By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

Want to receive By Love Transformed by email? Sign up here

The Value of Loneliness

After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. —Matthew 14:23

Loneliness isn't for nothing. If you are in a situation of enforced solitude, there is a reason. God does not send the thorn in the flesh for nothing. Moreover, it is not punishment. Don't say, "Oh, I am getting my dues!" Wrong!

God got even at the cross. The thorn in the flesh is preparation. We all need preparation in some way. Part of my own preparation has been learning to cope with loneliness.

There is loneliness in leadership. Every church leader knows the pain of having to make unpopular decisions, the pain of not getting very close to those you minister to, the pain of treating everybody the same. The loneliness of leadership is part of the job.

But there are advantages to loneliness. For example, you have time to pray; you may never have such time again. One reason for enforced solitude is that God wants you all to Himself. He loves your company, and you could be lamenting the very thing that He has designed in order to have your company.

This is your moment to develop two things: (1) to become an intercessor, where you can start praying for people, and (2) to get to know God with an intimacy beyond anything that you dreamed possible.

Another value of loneliness is to make you sympathetic toward others. That is one of the main purposes of any trial. As Paul put it, "And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort" (2 Cor. 1:7). It produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings. You will be able to sympathize, and you will be able to identify with another person. Pray you will never forget what it was like, should this thorn be withdrawn from your flesh.

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Churches don't address this topic affecting women.

    The Secret Sorrow Women Carry

    This woman breaks the silence about a taboo subject to help restore many women.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit