This article originally appeared on Crosswalk.com.
We’ve all been there: lonely. Longing to feel connected, needed, known. Wishing relationships weren’t so hard—or so hard to find. Wanting closer friends, people who “get” us in that deep-down, soul-mate, friends-forever way. Wishing people knew us well enough to sense what we are going through and what we need. Searching for a place to pour out all the stored-up love in our hearts—a place to serve, to give, to offer our precious gifts.
For some of us, loneliness is an occasional struggle; for others it’s a constant shadow. Loneliness has been especially prevalent during this season of isolation, quarantine, and social distancing. We have all felt the pangs of loneliness as never before.
The Bible offers deep encouragement for our seasons of loneliness. We find examples of men and women in Scripture grappling with loneliness and bringing their hurting hearts to God. We find prayers to pray, encouragement from our Father, and ideas to help us move forward. If you are feeling isolated, here are five Bible verses to read when you’re lonely:
1. Psalm 139:1-12
O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
You are interesting. Your relationship is valuable.
You are worth knowing. Almighty God, the Creator, has taken the time to examine you—to get to know your inmost heart! And God doesn’t waste his time.
Now drink in a few more astounding truths we glean from this passage:
- You may feel alone, but in truth, you are never alone.
God is always with you. Always watching, listening, and supporting.
- You are protected.
God goes before you and behind you. He walks with you, guiding, comforting, and strengthening you.
- You can’t escape God’s love.
Sometimes we choose loneliness—we isolate ourselves because of fear, anxiety, or shame. But even in the darkest of places, even when we try to hide, our loving God is there.
2. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 26-27 NLT
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.… If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
You have gifts to share. You were made to give.
Sometimes the best cure for loneliness is finding places to give. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God has equipped you with particular strengths because he has good works for you to do. Is there someone in your neighborhood in need? Someone at work, school, or church you can encourage? Someone in your family who needs comfort?
Sometimes we find friendship and connection when we stop searching for them—and start looking instead for people we can serve. Somewhere along the way, our joy and sense of purpose reignite, and we find that we aren’t as alone as we thought!
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3. Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
You are not alone in your struggles. Jesus understands.
Sometimes we feel lonely because we are painfully aware of our own weakness and sin: I am the only one who has ever sinned like this, struggled like this. We feel isolated by the shackles shame: If anyone knew who I really was, they’d never be my friend, and they certainly wouldn’t let me in the church. But that’s why Jesus came. He came to battle sin so that he might understand the struggles we face. He knows how powerful Satan is, and he remembers the intensity of the spiritual battle. Romans 8:34 reminds us that Jesus stands before the Father to intercede on our behalf: “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
You are not alone in your weakness, nor are you abandoned when you sin. Through Jesus, God has provided a way back to him, and he is always waiting for us with open arms and a grace-filled heart.
4. Psalm 63:3-5
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Our relationship with God can fill us.
God’s love is better than anything else we try to fill ourselves with—better than life itself! God’s love doesn’t just take the edge off our loneliness; it fills us until we are “fully satisfied.” And God doesn’t just offer a hungry person a nibble of food so they don’t starve; he offers a feast! Even when human relationships are scarce or imperfect, we can find fulfillment, comfort, and connection in our walk with God.
5. Psalm 73:23-26
Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
We belong to God always, no matter what life throws at us.
If you read Psalm 73 in its entirety, you see that the psalmist was struggling in his faith, wondering if perhaps the world was a better place than God’s kingdom. The world’s way looks easy, while God’s way is harder. But as the writer enters the place of worship, a godly perspective returns. He remembers, I am God’s, and God is all I need.
We still have God’s love and care even when the worst happens—even if our health fails; even when our spirit grows weak from discouragement or loneliness. Even in those dark places, God is there, eager to strengthen us. Human relationships can be limited by distance, time, and mortal frailty, but our relationship with God has no limits and no expiration date.
Our feelings are sometimes at odds with the truth. We may feel alone, but we are not alone. We may feel worthless, but God has great purposes for us. When loneliness strikes, let the scriptures remind you: We have God, always with us. We have strengths, a God-given purpose. We have Jesus, understanding us, defending us, and providing a way back to God for us. We have a divine relationship, one that never fails and fully fills. We have a place at God’s side even when the world shuts us out or lets us down. God is ours and we are his…forever.
This post originally appeared on Crosswalk.com.
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