How can I overcome loneliness?



Question: “I feel so lonely and isolated without friends or family near by that care about me.  What can I do to overcome this loneliness?”


Bible Answers

Loneliness is normally brought on by a feeling of separation from other human beings, but as we will discuss, there are other causes of loneliness. Those encapsulated by loneliness often have a sense of isolation and abandonment.


People who feel lonely often feel that their loneliness is somewhat unique to them, but nearly all people experience periods of loneliness. Loneliness is no respecter of man. Kings and queans, the rich, the working class and the poor all experience loneliness. In the Bible, we see many examples of people who suffered loneliness. Few felt loneliness more keenly than King David or cried out to God with more heartbreak and sorrow.  


And Jesus knew great loneliness. The Bible says, He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). While Jesus was dying on the cross with the sins of the world upon Him, He cried out, My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46). In that moment, Jesus experienced ultimate loneliness.


The first step is the realization that loneliness is not a unique condition but effects us all from time to time. The following discusses four primary types of loneliness and what you can do to overcome each type.


1.  A general sense or feeling of isolation

You feel that no one cares about you, no one wants to be your friend. It is almost as if you are in a separate world and are the only occupant of that world.  Such isolation can be most prevalent when in a crowd.


Possible Cure

Loneliness is actually an emotional attitude.  As he thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverb 23:7). If we think of ourselves as being lonely, so we will be lonely. Go into any church before the service and you will notice a few groups talking and many more people sitting alone, either couples or singles. They are just sitting there, often feeling isolated from the rest of the people and 99% of them would love for someone to be bold and say hi to them. This is a great time to start breaking down the walls of loneliness.  Force yourself to put out your hand and say “Hi, I am Jack, it is nice to meet you”, or “its good to see you again.” The conversation may be short or long, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you are changing your self-attitude from I am not friendly – no one likes me, to I am friendly, likeable, and sociable. Remember, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Psalms 91:10). Say to yourself, “I am friendly, loving, and sociable in Jesus’ name”. Get a few books on how to talk with people and build up your confidence. Joint clubs and volunteer activities. Keep making the effort. Remember that it is not how others treat you but how you perceive yourself - a friendly, loving person. Loneliness is an attitude that you can overcome.


We are happier people to be around when we keep our eyes on God rather than rehashing our problems. A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22). Thank God and meditate on the good thinks in our life.


One additional thought. As a Christina, you are never alone. The best friend in the world is always with you.  He says, you can know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). And what do you do with a friend, you talk with Him throughout the day and learn to love Him.  He so loves you that He says, never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He is always with you, 24/7.


2.  Separation by the death of a loved one

A great burden of separation can occur when a love one dies. The loneliness is compounded by the knowledge that you will never see or talk with that person again on this side of heaven.


Possible Solution

The loss of a loved one is very difficult. Your mind keeps reminiscing the good times, compounding the sorrow. Cast your pain on Jesus and look to Him to help you. casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). After you have done so, we are told to look forward, looking to Jesus. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2). It is through trusting God that you will receive His peace and joy.


3.  Separation from God

Having once known the sweet fellowship of God and having savored His peaceful presence that you have now lost because of unrepented sin, a great loneliness will possesses you. Perhaps you have been pulled away by the world and its momentary pleasures. No loneliness is so bitter as the person who claims they know Christ but in their heart they know they no longer do.


Solution

The only answer to lonely separation from God is to repent and return to God. He loves you and wants you to return, but the choice is your.


4.  The sensation that something is missing

Then there is the lonely sense that something is missing. You do not know what it is, but there is an ever-present emptiness deep down inside each of us. A feeling that something is missing as if we have a hole in us that needs to be filled, but like most others in the same situation, we do not understand what is needed to fill our lonely empty hole. It is an emptiness that can temporarily be filled with worldly pleasures, but we soon notice that we are still empty. We feel such emptiness because that hole was made by God and for God. God fills it when we make Him part of our life.


Solution

Each person in the world is made with a place for God and each person has a sense that something is missing until they fill that void. Only one thing can fill our empty hole and that is Jesus. When we open the door to Jesus and surrender out sins, the hole is filled and the loneliness is banished as Proverbs 18:24 teaches us, Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


God says, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). God loves you and is asking you to open the door to your heart and invite Him in. He wants you to spend eternity with Him in heaven, but because God is sinless, He will not permit sin in heaven. It is only through the repenting of your sins that they are washed away through Jesus, making you sinless and permitting you to spend eternity with God in heaven.


Only Jesus can fill that hole, only Jesus can replace that loneliness that you are feeling. If you have never invited Jesus into your heart, today is the day of salvation. Click to learn more about salvation.


Summary

Loneliness can foster depression and can even become debilitating. What we permit out mind to focus on is very important as it controls our state of mind and our peace of mind.


In summary, we can eliminate loneliness, by making an effort to be friendly, focusing on Jesus, and trusting that the Lord can and will help us. How can we have peace of mind? By looking to God, He will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you (Isaiah 26:3).



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