When a Facebook “friend” gets annoying, you can ignore his posts. But, when he gets over-the-limit obnoxious, Facebook has a solution: “Unfriend” him. It’s quick, simple and Mr. Obnoxious never needs to know. But real life isn’t so easy. When life gets painful, what’s the solution? Can you “unfriend” anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness?
NO QUICK FIXES
Everyone knows that anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness are complex problems. There is no button we can click to make these painful realities disappear instantly. Those who deal with anxiety know it can be like an annoying roommate who is constantly making your life miserable. Deep dissatisfaction is like a rich neighbor who makes you feel like a loser. And loneliness is like a so-called friend who never calls.
ONE REAL SOLUTION
But, there really is a solution, a person who is the solution. One who can give us true peace in the middle of anxiety. One who genuinely satisfies. One who can end loneliness forever. His name is Jesus and He is the only real solution to anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness. All other solutions are temporary or false.
Read a few of the clear promises of Jesus:
“…My purpose is to give (you) a rich and satisfying life.”
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.”
Who can promise such incredible and universal treasure!? Someone making such promises would have to be God Himself!
That’s exactly who Jesus is and claims in these promises.
He’s the Creator, so he can promise not only “a rich and satisfying life” here on Earth, but also “eternal life” in Heaven! He’s the “Prince of Peace”, so He alone can promise a true and lasting peace. And, He is eternal, so He alone can promise to be “with you always”.
THREE NEW FRIENDS
So, how does all this work, exactly? Do we just mouth a prayer and expect all anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness to instantly go away? Of course not! Believers-followers of Jesus will tell you that the Christian life is often filled with struggle. In the next life, suffering will be completely and forever “unfriended” from those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus as their heart’s only God and Savior. But for now we live in a world filled with sin. We still struggle with our personal sins, other sinful people, and the effects of sin in creation such as natural disasters and disease.
But, if you embrace the way of life of a Jesus believer-follower, you will find that three new “friends” will come along to replace anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness.
The more time you spend in God’s Word, the Bible—growing in your understanding of what is truly important and what isn’t—you will gain a right perspective — God’s perspective on time and eternity. Anxiety about the future will be replaced by hope and anticipation for what God wants to do in your life.
Many people devote themselves to their own personal happiness. Happiness is good, but it’s too small a pursuit. It won’t ultimately satisfy us. Deep down, we know that living for our own selfish pursuits is empty and incomplete. Jesus calls each of us to devote ourselves to work that is greater than ourselves. True satisfaction is found in devoting ourselves to a great purpose, and Jesus invites us to participate in the greatest.
Loneliness is often a self-inflicted wound. People hurt us and we retreat, adding loneliness to the hurt. But, to believe in Jesus leads to imitating Jesus. And Jesus came into the world to demonstrate God’s great love for people. We are most like God when we love. Yes, some will hurt us and others will disappoint us, but some — many — will return love to us. Loneliness should be completely alien to one who believes and follows the Lord Jesus Christ.
Really, the issue isn’t so much about whom you should “unfriend.” It’s about whether you will “friend” Jesus. “Follow” Him into a full and abundant life.
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