  field, God’s building.” The ministry of the Gospel was not their own ministry, but God’s. The apostles were fellow workers with God. It was God’s church in Corinth, not Paul’s or Apollos’s or Peter’s. The believers there were God’s field, God’s building, and His alone.

I love those images. 

Pastors, elders, and deacons are co-workers, partners and teammates. We aren’t super stars, celebrities, or high-powered influencers. We are servants by whom others believe and are built up in their faith. 

The church is God’s field. A field needs to be cultivated and tended so that it can grow and produce spiritual fruit. 

The church is God’s building. This is a favourite image that Paul uses. Recall Ephesians chapter 2 where Paul wrote, So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” 

Carnal Christians perpetuate division, but spiritual Christians work the field and build up the temple.

I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sunday church family. We will dig into 1 Corinthians chapter 3 a bit more. 

Pastor Deric