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    Q: #139. I am lonely. What can I do?

By: Steve Shirley

    A: If you are a Christian, it is important for you to keep in mind that you are never truly alone. You have Jesus as a brother (Mt 12:50), who is always with you (Mt 28:20), and continually making intercession for you (Heb 7:25)(1 Jn 2:1)(Rom 8:34). You also have the Holy Spirit living inside of you who is called "The Comforter" (Jn 14:26)(Jn 15:26)(Jn 16:7), who abides with you forever (Jn 14:16), and helps you feel loved (Rom 5:5). You are ALWAYS able to pray to the Lord who will NEVER leave nor forsake you (Heb 13:5), and who is near to the brokenhearted (Ps 34:18), and heals them (Ps 147:3).

     I know that you are speaking about the desire for "human" companionship, and the Bible does tell us that this is important. Brothers and sisters in Christ are supposed to depend upon each other (James 5:16)(Gal 6:1-2)(Eccl 4:9-10)(Heb 3:13)(1 Th 5:11)(Prov 27:17)(2 Cor 1:3-4). God gave Eve to Adam saying, "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Gen 2:18). Even Jesus had His group of 12 disciples to support Him. In addition, when He sent out people to places He would later go, He sent them out in twos (Lk 10:1). They needed each other. WE need each other.

     However, Jesus also knew loneliness. He was later deserted by these same friends (Mt 26:56)(Jn 16:32)(Mk 14:27). In fact, many people in the Bible were lonely after being deserted:

Paul (2 Tim 1:15)(2 Tim 4:9-18)
Hagar (Gen 16)
Job (The whole book of Job)
David (Ps 102)(Ps 25:16)
Jeremiah (Jer 15:10-11)(Jer 16:1-2)(Jer 20:7-18)(Jer 37:14-16)(Jer 38:1-13)

*** It is worth noting God's answer to Jeremiah's plea in (Jer 15:11)(NASB) "Surely I will set   you free for the purposes of good."

     During these times, the Bible shows that God was with each of these people, working on their behalf, and working all things for good just as He has promised to do (Rom 8:28). He is doing this for YOU too!

     Now, this may be difficult for you to hear, but it is necessary to say. Are you looking for a friend or partner in order to be happy? This is trouble waiting to happen. When we are looking for some person to make us happy, it ALWAYS ends badly. This is the main reason why we have so many divorces today. When we enter into a partnership or friendship with someone, expecting them to make us happy, we will ALWAYS be let down eventually. Not only is it impossible for another person to do this, but it also makes life miserable for them. As a friend or partner, there is not much worse than having someone always looking to YOU to meet their needs, and having to center their lives around YOU. It is a relationship killer!

     Yes, God does want us to have close relationships, but can you be happy if God is the ONLY friend you have for now? If you can't be, then that means you are looking to the "world" instead of God to meet your needs. If you are praying, "God, I am so unhappy, and I can't be happy unless you give me a friend," how do you think this makes God feel? You are saying, in essence, "God, you aren't enough. I need more." If this is your thinking, don't you think it is possible that this is why God hasn't given you the friend or partner you are seeking?

     If you trust in God and are happy with where He has you now, on the way to where He will eventually take you, it will strengthen your relationship with the Lord, and make your later friendships and partnerships healthy ones rather than unhealthy ones.

     However, if you try and step ahead of God's perfect timing, and pick relationships (i.e. a spouse) that God has not ordained, I can GUARANTEE that if you think you are miserable now, it will be nothing like you will feel when you are stuck in a relationship that you should never have entered into in the first place. I saw many examples of this when this ministry began in chat rooms, which inevitably drew the lonely. Over and over, I saw people enter into these obviously not God-ordained relationships out of loneliness, later to deeply regret having ever done so.

     Friends, Paul considered being single as a gift from God (1 Cor 7:7), and said in his opinion that it was BETTER to be single (1 Cor 7:40). Being single does have advantages. You can live independently, doing what you want, when you want. The Bible says you can more fully serve the Lord by being single (1 Cor 7:32-35). You don't have to be distracted and worried by the things that come with being married such as finances, their health, making time for them, etc...

     OK, now let me conclude by giving you some ideas you can use to make some friendships if you are lonely. A good Bible preaching church is a great start. Introduce yourself, get to know people. Get involved in Bible studies or small groups with the church. They are a great way to get connected more intimately with people. If you are unable to go to church for some physical reason, consider having a Bible study or small group in your home or just invite someone in your church over to pray with you and fellowship. The old saying goes, "the best way to get a friend is to be a friend." Be there for people who need a friend, be willing to listen. People love a listener, and those who are GENUINELY interested in their families, pets, hobbies, problems, etc... You will make people feel special and appreciated, and it becomes a good way to cultivate friendships.

     There are also SO many opportunities to help others by witnessing and sharing your faith. Visit shut-ins, visit those in nursing homes, get involved in prison ministries, help feed the hungry, take in a stranger, etc... Jesus told us to do things like this in (Mt 25:34-45). It is an act of obedience as well as a blessing.

     If you are a person reading this that has never accepted Jesus as Lord and and Savior, PLEASE allow Him to fill this void in your life. You can do this today! Please see our Plan of Salvation link if you want a friend who is ALWAYS there for you.

(Jn 14:23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

(James 4:8) Draw nigh unto God and he will draw nigh to you.

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