Resources

Opportunities in the Midst of Loneliness

As a Christian, you may feel lonely, but you are not alone.

When our Lord Jesus was thinking about His impending trials before the authorities and crucifixion on the cross, He knew that all His disciples will desert Him and leave Him alone. Yet Jesus knew that He was not alone, for the Father was with Him:

Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.  (John 16:32)

Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ has the Holy Spirit living in them and therefore experiences the presence of God in their lives (John 14:12-17, 20). The Holy Spirit teaches Christians all things, reminds us of all the words of Jesus and guides us into all the truth (John 14:25-26; 16:13). Although God is always with Christians, we may very often not realise that He is present with us due to our plain inattention. Other reasons include fear, pain, loneliness, emptiness, guilt and shame in our lives. May all those drive us to God, rather than away from God! The reality is that God’s Spirit is with every Christian at all times, wherever one may be and whatever one may be going through. The truth is that God sees, God knows and God cares! Therefore, while we may feel lonely, especially in situations of restricted movement and social isolation, we can be confident that God is with us and learn to draw close to Him in prayer.

Some Christians have cultivated a close relationship with God and thereby learned to be better listeners to God’s voice through His Word and by His Spirit. If we want to grow in our relationship with God and the love of God, we would be wise to learn from fellow-disciples who are more advanced in the Christian spiritual life through their discipline and consistent practices. Below, we have recommended several books on that subject for your prayerful reading and personal practice. May this year truly be for all of us a year of spiritual transformation and greater discipleship!

Written by Ps Ivan Ho

During the ongoing pandemic crisis, here are some recommended resources, so that you can take opportunities to connect with God and to care for your body and soul.

Connect with God

SERMON

“Taking Opportunities in the Midst of Loneliness”, by Ps Matthew Lo: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/1553

MEDITATING ON SCRIPTURE

Psalm 25:14-18

Psalm 27:9-10

Psalm 68:5-6

Psalm 147:3

Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 41:13

Matthew 28:19-20

John 14:12-20

John 14:25-27

John 15:4-5

John 16:29-33

1 Corinthians 10:13

Hebrews 13:5-6

1 Peter 5:6-11

READING BOOKS ON THE CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL LIFE

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald S. Whitney

Celebration of Discipline, by Richard J. Foster

Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, by Dallas Willard

Listening to God, by Joyce Hugget

Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, by Marjorie Thompson

Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation, by Ruth Haley Barton

 

LISTENING TO HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS

Songs by Keith & Kristyn Getty with great lyrics and beautiful melodies:

The Lord Is My Salvationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjOGX5zT8KU

My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulnesshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qntf2Y_VNok

The Perfect Wisdom of our Godhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSnzYnOe6kI

 

Care for self

ENGAGING IN HEALTHY ACTIVITIES

Walking:

Jogging:

While you walk or jog alone, you can pray to God, meditate on Scripture verses, listen to Christian songs or sermons.

When you walk with your spouse or family member or close Christian friend, you can engage in deeper conversations, pray for each other or intercede for other people.

 

SEEKING TRAINED AND PROFESSIONAL HELP

Wesley Counselling Serviceshttps://home.wesleymc.org/counselling

(Wesley Counselling Services provides trained Christian counsellors to assist individuals and families during their times of struggle. They also provide non-religious counselling for non-Christians.)

The Haven Counselling Centrehttps://www.sbc.edu.sg/resources/haven-counselling-centre/

(The Haven is the counselling centre in the School of Counselling in Singapore Bible College. They provide face-to-face counselling for individuals, couples and families seeking help to address relational, emotional and psychological issues in their lives.)

Care Corner Counselling Centrehttps://www.carecorner.org.sg/counselling-centre

(Their centre seeks to instill hope and build resilience in individuals, couples and families through the provision of highly subsidised counselling services and groupwork to those affected by intra and interpersonal challenges and functioning. The Mandarin hotline is free and helpful for seniors.)

Psycare Consultantshttps://www.psycare.com.sg/

(Psycare Consultants Pte. Ltd. is a private psychological practice with a culturally diverse team of clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, who are committed to apply effective techniques of Neuro-Science and psychotherapy to meet the needs of people who consult with them.)

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Daily Devo

Daily Devotional Journal

Scripture:
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
Wed, 18 May 2022

The Resurrection and the Rapture

Observation:

What will happen to believers in Christ when the Lord returns?

Deeper Reflection
AT “THE COMING OF THE LORD”, THERE WILL BE BELIEVERS who have already died and those who are still “alive” (v.15). Two things will happen to believers according to a divine order. First, “the dead in Christ will rise first” (v.16). For those who are “alive”, they will not experience resurrection from death, but instead they “will be caught up…in the clouds” – the rapture – and catch up with the resurrected dead, so that “together with them” they will “meet the Lord in the air” (v.17). What will happen to our bodies when all these happen at Christ’s return? Christ “will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body” (Phil 3:20-21). Christ will return “with the sound of the trumpet of God” (v.16). Then, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet”, “we shall all be changed” and “put on the imperishable” body and “immortality” (1 Cor 15:51-53). This glorious transformation of our bodies is founded on the resurrection of Christ.We seem to be concerned with how we die. We wish that we will die peacefully in our sleep into God’s presence. Christians died in diverse ways. Godly people died of cancer. In the Promised Land filled with God’s blessings (Deut 7:12-15), one could be killed by “the head of an axe that slips from the handle” from someone cutting down a tree nearby (Deut 19:5). God’s people can die through accidents. What is more important is, while “our outer man is decaying, our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16-18).
Application:

What do the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the rapture of living believers at Christ’s Second Coming mean to me personally?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for leaders
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for the Nations: To find hope in Christ’s Second Coming in this evil world
  • Pray for self

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