Topic

Loneliness

In the Bible, God tells us of three gifts he gives to us in our loneliness:
a faith relationship with God,
friendship, and the family of God.

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YOUR BIBLE

Short Content

How to Answer Your Loneliness

I feel so….

Fill in the blank. Angry? Restless? Afraid? Single? Forgotten?

I wish so much to just share this with someone—one person, that would be enough.  That would be relief—to have someone who could understand and feel what I feel.

But no one understands.

This is loneliness. Feeling alone, regardless of circumstances or social setting. You’re alone somehow in your experience.

Frustrated, friendless, and tired, the songwriter in Psalm 55 talks to himself after lamenting his loneliness. As if he wants us to hear his whispered reminder too: 

“Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22 ESV).

Though friends had failed him, the songwriter remembered an invitation, You can tell me.

He also remembered that with this Friend he did not have to reserve any thought or hold any emotion back—he could cast his burden upon this Someone, free from any fear of reproach. 

Cast your burden on the Lord, though? Like, God? Where did this guy get such an idea? Surely if there is a God in Heaven, you may think, our concerns would not concern him. My concerns would not concern him. What brought such an idea to the songwriter’s mind?

He knew the Scriptures.

He believed that there was a time when the LORD God “walked among people in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). He knew that even after our rebellion made our LORD invisible to us, some still knew what it was to walk with him (Genesis 5:24; Genesis 6:9). He still visited us, over, and over, and over again. One man, the LORD wrestled in the night (Genesis 32:22-28). With another, he shared the story behind the stars (Genesis 15:5-6). To another, he appeared often, always cloaked in fire (Genesis 2:3-6; Exodus 19:17-20). Of this man it was said that “the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11).

So our songwriter in his anguish counsels himself—Share it all with the Lord. He will understand. After all, he’s the Creator, who made our hurting hearts.

The wisest man on earth knew this to be true. He wrote, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 ESV).

You’ll see that the Bible gives other counsel—it reminds us God made us for community, it warns us not to isolate, it encourages us to experience the joy of giving over expecting, and it tells everyone who has Jesus Christ as his friend that we have the family of God as our brothers and sisters—the church. 

We will talk about the importance of many of those things but first I want to introduce you to the friend above all friends, the friend of sinners.

If you think the Lord is far off, distant, mysterious, and made manifest only to a few, then you must turn to again to your Bible. One day, long after this song was written, the LORD appeared in flesh (John 1:14).

He lived, died, and rose from the dead, “that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18 ESV). For all who trust in the Lord Jesus, he says, “no longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends.” And he invites us to call God our Father (John 15:15-16).

Before any of us had any concern for him, the Lord was concerned that we know him. So he came to take care of the burden we could not rid ourselves of, that estranged us from him—the burden of sin. That burden took the shape of the cross.

And if you will let him bear the burden of your sin, he will become many things to you—your Lord, and your Savior, your King, but also your friend.

He is the only one who can understand you fully down to the depths of your being. And, as the King of all things, he’s really the only one who can do anything about your loneliness, or anything else in your life. You will not find another Someone like him.

The first solution to the lonely heart is to know the friendship of the Lord. We were designed for this (Genesis 1:26-27).  There is a garden within each of us called the human soul where God alone can walk. Sin has locked the door. But Christ knocks. To let him in is to have that Someone when feelings of loneliness return.

We have an answer to Loneliness. We can say, I will cast my burden on the Lord. I have a friend closer than a brother.

Do you know this friend of sinners? Would you believe today he has not only taken care of your burden of sin, if you trust him, but he is eager to have a relationship with you, if you will follow him (Matthew 11:28-29). And the wonderful news is, then he will never ever leave you alone (Psalm 139:7; Matthew 28:20; John 14:16).

by Bibles.net

Infographic

God’s Three Gifts
for the Lonely Heart

Discover how God provides for us
in our loneliness.

loneliness
Verse
Psalm 25:16-17 NIV

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.

Video: 12 Min
by Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church

Verse
Romans 5:10-11 NLT

For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Messages: 40 Min

Discovering
How to Pray

by Tim Keller

Quote

The Inescapable Loneliness of Every Human Being

by Tim Keller, quoted from his sermon, “The Wounded Spirit”

“The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares it’s joy” (Proverbs 14:10 ESV).

Your insides—the movements and motions of your heart are so complex and they’re so inward and they’re so hidden that there’s an irreducible, unavoidable, solitude about human existence. No one will ever completely understand you…

In fact, you don’t even fully understand yourself! You have absolutely no idea what’s all “down there.” “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit” (Proverbs 16:2 ESV). You have a better idea than anyone else, but nothing compared to what God can see—nothing! You are alone. There is nobody, no human being, that can walk with you everywhere you go. There is no human being who can help you interpret—really—everything you’re going through.

