Series 2 - Bible Answers for...
Hi, friends! Thank you for choosing to study this Bible lesson with us.
This lesson is about coping with loneliness. This is a challenge we all
face to some extent, and many people have experienced deep and painful
loneliness. The prevalence of loneliness is seen in many songs that have
been popular over the years:
"Are you lonesome tonight...?"
"I'm so lonesome I could die."
"Only the lonely know the way I feel tonight. Only the lonely know this
The Bible has practical solutions for the problems we face in our lives.
God wants us all to have underlying joy and fulfillment even when we are
experiencing sadness and loneliness! That's difficult when you feel alone
and it seems that no one cares.
First of all, please don't feel you are weak or weird because you feel
lonely. There's no need to feel ashamed of your loneliness. In fact, if
you find one or two friends to talk with about it, you will probably find
that they feel lonely also (or have at one time or another), and you can
encourage each other. Also remember that God wants to be your best friend—He
wants you to talk with Him about everything. And as your relationship
with God becomes stronger and more intimate, you will feel less loneliness.
So let's continue our look at the practical answers the Bible provides
to life's challenges. As always, be sure to let us know if you find these
studies helpful and if you need additional counseling or information.
We are ready to help in any way we can!
Lesson: Coping With Loneliness
When we're lonely, we want it to go away, but too often we find it keeps coming back. What help does the Bible give for dealing with loneliness and the depression that too often goes with it?
Consider this short story from a recently widowed lady:
"On Jan. 5 I discovered what true loneliness was. You see, on that
day my husband of over 37 years died. On that day, I felt as though
I had also died; yet, here I was still alive. There was now a huge void
in my life. Since I was still alive, I knew that it meant I needed to
go on. In order to do that, I began to look around our congregations.
I saw many widows and widowers. There were also many other members who,
for one reason or another, were alone. As much as I missed the conversations
with my husband, I soon realized that perhaps these others might also
be starved for conversation.
"So I came up with a plan. Whenever I began to feel lonely, I would
call someone. Hearing the voice of a friend has helped me. If you ever
find yourself feeling lonely, try these tips:
1. Pick up the phone and call someone.
2. Send a card to someone.
3. Visit someone—especially those who may be homebound or in a nursing
"By taking your mind off of self and onto others, you will soon realize
how very beneficial it is.
"Even if you are not lonely, follow the above tips and call, visit
or send a card to someone who is alone. Take it from someone who has
been on the receiving end, that it is very much appreciated to know
that others remember and care for you! It really does help keep loneliness
Share Your Story
What Does the Bible Say About Coping With Loneliness?
The Bible is God's instruction manual for life. It provides the answers
we need and gives us comfort, peace and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
God inspired it to be profitable and beneficial for us (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Can the Bible really show us how to experience less loneliness—regardless
of our situation? And does the Bible show us how to have joy and success
in life and in our relationships in spite of being lonely? Let's look
at some specific biblical principles that can help us cope with loneliness.
Did God design and create us to desire and need companionship,
friendship and fellowship?
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who
is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if
two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm
alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
The implication is that two people are much stronger together than one
person is alone. God designed us to want companionship and friendship
and to find our greatest fulfillment in loving others. To feel alone and
unloved hurts terribly. We want to help you to know how to cope with feeling
lonely as long as that continues. Plus we want you to know what God will
do to help you and what you can do for yourself—how you can reach out
to others to build relationships.
Does God understand my loneliness?
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the
heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,
but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain
mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli,
Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why
have You forsaken Me?"
First, God created us and all of our emotions, so He surely understands
us. And Jesus experienced loneliness not just because He felt His Father
had forsaken Him when He was on the cross. Just think, no other human
being was converted or anywhere near His spiritual level, so their capacity
for spiritual fellowship was quite shallow (John 2:24-25). No one was
completely faithful to Jesus. His 11 disciples were the most committed,
and even those 11 forsook Him at His greatest hour of need. So Jesus Christ
has experienced every human emotion, and He knows what it's like to be
lonely. Talk to Him about it!
Is it God's plan for us to have strong family relationships?
And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone;
I will make him a helper comparable to him."
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.
God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound
into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
After God created Adam, He knew that Adam needed someone to share his
life with him. Adam was simply not complete being alone. Marriage is a
divine institution ordained by God. Families become the natural place
for us to have personal relationships with others and to know we are not
alone. If you have family, be sure you connect and contribute to their
happiness and peace. Many of us have dysfunctional families, but if we
love them unconditionally (following God's example in Romans 5:8) and
work to fulfill the needs of other family members, we often can improve
the situation (Philippians 2:4).
But even if we don't have a physical family we can depend on, God says
He "sets the solitary in families" (Psalm 68:6). His Church can be a spiritual
family a hundred times larger than a physical family (Mark 10:29-30).
God tells His Church to "consider one another in order to stir up love
and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews
10:24-25). Above all, we can develop a close relationship with our Heavenly
Father and our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ.
But I'm a widow and live alone. How can God help me feel better?
