Overcoming loneliness is important because the impact of it on our physical bodies can be tragic. In fact, recurring feelings of loneliness have been shown to increase a person’s risk of premature death by 14 percent. (This is double the amount for obesity.) This is also why we want you to overcome feelings of loneliness. You deserve so much better than that. God has a plan for you and it will take your energy, emotions and attention to carry out. These can often be depleted through feelings of loneliness.
Keep in mind, loneliness is very different from being alone.
Loneliness includes feelings of disconnection from those around you, which leads to frustration and even depression. Many married couples suffer from loneliness, as do many people who appear to have an active social life. Loneliness stems from a lack of authentic understanding of and appreciation for someone else, and vice versa.
Again, being alone differs from loneliness. In fact, more intentional time “alone” can help alleviate your loneliness.
This may be surprising to you, but being alone for periods of time has actually been shown to provide a positive impact on a person’s mind and body. These include an increase in creativity, reflection, personal analysis, rest, recuperation, feelings of freedom, increased focus, and even improved self-esteem. These benefits often stem from one opportunity that being alone provides, which is to connect fully with God.
Jesus made a habit of being alone during His time on earth. In Matthew 4:1-11, He was alone for 40 days in the wilderness.
In Matthew 14:23, “He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.”
In Mark 1:35, we read that Jesus departed while it was still dark so he could go to a desolate place and commune with God.
And in Luke 4:42, Jesus again went to a secluded place to be alone.
Remember, because of God’s presence in our lives, being “alone” is never truly alone. You are with God. Hebrews 13:5 reveals one of the most powerful truths in the Bible, seen clearly through its structure in the original Greek language. This short verse—“I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you”—contains four different negative Greek words. It is called emphatic negation, and it is the strongest form of Greek negation. In English, two negatives cancel each other out. But in Greek, they intensify the meaning.
Thus, God will never leave you. You are not alone even when you are alone.
Far too often, we confuse our fear of loneliness with that of being alone—when in reality, times of solitude have been used for spiritual disciplines throughout the ages. Quiet time with God can provide strength and refreshment.
The antidote to overcoming loneliness, then, is not about keeping ourselves from being alone, but in the type of relationships we have with other people and with the Lord.
Learn to open up to others and enjoy sharing your life with a few close friends. Learn to spend time alone in God’s presence, and learn to enjoy Him. When you look to God as your primary source for emotional care, love, protection, and enjoyment, you will also learn better how to love and enjoy others and yourself. Then, when you are with others, expectations for what you each share together will be more meaningful. Try journaling and writing down your feelings just with the Lord—you will find Him a tender listener and an incredible friend.
For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.