There is a difference between being alone, and being lonely.
Everybody has days when they just need some alone time. And of
course, if we are alone for long periods of time, we will naturally feel
lonely. However, the Bible records many examples of people who were alone.
Despite this, they were able to move forward, and each of them overcame and was
Jesus, who suffered and died alone and was forsaken on the
cross, overcame to sit down at the right hand of God. Elijah, a frightened,
weary, and lonely fugitive, overcame and was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind.
Joseph, wrongly accused, betrayed, and enslaved, overcame to not only become
the prime minister of Egypt, but to once again be reunited with his father.
As Christians in the world today, it is inevitable that there
will be times when we are alone and also times when we are lonely. When we are
lonely, our hearts feel empty, like there is a hole somewhere in us. However,
there are some things that, regardless of the situation, we should not forget
because they are the precious promises God has given to us, His children.
Can a woman forget her
nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may
forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My
hands... (Isa 49:15-16)
And surely I am with you
always, to the very end of the age. (Mt 28:20)
The verses above are two of many that declare Jesus' great love
for us. Not only do they tell of His love for us, but they also promise that He
will never leave us, nor will He forsake us. God gave us our friends and
family, but we ought to remember that first and foremost, God is there for us
at all times. Therefore, we need to learn to cling onto Christ in all things,
strive to draw closer to Him, know and love Him more, and deepen our
understanding and relationship with Him.
Loneliness isn't an easy problem to deal with, because it is
often persistent and long lasting. In order to overcome, we need to do our best
to trust in God's love for us. Remember that we are never truly alone, both in
Spirit with our brothers and sisters, as well as in the love of God, our Father
and Friend who is always near us.
1. Are you lonely? Why or why not?
2. In what ways can we proactively remember God's love for us in
our daily lives (other than praying and reading the Bible)?
3. In what ways can we combat loneliness in the church?