Loneliness is a paralyzing existence. We might be surrounded by people yet feel completely isolated, emotionally speaking. Our heart feels as if it is flying solo; our mind filled with a flurry of negative thoughts like:
- I am alone.
- I am unimportant.
- No one really cares about me.
- No one needs me in their life.
- Everyone else is happy.
- Everyone else has a deep connection with one another.
- I’m the only one who feels this way.
- I shouldn’t feel this way.
- What’s wrong with me that I feel this way?
- I shouldn’t be so ungrateful.
- I need to be more thankful, then this will go away.
- I need to be more spiritual, then this will go away.
The list goes on and on…a record that rotates the tunes of these lies until we’re so used to hearing them we no longer recognize them for the foolish fallacies they are.
We Must Take Our Thoughts Captive
It’s no wonder there is much in the Word that points to the importance of our thought life. Our thoughts can captivate us—either to keep us anchored in truth or imprisoned by falsehood—so we must learn to take all thoughts captive.
Defeating loneliness is not primarily a battle of the will. We cannot wish ourselves better. It’s often a battle of the mind* and every battle needs a battle plan. Thankfully, God has provided us with three powerful gifts with which we can arm ourselves: God’s Word, God’s Spirit, and God’s people.
The Gifts of God
We need the Word to point us to the steadfast character of God. The Bible is our nourishment. Our life-line. The spiritual oxygen we need to survive in this lost, lonely world that will suffocate our souls if we let it.
We need the Spirit to enable us to rightly respond to what we encounter in the Bible. He gives us the strength to draw near to God and receive comfort and grace.
We need the people of God to tell us what is true. We need sisters and brothers who will pray for us when we are too weary to fight. We need the body of Christ to show us His love.
Loneliness is a result of the fall and subsequent separation from God. The evil one loves to use loneliness to keep us from all God has promised if we draw near to Him. If you are struggling with loneliness, know that on some level this is normal in the world we live in and you are not alone in your struggle. There is always hope.
See God Clearly
Instead of giving in to the lies that things will never change, let’s whisper a prayer of help to our Sustainer. Let’s expectantly open the Bible to see our God more clearly. Let’s take a small step toward the body of Christ. Then let’s wake up tomorrow and do it all again.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses.
– Psalm 25:14-17 (ESV)
*Long-term feelings of loneliness may also be a battle of the body. Be aware of the signs of clinical depression and be willing to receive treatment for a physical problem.