1 Timothy 5:5
Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues
in supplications and prayers night and day.
If you are widowed and alone, put your trust in God. Talk to Him about
your loneliness. Let Him know what your heart desires. Jesus Christ promises
that whatever we ask in His name, according to His will, He will give
to us (John 14:14; 1 John 5:14). Nothing is impossible for God (Mark 10:27).
I've been lonely for so long, why isn't God helping me?
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things
as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you
sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Sometimes God requires us to build character in ways we would not have
chosen for ourselves. Coping with loneliness may be one of those ways
God is allowing your character to be tested. Will we learn to be content
with the blessings God has given us? Will we really believe God is with
us and that we have not been left truly alone?
Remembering that God will never leave us can be much needed encouragement
when we feel abandoned by others. And when we try to draw near to God,
we can be assured that He will draw near to us.
How do I know God will really help me?
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will
strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God
is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are
able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that
you may be able to bear it.
So often being alone brings feelings of fear and anxiety. Sometimes we
feel helpless. Once again, we see the great God offering us the promise
of strength and help regardless of the physical situations in which we
find ourselves. Claim these promises!
My loneliness leads to anxiety and worry. What can I do to stop
1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may
exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort
me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You
anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house
of the Lord forever.
Worry, fear, anxiety. All of these emotions can tear us down, cause depression
and negatively reinforce feelings of loneliness. But our Father says He
will take care of everything! He provides for the sparrows; He can certainly
provide for us (Luke 12:6-7). God is a loving Father who loves us even
more than any parent loves his or her little child. Learn to trust Him
to care for every need you have.
Sometimes I wonder, What's the use? I feel despair and hopelessness.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning,
that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have
Loneliness is a condition that we must deal with. Continuing in a state
of loneliness often leads to the even more serious condition of depression.
Please don't think you have to cope by yourself. Please ask for help.
God gives healing and comfort in many ways—through His Word, the Bible;
through His Spirit; and through His intervention in our lives. And God
often answers prayers by directing us to people who can help us. You can
get help from trusted friends and your minister. If the problem is really
serious and deep-seated, there are Christian counselors who can give professional
Does trusting God imply action on our part as well?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves
Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love
him and manifest Myself to him."
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom
of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."
We begin to see that some action is needed on our part. Yes, we learn
to trust God to provide for our needs. If we expect Him to answer our
prayers, to provide for our needs and to comfort us in times of loneliness,
does He expect anything in return? The simple answer is yes! We not only
should reach out to others to befriend and encourage them, but we also
must believe God and we must do what He says to do. We must keep His Commandments.
We must live by every Word of God. The entire Bible is written by inspiration
of God (2 Timothy 3:16), so we must believe the Bible and live by it.
If I turn my attention to the needs of others, will my loneliness
At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated
Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which
she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died.
When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since
Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there,
they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them.
Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought
him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing
the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.
But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to
the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes,
and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted
her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it
Perhaps Dorcas was a widow in the Church. In any event, she was known
for doing good works for people and providing for the needs of others.
This is a key principle for coping with loneliness. The Bible shows we
should be aware of and provide for the needs of others in addition to
our own (Philippians 2:4). Dorcas became sick and died, but God raised
her from the dead! This miracle highlights her life as an incredible example
for us to read about today. The obvious implication is that we should
follow her example too. Helping others will take the focus off ourselves
and will help cure the feelings of loneliness.
One thing we all are able to do is to speak good words of hope and encouragement
to other people. Lifting others up can be uplifting to us as well.
What are some specific things you can do to cope with your loneliness?
There are many circumstances that cause loneliness, so although this list
is not comprehensive, it can provide some guidelines for your personal
situation. Doing these things will help you make progress along the road
out of loneliness.
- Direct your thinking outward to others rather than thinking excessively
- Determine that you can control your own attitudes and emotions. Ask
God for His Spirit of love and joy (Galatians 5:22).
- Be friendly! Smile! Laugh! Positive actions and emotions are contagious
and will encourage others to want to be around you (Proverbs 18:24).
- Go to church and church activities and fellowship with others. Consider
their needs and try to encourage and uplift them (Hebrews 10:24-25;
1 John 1:3).
- Participate in various activities. Be involved with others.
- Adopt a pet from a shelter. A dog or cat will love you unconditionally!
- Volunteer your service to others. There are various volunteer programs
at hospitals, schools and libraries. Consider visiting a nursing home
to cheer up the patients. You will soon have a different perspective
- Learn new things. Develop a new hobby. Expand your interests. Engage
in conversations with others about current events and common interests.
- Use technology to be in touch. When used properly the Internet can
be an amazing blessing for communication and interaction with others.
E-mail, Facebook and Twitter can be fun!
- Establish a circle of friends that you talk to on the phone. Include
people who may also be in lonely situations. Make it your mission to
help them. Ask your church pastor about shut-ins or those who could
use extra encouragement. Every day you can help brighten someone else's
- If you have deep loneliness and depression you can't pull out of,
please seek help through counseling.
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