Excerpted from 'A Touch of His Presence' with permission of Zondervan.

Loneliness is one of the most crushing human emotions. The feelings of abandonment and isolation create an overwhelming sense of helplessness and despair. People in the throes of a heightened state of loneliness often fall prey to temptations or behaviors that are extremely atypical. It is a dangerous place to be. Jesus knows what it is like to be lonely. As the perfect Son of God, he certainly was unlike all the other children in Nazareth. And we all know that when a person is different from the crowd, they usually spend time by themselves. Shortly after he began his public ministry, many of the disciples left him when his teachings became too difficult to grasp. At the time of his greatest sorrow, the handful that remained scattered, leaving him utterly alone.

As our sympathetic High Priest who "had to be made like his brothers in every way" (Hebrews 2:17) and who "shared in [our] humanity" (Hebrews 2:14), Jesus is intimately acquainted with the devastating effect of loneliness. He is also able to come to our aid with help and hope that can lift us out of the deepest pit.

Jesus hears our heart cry. The faintest whisper of a heart that feels alone and abandoned comes before the heart of a loving Father who will go to any lengths to comfort his children. In fact, he has already gone to the extreme in offering himself on the cross and since he did not spare his only son, he will freely give us the help we need (Romans 8:32). When Hagar and her son were dying in the desert after being cast out by Sarah, God heard her feeble voice and nurtured them. When Elijah sat alone after his power encounter with the prophets of Baal, he sat down and collapsed, wondering if he was the only one left in Israel who still called on God. The Lord encouraged him with the news of many others, though he knew none of them.

Throughout the Scriptures when men and women of faith faced great challenges, God reminded them of his powerful presence, saying to them, "I am with you." They were afraid, anxious, doubtful, and bewildered, but the awareness of God's presence became their strength to deal with formidable odds. Lonely leaders were instilled with courage, lonely prophets with boldness, lonely apostles with hope.

Remember, God is with us. The God who is able. The God who is kind. The God who is gentle. The God who knows all our needs. The God who is faithful. The God who works all things together for good. The God who loves us with an everlasting love.

God has already turned to you through the indwelling presence of his Spirit. His face shines upon you. Turn to him and find the solace and help you need. It may come through a Scripture promise. It may come through a prayer. It may come through his still voice when you are quiet on your bed. But it will come, because he has come into your life forever.***

Jesus, you do know what loneliness is like. You understand when I come to you with my feelings and do not condemn me. Thank you for allowing me to express my inner pain to you. You are always there for me and you will never cast me out. I run into your arms.

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