- Friday, June 21, 2002
Jesus has promised to always be with you, and if you connect more to Him and other people, you can better sense His presence and relate to others in fulfilling ways.
Here are some ways you can overcome loneliness:
- Look to God as your ultimate source of fulfillment. Don't expect to find true or lasting satisfaction in anything or anyone else - work, romantic relationships, etc.
- If sin has alienated you from God and other people, seek forgiveness. Sins such as unbelief, hatred, and dishonesty can lead to loneliness. Confess your sins, repent of them, then embrace God's forgiveness and grace to do better. Humbly ask people you've hurt to forgive you, and be willing to forgive yourself. Live in the confidence of God's love for you.
- If suffering has caused your loneliness, remember Jesus' promise to always be with you, and decide to trust Him to keep His promises and reveal Himself to you when you seek Him. Know that even when you don't understand why God has allowed you to experience suffering, He has a purpose for doing so that's rooted in wisdom and love. Remember that Jesus experienced much suffering on Earth to accomplish a greater purpose, so He understands what it's like to suffer. Openly and honestly express your feelings to Him, knowing that He genuinely cares.
- If your position as a leader serving others has caused your loneliness, ask God to give you His perspective on your situation. Know that stressful circumstances usually seem worse than they truly are. Give up unrealistic expectations of people and allow them to be human, with imperfections. Don't magnify your own importance by trying to solve problems by yourself. Instead, rely on God's strength, and trust that He will enable you to do whatever He wants you to do.
- If self-pity is at the root of your loneliness, take your focus off yourself and put it on God. Pray for God to act in your circumstances, then wait for His timing, eagerly anticipating Him to intervene in ways that are best.
- If you're lonely due to sorrow, take your feelings to God, and ask Him to transform them into joy. For example, if a loved one has died, invite God into your grieving process. Rather than spending all your time remembering the person you cannot be with, wallowing in sorrow, start some new activities with confidence that God will use them positively in your life.
- If stubbornness is at the root of your loneliness, decide to break free. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you love God and others more. Don't carry grudges; whenever you become angry, deal with your feelings right then, in healthy ways. Accept the comfort the Holy Spirit offers you.
- Be courageous! Don't be afraid to discover who you truly are, and relate to others on that basis. Take the risks necessary to building meaningful relationships and working with others as part of a team.
Adapted from Lonely People: Biblical Lessons on Understanding and Overcoming Loneliness, copyright 2002 by Warren W. Wiersbe. Published by Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.bakerbooks.com, 1-800-877-2665.
Warren W. Wiersbe is Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary and has pastored churches in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois (Chicago's historic Moody Church). He is the author of more than 150 books.
When in your life have you felt lonely, and why? How did God help you connect with Him and others to overcome your loneliness? What encouragement would you like to others who are struggling with loneliness right now? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.
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