It is both ironic and tragic that in a time where we are more connected technologically than ever, we also see some of the highest recorded rates of loneliness in history. Loneliness is not about being with people—we can feel lonely surrounded by others and not feel lonely when we are alone. Loneliness is an emotional state in which we feel isolated or completely alone in the world. And though it seems this emotional state is becoming more commonly chronic, loneliness itself is not a new phenomenon.
The first mention of loneliness is found in Genesis 2:18, where God states that it is not good that man should be alone. God's remedy for Adam's loneliness is the creation of Eve and the institution of marriage (Genesis 2:21–24). God provided Adam with a companion – a helpmate also made in the image of God – to join him in life. Throughout Scripture we see the importance of companionship, friendship, and fellowship. People were built for relationship—with both God and one another.
When Adam and Eve sinned, relationships broke down. Not only was humanity separated from God, human relationship was damaged (Genesis 3:16, 24). No longer did peace exist between humans and God or between humans and one another. However, even as God pronounced the consequences of Adam and Eve's sin, He also granted hope: the protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15). This hope was the promise of a Savior who would defeat Satan and restore peace between God and mankind. This Savior is Jesus Christ, and He is the only true and lasting remedy for loneliness.
It is through Jesus that we are reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18–21). Jesus is the one who has laid down His life for His friends (John 15:13–15). To paraphrase Pascal, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in every human heart." That vacuum manifests itself in the ache of restlessness and loneliness, which is only soothed by the peace and love of God found in Jesus Christ (John 14:27; Matthew 11:28–30). And what can separate us from the love of God in Christ? Nothing (Romans 8:35–39). To all who believe in Jesus, He has given the Holy Spirit to live inside us and be with us forever (John 14:15–17). He promises that He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). In Jesus, we are never isolated or alone.
It is also through God's work that we are reconciled to other people (Ephesians 2:11–22). Having received the Spirit of God and the example of Christ, we learn to put pride aside and seek to meet the needs of others and not ourselves only (Philippians 2:3–8). As husbands and wives grow in their love for and service to Jesus Christ, they learn to love and serve one another (Ephesians 5:22–25). Likewise, children learn loving submission to parents and parents learn not to exasperate their children (Ephesians 6:1–4). Although relationships are not perfect this side of heaven, they can be restored, established, and strengthened by the grace of God. Restored relationships functioning in mutual submission mean less loneliness.
Even more, in Christ, we have become part of a new spiritual family that is one hundred times larger than any natural family. Love of and loyalty to Christ can sometimes cause even our natural families to turn against us. However, God more than makes up for such losses, both in this world and in the world to come (Matthew 19:29). As believers in Christ, we have become part of the family of God and that is a big family. A family where no one need be lonely.
So, if you are feeling lonely ask yourself if you have been reconciled to God by believing in Jesus Christ. If you have, then remind yourself of the promise that God has made to you, "… I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). Jesus, who died for you, has gone to prepare a place for you where you will dwell with Him and all who belong to Him eternally (John 14:1–3). In the meantime, He has given us His Spirit to dwell within us, teach us, and comfort us (John 14:16–18). No believer in Christ is ever truly alone.
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