Don’t Waste Your Season of Loneliness
By Rick Warren
“When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers” (2 Timothy 4:13 NLT).
What should you do when you go through a season of loneliness? The answer is illustrated in the life of Paul in 2 Timothy 4, when he was in prison and awaiting his execution.
When you go through a season of loneliness, you need to make the most of your time.
That means make the best of a bad situation. Resist the temptation to do nothing. Take some action — any kind of action. Try to think of creative ways to take advantage of the seasons in which you are alone.
Paul wrote to Timothy from prison and told him, “When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers” (2 Timothy 4:13 NLT).
In a season of loneliness, you need to be comfortable and productive. Even though he was lonely, Paul didn’t throw a pity party. He didn’t complain or give up. This is Paul, one of the greatest Christians who ever lived after Jesus himself, who won countless people to Christ, and who is completely alone in his final days. What does he do? He makes the best of the situation. He utilizes his time. He says two things:
1. “Bring my coat.” Those Roman prisons were damp, dark, and cold. He did the best he could to take care of himself. It is true of human nature that when we are lonely and depressed, we don’t take very good care of ourselves — physically or any other way. We don’t exercise. We don’t rest well. We don’t eat right. Paul did the best he could to take care of himself. Some of you need to hear this today, because you’re not taking very good care of yourself because you're lonely.
2. “Bring my books.” Paul was a people person. He didn’t like to be alone; it wasn’t the way God wired him. Being in solitary confinement in a Roman prison was the opposite of where he wanted to be. Yet he did the best he could. He wrote letters that today are compiled in the New Testament. Maybe the only way God could slow him down was to put him in solitary confinement. Two thousand years later, we are still benefiting from Paul’s loneliness.
Talk It Over
What can you do now, when you’re lonely, that would be difficult to do with others around?
What practical steps do you need to take today to take better care of yourself?
Who would benefit the most from what you have learned in a season of loneliness?
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It doesn't matter how much you work out or how healthy you may eat, if you're not feeding and exercising your spirit… you're going to feel run down and tired – you’ll run out of gas. You’ve got to do more than just take care of your body. You’ve got to energize your spirit! And the best way to do that is with God’s Word! That’s why we’ve put together this new interactive guide called Re-Energize Your Life!
In this first-of-its-kind guide, created from Pastor Rick’s most practical teaching, you will learn everything you need to know to re-energize your life the way God intended. Step by step, you will begin a journey of restoration and renewal. It’s a hands-on guide you take at your own pace. No need to rush! In fact, we encourage you to stop and linger where you want to spend more time. You’ll benefit from biblical wisdom and learn how to apply it to your life in practical ways.
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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