One emotional response common to virtually every single one of us is loneliness. If we get to a point where we feel neglected or abandoned by others, we can slip into that horrible emotion of feeling like we’re all alone in a big world.
Those who struggle with loneliness don’t have to stay there. There are actions that can be taken that can help greatly.
For one, do the hard but rewarding thing by developing relationships with other people. A church is a fantastic place to build those relationships. If your church is large, then you absolutely must find a small group (e.g. Sunday School, etc.) and spend time getting to know the folks around you. Do things with them outside of church, too. Limiting relationship-building to one day a week just won’t satisfy. But, if you do the hard work, you may find that your loneliness will soon begin to dissipate.
Another remedy for loneliness is found in a verse I read only moments ago. As I was reading through John 16, I watched in my mind’s eye as Jesus began to forewarn His disciples about the troubles ahead. He would be crucified, the lost world would celebrate and Jesus’ followers would begin to experience tough times of persecution.
But, Jesus also noted that during His trial and crucifixion, His disciples “will be scattered” (John 16:32). When times got tough, Jesus would be abandoned. He would be left alone. Talk about a recipe for loneliness!
How did Jesus survive being all alone when life was crashing in around Him?
John 16:32 (English Standard Version)
Jesus said: “Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.”
Jesus was able to enjoy and benefit from the relationship with His Father (through the primary disciplines of Bible-intake and prayer) in spite of the fact that everyone had abandoned Him. There was no loneliness even though He was alone … because He wasn’t truly alone. He was enjoying fellowship with God.
This remedy is only possible to those who have trusted in Jesus to forgive and save them and who have developed a real, vibrant relationship with the Lord. But, to those who have pursued Him, this is simply one of the incredible benefits!