adapted from Lonely People by Warren Wiersbe
Sometimes we feel like we’re on the outside looking in. We feel unwanted, unneeded and uncared for.
Loneliness is described as a feeling of isolation even in the midst of a crowd – a feeling of being all by yourself even when you are surrounded by people.
Whatever the cause of your loneliness Jesus can comfort you and give you rest.
There are social causes (relocation, our impersonal society), psychological causes (guilty conscience, insecurity, confusion and unhealed inner wounds) and spiritual causes of loneliness (sin, suffering, self-pity, sorrow).
Social causes Don’t just have casual contacts. Develop and maintain friendships. Keep in touch. Don’t be so self-focused that you forget about other people. Let brotherly love continue (Heb 13:1).
Psychological causes Build a relationship with Christ because He can heal and mend your broken heart (see Isa 61:1-3; Luke 4:18), He can help you accept yourself. He can cleanse you from the guilt of sin.
If needed, get christian counselling (i.e. based on the word of God).
Spiritual Causes of Loneliness
In the midst of suffering, we may feel abandoned…and sometimes people abandon us.
Job lost his wealth and his children in one day. Soon after this, he became ill and was covered all over with sores. His health was gone. His friends gone. His wife found his breath offensive.
The only way to go through and grow through this time of abandonment was for Job to have an eternal perspective that His redeemer would work things out (see Job 19:25-26).
Remind yourself that Jesus is interceding for you (see Heb 7:25) and this is not useless (Rom 5:3-5).
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor 4:17).
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Rom 5:3-5 NLT).
In sorrow it’s okay to cry but not as one that has no hope (see 1 Thess 4:13). If you’ve lost a loved one, take comfort in Jesus’ promise that there’ll be a family reunion in Heaven, for all those who are born again through faith in Jesus Christ.
Mary and Martha may have felt lonely and abandoned when their brother, Lazarus got sick and later on died. Jesus didn’t criticize them or the others who wept when Lazarus died, He comforted them.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this (John 11:25-26).
If it’s the demands of service that have put you in isolation and made you feel lonely then it’s time to cast your burden on Jesus and receive His rest.
Moses was misunderstood by the people he was called to lead. He was a regular target of criticism, envy and blame. In Numbers 11, he became discouraged and cried out to God. And God gave him helpers – 70 assistants.
We can’t bear the burden of leadership on our own. We need to go to God in prayer and then He’ll give us rest and also tell us what to do.
God wants to share your burdens (see Matt 11:28-30).
If you’re holding a grudge against somebody it’s no wonder you feel lonely. Don’t close the door to relationships with others because of unforgiveness, offences or hurts.
Sin separates us from God ( Isa 59:2).
In 1 Kings 19 Elijah experienced loneliness when he isolated himself in self-pity. He also lost his perspective because he wallowed in self-pity. Sometimes, like Martha and Elijah what we need is…rest.
Claim the promises and assurance God has given
1) That no matter your circumstance God loves you and He’s always with you.
2) God knows what you’re going through
3) Even when we don’t understand His plan, His will is what’s best for us
4) Be thankful (1 Thess 5:18). He will work it out