Do you ever feel lonely? I often do. That’s why sensing the presence of God is so important to me. But I know I am not alone in my aloneness. The human race has been plagued with this malady ever since the fall of mankind.
There are many reasons why someone might feel lonely—even when not actually alone. I have “good” reason to feel lonely. I’m a widow, live alone, and now I’m a stranger in a strange land—the “new kid on the block.”
But do I have to be continually beleaguered with these feelings? NO! In fact, you and I need not be controlled by any emotion. Being an emotional yo-yo, I’ve had lots of experience and opportunities to demonstrate that victory is won through Christ. The first key is to:
Address the Source
For me, when I experience loneliness I feel that:
- No one cares.
- I don’t belong.
- I have no value.
But these feelings are not based on truth! They are a byproduct of dwelling on the negative. Just because someone doesn’t call, visit, or whatever does NOT mean they do not care. People do care. And even if they didn’t, God does! I do have value. I am precious in His sight. I belong to Him. He bought me with His own Son’s blood. He is always with me (Mat 28:20).
On these facts, I must focus. This is the second key in overcoming times of loneliness:
Focus on God and the Truth.
Think about what is true (Phil 4:8). Speak it to your soul—with conviction and out loud if possible.
The third principle in escaping lonesomeness is to
Understand We All Feel Lonely at Times
Even our precious Savior experienced loneliness. Feeling lonely is not a sin. It’s simply part of being human in a fallen world. It becomes a sin when we let it control our actions.
Focus on Others
Get involved with people. There are many ways to accomplish this—attend functions, invite others to get together, volunteer, communicate with people (and not just electronically!).
Turn it Around
Our good God always has a good purpose for everything. Use your loneliness for good. Reach out to those who are also lonely. You’ll be able to empathize. Trust me—being an instrument to encourage another soul will dispel all feelings of loneliness!
For me, having time alone is a good thing since I am a writer and need that time to fulfill my God-given calling.
—especially in regards to fulfilling your God-given purpose. When I am carrying out God’s will for my life I feel significant and all feelings of loneliness are dissipated. What productive things can you do with your alone time?
Make Right Choices
Don’t add to your loneliness by trying to fill that emptiness with things, food, drugs, entertainment, unhealthy relationships, etc. Now that is going to take major effort!
“The greatest challenge is to get over the initial hurdle. At such times [feeling lonely] one does not feel like… [doing the right thing]. But I find that when I take the step of faith to do what I know I should do, my feelings begin to change.”[i]
Stay Close to Your Redeemer
In so doing, you’ll be able to sense His presence more frequently and not feel alone. I have found my relationship with God to be my most effective defense against loneliness.
To summarize we can simply say:
Get your eyes off yourself!
Whatever the cause of your loneliness, if you employ these principles you may have occasional visits of loneliness, but you don’t have to live there!
[i] David Jeremiah Overcoming Loneliness p 107