Dealing with Loneliness Part 1: Biblical Principles
Loneliness is a painful, common human experience that occurs for many reasons. This article was written to help you understand what loneliness is and to provide you with biblically-based, practical guidance for dealing with it.
When God created us in His image, He created us as relational beings.
Genesis 2:18, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him [a companion who will help him].”
Loneliness is seen repeatedly in Scripture, even in the lives of “heroes of faith.”
Moses Numbers 11:11, 14, “And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? . . . I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.”
Elijah 1 Kings 19:9-10, 18, “And he [Elijah] came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. . . . [And the LORD said unto him] Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”
Job Job 19:18-19, “Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.”
David Psalm 38:10-11, “My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.”
Paul 2 Timothy 4:16, “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
John (Exiled to the Isle of Patmos, he must have felt isolated and forsaken; yet, it was there that he wrote the entire book of Revelation.) Revelation 1:9, “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, experienced loneliness during His earthly life, often during the times He was most in need of friendship and encouragement. Yet, he was comforted by His Father’s presence.
John 16:32, “Behold, the hour cometh, yea is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
Matthew 26:55-56, “In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes [chief priests, elders, and Roman soldiers], Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.”
A close friend or faithful companion is an invaluable source of help and faithful comforter.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Christ is a Friend and Brother to every child of God.
John 15:14-15a, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends.”
Hebrews 2:10-12, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.”
God has promised that He will never leave or forsake
God’s promise of continual presence and companionship is worth far more than the material blessings that others may have. Because He is our Helper, we need not fear.
Hebrews 13:5-6, “Let your conversation [lifestyle] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Psalm 27:10, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will lift me up.”
The Holy Spirit, dwelling in the hearts of every Believer, is a constant companion and faithful Comforter.
John 14:15-17, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
To have a true friend, we must be a true friend.
Proverbs 18:24, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Remember that God is ever-present even when our feelings may indicate otherwise.
We may feel emotionally distanced from God, but our feelings do not always align with truth. Even when we don’t feel God’s presence, His presence is constant and steady.
Psalm 94:14, “For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.”
Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
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For Further Information:
Lonely But Never Alone This booklet describes the spiritual and interpersonal aspects of loneliness and offers biblically-based guidance for dealing with those experiences. [ODB Ministries]