This is the time of year where many of us experience the pain of loneliness. This weak we will look at how Paul dealt with loneliness and see what we can learn.
MONDAY: Acts 9:1-19 – HOW PAUL BECAME A CHRISTIAN
1. What did Paul do before becoming a Christian? (9:1-2)
2. Paul was convicted when he discovered his lifestyle was opposed to God. List two ways that guilt and sin can make you feel lonely?
3. Who did God send to help Paul with his feelings of guilt and loneliness?
4. What did Paul do when he realized he had disobeyed God (9:11, 18,19b)? How would this help him with the loneliness felt by him realizing he disobeyed God?
TUESDAY: Acts 9:20 –25 - PAUL IN DAMASCUS
1. After his conversion, what did Paul begin to do at once (vs. 20)? Would you be suspicious? Why or why not?
2. What did the Jews conspire to do? How did Paul escape? Can you think of a time when people rejected you or attempted to harm you? Did you feel lonely? Notice Paul accepted the help of his friends (verse 25). Make a list of some friends who you can call on when the loneliness of rejection hits your life. Spend time thanking God for those friends?
WEDNESDAY: Acts 9:26-31 – PAUL‘S FIRST VISIT TO JERUSALEM
1. Paul’s came to Jerusalem about 3 years after his time in Damascus (See Galatians 1:18,19). What type of reception did he receive? Who did God use to help break down the wall built between the Christians and Paul?
2. Even though Paul was misunderstood and rejected what did he do to combat the loneliness that he must have felt? (Verse 28)? One lesson we can learn is that to overcome loneliness sometimes we need to build bridges to others as Paul did. He did not go into a shell but he stayed with those who were afraid of him and he emphasized the needs of others.
3. Is there someone you know that may be lonely because they are being misjudged or doubted as Paul was? What can you do to help them?
THURSDAY: Acts 15:36-41 – PAUL AND BARNABAS HAVE AN ARGUMENT
1. What did Paul and Barnabas argue about? What was the result of their disagreement? Paul and Barnabas went through a lot together (See Acts 13-15). Why would their separation bring on loneliness?
2. Read Colossians 4:10, 2 Timothy 4:11. Did they “patch things up”? Who appeared to admit he was wrong? Are their any broken relationships that you “need to patch”?
Notice Paul did not let this “break up” keep him from forming other close relationships (Read 1 Timothy 1:2, Philemon 1 etc.). What can you do this week to strengthen your close relationships or begin building close relationships?
FRIDAY: Acts 17:13-34 - PAUL IN ATHENS
1. Paul left Timothy and Silas in Berea and went to Athens. Why was he greatly distressed in Athens?
2. As a Christian, do you, when surrounded by non-believers, ever feel lonely? Write down two reasons why?
3. Notice what Paul did when lonely in Athens. He once again built bridges (See verse 34).
As Christians what can we do to keep from being “lonely” when surrounded at work by “non-believers”? Are their other believers where you work? What can you do together to help strengthen each other?
SATURDAY: 2 Timothy 4:6-22 PAUL’S FINAL WORDS
1. Paul in prison, facing execution was experiencing loneliness. Look at verse 13.What did he ask for? How can these items help him overcome loneliness?
When alone ask yourself – what can I do now – that I can’t do when other people are around? Write a letter, study the word, pray. When alone use your time wisely.