“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified…for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6
Last year Cigna Health Care surveyed over 10,000 Americans about loneliness. The researchers found that 61% of respondents—more than three out of five American adults—reported dealing with some level of loneliness. 71% of Millennials (adults in their late 20s or 30s) reported feelings of loneliness. And a whopping 79% of Generation Z-ers (older teens and adults in their early 20s) reported dealing with loneliness. And just think—this study was done before COVID. These numbers have undoubtedly climbed since the stay-at-home order.
Loneliness takes a huge toll on our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Studies show that chronic loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety, cutting, heart conditions, substance abuse, and even dementia. People who deal with chronic loneliness have a harder time recovering after a serious illness or surgery. Many health experts say that chronic loneliness harms our health about as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day—and it’s much more common.
So, don’t be surprised if you’re wrestling with loneliness, especially during the COVID pandemic. Did you know that some of the greatest heroes in the Bible experienced loneliness? Elijah, Job, Esther, Jeremiah, and even King David all had times when they felt lonely, isolated or abandoned. And please never forget: Jesus understands your loneliness because he, too, experienced it. We’re told in Isaiah 53:3 that Jesus was “despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows…. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” And as Jesus hung on the cross, paying the price for our sin, he felt ask if every one of his friends had turned his back on him. It even felt as if God the Father had turned away from him. So, Jesus cried out in Matthew 27:46, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever been lying in your bed all alone and felt as though even God had left you? There IS hope. And not surprisingly, it can be found in God’s word. I’d like to share three prescriptions from the Bible for your loneliness:
Prescription #1: Take your eyes off yourself and your problems, and focus on Jesus. We read in Hebrews 12:1-3, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” You have pain in your life. So did Jesus. You feel rejected. So did Jesus. You’ve experienced indescribable loss. So did Jesus. And he overcame it all. So will you if you fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.
Prescription #2: Repent. Turn from your sin. You may say, “Hey! Wait a minute! That’s not very encouraging. If I’m feeling all alone, you’re telling me that one of the remedies is to repent?” Yes, I am. The honest truth is: Sometimes we FEEL all alone because our sin has LEFT us all alone. We may be dealing with loneliness because of our own dumb choices. We’ve burned bridges with our family and friends. We’ve held onto bitterness and unforgiveness. We’ve been selfish. As a result, we’re more alone than we should be, and we’re left feeling lonely. Sin certainly isn’t the only cause of loneliness. But it’s a common cause that we can’t ignore. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
Prescription #3: Spend quality time with God and with other Christians. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-30). Don’t you want that? Don’t you want rest for your soul? Don’t you want to stop carrying the heavy burden of loneliness and replace it with a lighter burden? Then spend quality time with Jesus and with other Christians. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” God wired into your heart a need for a active relationship with Him and a need for active relationships with other Christians. So, make fellowship with God and with other Christians a priority.
Now, I’ll give you three bonus prescriptions for loneliness that are scientifically-based and proven to work: Prescription #4: Get out in nature. Loneliness intensifies when we’re stuck inside four walls. Prescription #5: Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins in our brains--God’s natural mood boosters. Prescription #6: Get a pet. I believe that pets are a wonderfully sweet gift from God. So, if you’re feeling lonely, I encourage you to get one, or at least spend some time with someone else’s.
Finally, if you are struggling with loneliness, discouragement or depression, there are caring counselors available night or day to talk with you and encourage you. You can find resources at CrisisTextline.org or TheHopeLine.com. I urge you to reach out to them.
The reality is …God is always there. And there are Christians ready to be there for you, too. We ARE all in this together. You are not alone.
Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our live outdoor worship service Sundays at 9 a.m. at
Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at 10
a.m. on our YouTube channel
(Impact Christian Church) or on Facebook.