Loving the Lord while lonely
Over 9 million people in the UK say they’re ‘always’ or ‘often’ lonely. And if we’re honest, we’ve all been there.
Being married or single, young or old, living in the city or in the country – loneliness doesn’t discriminate.
No one likes that empty feeling, so we fill our lives with distractions or pretend it’s not an issue.
But we can’t get away from it.
Loneliness is a spiritual issue. As mirror images of a relational God, we’re designed for companionship with God and others (Genesis 2:18).
But sin broke our relationship with God. And this cosmic break-up twists our human relationships. Sin has made our world a relational desert where we’re all looking for water.
So the answer isn’t simply making more friends or taking up new activities. First and foremost, we need salvation from sin.
Jesus takes away our sin and brings us back to God (1 Peter 3:18).
Now loneliness cannot separate us from God (Romans 8:38-39). If we’re lonely, our hearts should cry out to him, knowing that he’ll answer (1 Peter 5:7).
But there’s more.
Just as sin separated us from God and others, having our sin removed reconciles us both to God and his people (1 John 1:7).
So shouldn’t church be a place where loneliness is left at the door? Yes, it should be an oasis in the desert.
But we’re recovering sinners.
God’s design for church is one of love and community (Romans 12:5). It might be flawed, messy and awkward, but God says it’s essential for our growth and encouragement (Hebrews 10:24-25).
If you’re lonely, get along to church. If you’re on the fringes, get involved. If you’re not lonely, look out for those who are (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Let’s be the family God provides for his people (Psalm 68:6a). This is what it means to love the Lord while lonely.