By Rick Warren — Aug 5, 2017
“The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death” (2 Timothy 4:16-17 NLT).
When you’re lonely, where is God? He’s where he has always been: right beside you. He is with you even if you don’t feel it. The Bible says over and over that if you have a relationship with Christ, then God is with you all the time. He says, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b NIV). He’s always with you. You’re never really fully alone.
A few years ago, Kay and I flew to Hong Kong to do a seminar for some of our missionaries. About halfway through the 17-hour flight, we went through the most horrendous storm. We were pitching and jolting. The plane was tilting, and everybody was getting antsy. They were obviously disturbed by the circumstances. The crew asked over the speaker, “Is there a minister on the plane?” I raised my hand. They approached me and said, “Everyone’s pretty upset because of the flight. Can you do something spiritual?” So I took an offering!
No, not really. But the people on that flight needed to hear that God is with us. For believers, it’s a promise that we can cling to in our times of fear and loneliness. Not only is it a comfort, but it also gives us the opportunity to get to know God better.
Loneliness is a time to become better acquainted with God. In your season of loneliness, you need to recognize God’s presence.
Amy Grant used to sing a song with the lyrics, “I love a lonely day; it chases me to you.” Prayer is a powerful antidote to loneliness. God has a 24-hour drop-in service. You can talk to him anytime, anywhere, anyplace, and he understands how you’re feeling when you say, “God, I’m lonely. I hurt! My heart is splitting. I am miserable. I feel empty. Help me, God.” You can talk to him anytime.
David says in the psalms, “Where can I flee from your presence?” Nowhere. You will never be in a place where God isn’t. If you’ve trusted Christ, he’s with you in your heart. Choose to refocus on that when you feel lonely.
Talk It Over
- How have you experienced God’s presence in the past? What effect did it have on you?
- How can you get better acquainted with God?
- What do you have to believe for prayer to make a difference in your loneliness?