Other times you might find yourself physically alone, with no one at home and friends out of town. Or perhaps you’re grieving a significant loss, such as the death of a spouse or other loved one, a once-tight friendship that can’t be restored, or the loss of a job or church that had provided your life with meaning and connection.
Thankfully, God provided the Bible through which he offers companionship and comfort for times such as this. The following eight passages can be lifelines when you need to remember that God will always be with you even when you feel lonely.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:8, NIV
When you feel lonely, it can be hard to sleep. This verse is a great one to memorize and repeat when insomnia hits. In fact, you can pray it as a breath prayer. Inhale as you pray: “In peace I will lie down and sleep,” and exhale as you pray, “for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Repeat until you sense the presence of God easing you into gentle slumber.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. – Psalm 25:16-17, NIV
You are certainly not alone when you feel lonely. Other strong emotions, such as anguish and distress brought on by troubling situations, can exacerbate the feelings of loneliness. Remember that God is gracious. He loves you and cares about the troubles you encounter. He is with you in every situation and he has the power to relieve your worries even if he doesn’t change the circumstances themselves.
While we enjoy the company and companionship of other people, your soul will only find true rest in God. God alone offers salvation. God sent Jesus to be Immanuel, which means “God with us.” When you’re feeling lonely, let God be your rock, your fortress, and your strength.
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. – Psalm 62:1-2, NIV
Think about those images and imagine God as a huge mountain range of solid rock; imagine God as a strong and impenetrable fortress. Remember that God is with you and let God offer you stability in the midst of a shaken world.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families… – Psalm 68:5-6a, NIV
Widows and orphans had an especially tough time in ancient cultures, yet God reaches out to those disenfranchised by society. The ones on the outskirts, those who don’t have someone to protect and defend them, are near and dear to the heart of God. God takes on the implications of the roles of father or husband in offering provision, security, and defense.
You can rest assured that God in his holy dwelling has all the resources you need. In addition to his own presence, God also intends to surround you with others who can offer camaraderie and support. When you’re lonely, first look to God and all that he wants to provide for you, and then look for those he will put in your path to comfort you in community.
Hear my prayer, Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. … I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins. I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof. … But you remain the same, and your years will never end. The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you. – Psalm 102:1-2, 6-7, 27-28, NIV
What does your loneliness feel like? Like a desert owl, or an owl among the ruins, or a lone bird on an empty roof? What other metaphors can you use to describe your experience of loneliness? However you describe it, remember that the Lord wants to hear your prayers. You can always ask God for help.
It may feel like God has hidden his face, and you may think your prayers have fallen on deaf ears, but God is good. He loves you; he hears you, and he will answer you. There is no expiration date on God’s goodness and love. God was with the people you read about in the Bible. God has been with your spiritual ancestors, God is with you now, and his love never ends.
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. – Lamentations 3:19-24, NIV
The book of Lamentations describes the despair of God’s people following the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 587 BC. Imagine identifying yourself as someone belonging to God’s own people and yet watching a foreign power lay waste to your city, your home, and your loved ones.
You could understandably ask, “How has this happened, and where was God?” To say you’d feel downcast would be understatement. Still, the writer of Lamentations found reason for hope in the ever-present reality of God’s love. God is compassionate and his mercies are always available. God’s faithfulness to his people will never fail. Even when you think you’ve faced the worst that can happen, trust in his love and continue to wait patiently for what he will do next.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. – John 15:12-14 NIV
Jesus loves you so much that he laid down his own life for you. Jesus left the right hand of the Father in heaven to spend 33 years on the earth, demonstrating a life of perfect communion with God. Then he demonstrated God’s love by dying on the cross. Who can you actively love today as you follow Jesus’ example of love?
Sometimes the best solution for feeling lonely is to reach out to someone else. Is there someone you can serve? Can you volunteer at your church or homeless shelter? Perhaps you can write a note encouraging others by telling them specifically how you are praying for them. Or just call a friend and suggest meeting for a walk or a cup of coffee.
A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:32-33, NIV
On the night Jesus was betrayed, every single one of his followers scattered and left him alone. Jesus knew he was on his way to an excruciating death when, quite suddenly, the crowds dispersed and even his disciples took off for shelter somewhere else. Still, lacking all human companionship, Jesus wasn’t alone because the Father held him close.
Jesus knew that the world was full of trouble; he experienced it personally. He didn’t give his followers false hope but told them outright that life on earth will be hard. And then he offered them peace. He still offers peace today. Jesus offers you peace because Jesus has overcome all of the world’s troubles in his death and resurrection.
God loves you, Jesus died for you, and the Holy Spirit is with you all the time. The Bible also promises that there is nothing that can separate you from his love. You may be alone and you may feel lonely, but God is always there for you.
Christian counseling for loneliness.
If you’re looking for additional support for when you feel lonely, feel free to contact me or one of the other counselors in the online counselor directory. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss practical techniques from a Christian perspective for moving through loneliness to peace and hope in God.
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