Loneliness is a major plight in today’s busy world. Many of us have mental, emotional, and spiritual issues from our past that keep us feeling fearful and insecure during each new day. We tend to drag these issues around with us. Unresolved issues often ruin our current and future relationships and cause us to feel lonely.
Even if we have children, enjoy a loving church family, work with a multitude of people, or are married we can still experience loneliness. Close friends may move away, or we may move away from them. An experience, such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, a fire, or a natural disaster can rob us of treasures that we hold dear. This may cause feelings of discouragement and loneliness too.
We often use addictions to mask our loneliness, which causes more isolation as well as other issues. Health problems may cause our loneliness because they isolate us from the world around us, especially if the doctor orders bed rest for us or isolation to keep us from spreading our illness. Our personality type can also promote our feelings of loneliness.
On a positive note, we can view loneliness as a chance to increase our intimacy with God. He longs to fellowship with us, and to receive our gratitude, praise, and admiration. Reading His Word, spending dedicated time praising Him for who He is and for His specific provision and blessings in our life, and walking in His Spirit will all improve our unity with God and decrease our loneliness.
Forgetting that God does not leave us abandoned in this world (Hebrews 13:5), we often feel alone as we struggle with life’s issues. He does not call us to work for Him, but rather for us to allow Him to work in and through us. When we sit by our self, we are never lonely as long as the Spirit of God resides within our spirit. When we craft deliberate times during our day to be alone with the Lord, He readily meets us right where we are.
Our Father God gives us wisdom on how to change negative thoughts and attitudes and to diminish our isolation. His Word is full of comfort for us, especially the Psalms. Before he reigned as king, David lost his mentor, his best friend, his home, and at times his country and his family; therefore, His words in the Psalms bring comfort to our soul and help us not to dwell on our negative circumstances, or on the fact that family and friends are too busy to include us in their life.
Loneliness attacks us more intensely when we have no goals for our day, but we sit around the house with little to do. The cure for this is to get dressed, spend time praising the Lord, fix nourishing meals, and follow the direction of God’s Spirit during each moment of our day. God may have a ministry for us to do in our church and/or community that brings joy to others as well as to us.
We can even start a support group for people who feel lonely, or just befriend one other person that we see struggling with loneliness too. We can praise God together for His presence in our life. We can also learn a new hobby, or assist in the nursery or a Sunday school class and minister to our church family as we meet new potential friends.
If we have preconceived expectations of how and when God should answer our prayers, and He does not do it our way, our feelings of isolation may increase; however, waiting on the Lord, and entering His rest, will give us joy and peace that will help us to see God’s hand during our negative as well as our positive circumstances (Proverbs 5:21; Matthew 26:36-46).
Other people may not understand our circumstances or why we are feeling as we do, but we do not have to take their criticism of us into our heart. Thankfully, feeling loneliness is a choice, and we can change that choice. God’s grace sufficiently supplies all our needs, and it gives us opportunities to face our negative emotions and to seek His wisdom and guidance in resolving them.
We can also trust in God’s will for our life, and we embrace His love for us, which is constant and eternal (Lamentations 3:28). God is always within us, and ready to commune with us whenever we give Him the chance. All it takes is for us to silence the disharmony within and around us; and then to focus all our attention on His Spirit within us.
Our loneliness gives our soul times to wait patiently for God, because He is the source of all our peace and joy. Our salvation comes from Him, and we find our true rest only in Him. We thank Him for saving us in spirit, soul, and eventually in our body (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and we praise Him with our deepest appreciation for His love and care for our every need. We can even praise God when He does not speak to us, because it reminds us that He loves to spend times of companionable silence with us.
Written by: Kathleen Bradley Kathleen was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and her parents transplanted her at age five to Pensacola, FL. At 18, she met Jesus Christ at Pensacola Junior College in the Baptist Student Union. At twenty, she married a pastor; and, since then, has enjoyed over 50 years of ministry with the Lord. She now resides in the Heartland of the USA in a tiny village of Valier, IL and she helps her husband as he pastors the Valier First Baptist.