You know what this means? Here’s what it means, listen carefully. If God is only somebody you believe in, if he’s an abstraction—or maybe he’s someone you don’t believe in at all—but if God is not a friend, if God isn’t someone you know personally, if God isn’t someone you have a personal relationship with, if you don’t have a sense of God really with you, putting his love and his truth palpably on your heart, if you don’t have an intimate personal relationship with God, you are utterly alone in the world. You are absolutely alone in the world and human beings absolutely can’t live in that kind of isolation. They cannot.

He’s the only one that can walk with you through every dark valley. He’s the only one who can understand. He’s the only one. If you don’t have him—and see it’s not enough to be good or moral or even to believe in God in some general way—if you don’t have him as a personal friend…if you don’t have an intimate personal relationship, a sense of really dealing with him, you are utterly alone.

Find more of Tim Keller’s sermons at Gospel in Life.

See quote source

Article: 7 Min

Why Is Loneliness a Thing?

By Scott Sauls at For The Church

Quote

Solitude vs. Loneliness

by Garrett Higbee

While it is beneficial to seek needed times of solitude, drawing near to God and away from busyness and distraction, loneliness is not a discipline to create times of reflection but a perceived or real deficiency in relationship. God invites us to himself to meet the most profound depth of this deficit.

See quote source

Article: 7 Min

When Nobody Else Listens, God Listens

By Aaron Sironi at CCEF

Messages: 27 Min

Loneliness

by Billy Graham

Praise & Worship

No One Ever Cared
for Me Like Jesus

by The Worship Initiative ft. Davy Flowers

Article: 10 Min

4 Lies We Believe
When We Are
Feeling Lonely

By Sarah Walton at Unlocking the Bible

Image

there is a friend
who sticks
closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 NIV

Folk | Country Gospel

Closer Than a Brother

by Josh Garrels

Article: 25 Min

The Best Friend!
7 Qualities of Jesus’ Friendship

by J.C. Ryle, adapted by Bibles.net

QUOTES
FOR THE LONELY

Image

The friendship
of the Lord

is for those who fear him,
and he makes known
to them his covenant.

Psalm 25:14 ESV

Verse
Psalm 73:23-28 NIV

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

Contemporary

All Along

By I AM THEY

Image

The Lord
God said,
“It is not good
for the man to be alone.
I will make a helper
suitable
for him.”

Genesis 2:18 NIV

Quote

The first negative
judgment we find
in Holy Writ is a
judgment on loneliness.
God said,
“It is not good
for man to be alone.”

Video: 12 Min
by Lydia Brownback and Justin Taylor at Crossway

Article: 10 Min

You Won’t Make It Alone: Five Reasons You Need Good Friends

by Drew Hunter at Desiring God

Books

Verse
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

by Joni Eareckson Tada, 4 Min

Quote

Dealing with Loneliness

Quote by Elisabeth Elliot
from her book,
The Path of Loneliness:
Finding Your Way Through
the Wilderness to God

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44 ESV).

Our loneliness cannot always be fixed, but it can always be accepted as the very will of God for now, and that turns into something beautiful. Perhaps it is like the field wherein lies the valuable treasure. We must buy the field. It is no sun drenched meadow embroidered with wildflowers. It is a bleak and empty place, but once we know it contains a jewel the whole picture changes.

In my case, “selling everything” meant giving up the self-pity and the bitter questions. I do not mean we are to go out looking for chances to be as lonely as possible. I am talking about acceptance of the inevitable. And when, through a willed act we receive this thing we did not want, then Loneliness, the name of the field nobody wants, is transformed into a place of hidden treasure.

See quote source

Video: 2 Min

Verse
Psalm 68:5-6 NLT
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Quote

I have found peace
in my loneliest times
not only through
acceptance of the situation,
but through making
it an offering to God,
who can transfigure
it into something
for the good of others.

Quote

The Comfort and Companionship of Another Christian

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The prisoner, the sick person, the Christian in exile sees in the companionship of a fellow Christian a physical sign of the gracious presence of the triune God.  Visitor and visited in loneliness recognize in each other the Christ who is present in the body; they receive and meet each other as one meets the Lord, in reverence, humility, and joy.  They receive each other’s benedictions as the benediction of the Lord Jesus Christ.

See quote source

Image

Whoever isolates himself
seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against
all sound judgment.

Proverbs 18:1 ESV

Verse
Hebrews 10:19-25 ESV

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Verse
2 Timothy 2:22 NLT

Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

Quote

You are not alone,
even in death,
and on the Last Day
you will be only one member of the great
congregation of Jesus Christ.
If you scorn the fellowship
of the brethren,
you reject the call
of Jesus Christ,
and thus your solitude can only be
hurtful to you.

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