Do you ever feel alone? Do you ever feel isolated at work, school, or home? If so, you are not alone. A 2019 study that came out in early 2020 (prior to the pandemic and its ensuing social distancing) found that 61 percent of American adults experienced loneliness. Even in today’s world of uber connectivity via technology, heavy users of social media represented 73 percent of the lonely respondents. Another study in late 2020 reported a much lower number of 36 percent of American adults but added that these individuals were lonely “frequently” or “all of the time.” Nevertheless, that is a lot of people that experience loneliness in some form or fashion. With the holidays coming up, feelings of loneliness tend to be exacerbated due to societal expectations of spending time with a significant other and/or extended family.
Loneliness can come in many forms. You can physically be alone, or you could be surrounded by many, yet feel alone due to the lack of love and respect from those around you. Either way, it is easy to let loneliness affect your spiritual well-being. Without a strong spiritual foundation, loneliness could become the low hanging fruit for Satan’s attack. Loneliness could trigger you to succumb to the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life in order to find comfort and a sense of belonging. However, the subsequent verse in I John 2:17 tells us that the world, and the lusts in it, are passing/temporary. Later in I John, we are reminded that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one, but he who does the will of God abides forever (5:19 NKJV).
Why do we feel lonely? Is it because we place our faith and focus on worldly/temporary things? Is it because we feel the need for temporary physical comfort? Do not be fooled by this world. The world may sustain you and comfort you for many years, but many years is but a vapor when compared to eternity. Many have had the benefit of experiencing worldly/financial ruin and failed relationships, and realized firsthand the temporary nature of all things in this world. Yet, many also experience the pain and suffering that is natural and expected in this world and delve into a vicious cycle of regret, disappointment, and bitterness. This dangerous reaction to expected worldly outcomes can lead us to feeling worthless, unwanted, like a failure, and alone. However, Isaiah 41:9-10 states that God has chosen us and has not cast us away. He tells us to fear not, for He is with us; be not dismayed, for He is our God. He will strengthen us and help us and uphold us with His righteous right hand. Furthermore, David states in Psalms 23 that for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
The world, even our own father and mother, may forsake us (Ps. 27:10), but Jesus our Lord is with us always, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20). Even when we falsely think we have been abandoned during our darkest days, the famous poem “Footprints in the Sand” accurately portrays that it was God that carried us when the two sets of footprints became one. When we face hard times in our lives, we tend to lean on each other for support; however, the best of us is far from perfect. We make mistakes even with the best intentions in mind. We are only able to devote a portion of our time, resources, and thoughts to those around us. In the end, we naturally default to our own personal needs. We are then surprised and downtrodden when the implausible perfection does not play out in our lives. In contrast, God’s power has no limits, as He is able to do all that we ask or think with exceeding abundance (Eph. 3:20). God will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
Every day is a new day. As Paul writes in Philippians 3, one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. You may fall seven times, but you rise again (Prov. 24:16). Things and people around you may fail you, but God never will. Speak to God through prayer, listen to God through His Word, spend time with God’s family through the church, and grow God’s family through sharing the good news. Trust in God; love and forgive one another.
We are never alone.