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When You Feel Abandoned or Alone

When you feel abandoned and alone, when you feel like life is just not fair, consider how Jesus felt. He had poured his life into his friends. He loved them sacrificially. And he knew that when he needed them, they would desert him.

“But the time is coming—in fact, it is already here—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:32-33, NLT).

Jesus gave us an example here. He could have felt totally abandoned as he went to the cross, totally alone and unjustly dishonored, forsaken, and rejected. And perhaps he did feel that way, but he chose to see past what he felt and still believe in his friends. I tend to say, “I don’t deserve this!” but if there was anyone at any time that did not deserve the treatment he received, it was Jesus! Instead of having a pity party for himself, he focused on what his friends would go though over the next several days (see v. 33). That’s an example for all of us to follow.

Trials and sorrows will come. They are a part of living in this world (see verse 33). I’ve gone though my own during this past year, and I bet you could tell me many stories of your own. I have a choice when I face these trials and sorrows. I can turn inward and complain, seek sympathy from others, and feel sorry for myself, or I can take comfort in my relationship with the Father and focus on the needs of those around me–even (or especially) those who are the source of the pain.

Father, help me respond to trials and sorrows like your son.

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Michael C. Mack founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and served as a small-groups minister for more than 20 years in several churches. He is a writer, editor, trainer, and consultant in the areas of small groups, leadership, and discipleship. He is the author of more than 25 books and small group studies, including his latest, World's Greatest Small Group (pub. January, 2017). He regularly blogs on his ministry website at SmallGroupLeadership.com. His family is a small group that includes his wife Heidi, their four children, and their dog, Lainey. Mike is also an avid mountain biker.