8 Verses to Encourage Those Who Feel All Alone
Loneliness is a pervasive experience — in other words, if you are feeling lonely, you’re not alone! Lots of people are feeling isolated or cut off from those they love, from society as it changes so rapidly, and even from God. In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States declared loneliness a public health crisis and an epidemic. He said, “Our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight."
Scripture confirms that people are made for relationships, that our lives are meant to be interconnected with others. If you are feeling all alone in this season of life, may these 8 verses encourage you.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11).
Wait a minute, you might say, this article is about encouraging people who feel alone — what’s the point in reading Scriptures about how we’re meant to be together?
The point here is that if you are feeling alone, your sadness about that is understandable and relatable. Your desire to be with others is rooted in God’s good design for his people. You can bring your grief to God and express to him that it’s painful to be alone.
David expressed this pain openly:
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalm 25:16).
“I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop” (Psalm 102:7).
One way God heals loneliness is by reframing relationships. While biological and marital relationships are thought to be the strongest sort, Scripture points to a deeper brotherhood in our spiritual family.
Luke records a time when Jesus’ family came to check on him while he was teaching a crowd of listeners. When someone let him know they had arrived, he said,
“My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice” (Luke 8:21).
This might have seemed insulting to his biological mom and brothers! But Jesus was opening a door to deeper relationship with those in the crowd. He was saying, Those who are following God with me are as important to me as my own family!
How does Jesus’ reframing of family address loneliness?
Some of us have been rejected by our biological family because of our faith — but we have a true family in Christ.
Others live far apart from biological family, or have lost them to death. We may miss them, especially during holidays, or when something special — or difficult — is going on. And of course that grief is natural.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I just went to a church event for the holiday instead of getting to see my family,” or “My church friends came to cheer me on, but my mom didn’t even call to see how it went”?
What if you embraced God’s invitation to view your church family as your true family?
Additionally, Scripture points to friends and neighbors who are close-by as a benefit:
“Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you — better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away” (Proverbs 27:10).
Sometimes our loneliness stems from unmet expectations about what our relationships should be like — we look at other families and wish we were part of something like that. But God often provides in unexpected ways; he can use all kinds of people to heal our loneliness.
Making Loneliness Temporary
There is yet another way that God reframes loneliness — he makes it temporary.
My dad died 8 years ago. Nowadays, the times I miss him the most are when my mom visits and we stand next to each other in church, singing hymns. I can feel my dad so close to us, which makes sense because he is with Christ, whom we’re worshiping (see Philippians 1:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:8). And his spiritual presence makes me miss his physical presence so palpably that I can only cry. That grief is a deep loneliness — even though I’m surrounded by my true family and even when I hug my mother. I so long to be with my dad, and all I can do is wait.
But I wait in hope, and you can too. Loneliness is a type of waiting.
We wait for the coming of the King, for the promise of our resurrected family, for the multitude of nations, a great crowd that cannot be counted. We wait for a resplendent nearness — all the family of Christ pressed in together, knowing and fully known.
No more crying there. We are going to see the King.
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9).
The next time you are feeling lonely, take a moment to read all of Revelation 7 and imagine yourself in that crowd. One day you will be fully immersed in a great cloud of witnesses — including some of those who are inaccessible to you now.
Being in Heaven Now
Sometimes we just want someone to be near physically. Or we can’t be with a particular person or group, and it feels like nothing but being with them will ease the pain.
Let that pain draw you to the meditate on the truth that you are not alone because — even now — you are with Christ and his Father in the heavenly realms.
“God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).
It’s okay to complain if this is not the type of nearness you’re longing for right now — but after you complain, also dwell on the promise of eternal nearness and company. It may or may not make you feel better in the moment, but it will help you orient to reality in a constructive and healing way.
God invites you to both bring your loneliness to him and let him fill you up.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/dragana991
Allie Boman is a wife, mom, follower of Jesus and freelance editor in the Chicago area. She served for 15 years with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and studied classical piano in college. She loves adventurous cooking and exploring the natural world. She can be found online at BomanEditing.com.