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
MEDITATING ON SCRIPTURE
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 Salvation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjOGX5zT8KU
My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qntf2Y_VNok
The Perfect Wisdom of our God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSnzYnOe6kI
Care for self
ENGAGING IN HEALTHY ACTIVITIES
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 Services: https://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 Centre: https://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 Centre: https://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 Consultants: https://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.)