Volume. XXXV, No. 37
Sunday, 14 March 2021

Coping with Loneliness

Loneliness can be one of life's most miserable experiences. Everyone feels lonely at times. Sometimes loneliness is a temporary condition that departs in a few hours or a couple of days, but at other times you can be burdened with this emotion for weeks, months, or even years. Various life circumstances can bring loneliness into our lives. In the last year globally, we all experienced loneliness with COVID-19. This was because of the various social distancing measures that were brought in. Being separated from loved ones in our family and church, was our universal experience and this can lead to the experience of loneliness. What is the remedy for loneliness?


Come to Jesus in our loneliness, for Jesus understands our pain and loneliness. Isaiah 53 portrays the lonely life of our Savior, for he was "rejected by all mankind," and He was "familiar with pain." Jesus understood what it means to be socially disconnected through rejection and suffering.  His very own disciples, in his final hours, ran away from his side (Matthew 26:56).  The greatest of all the lonely moments we are told happens in Mark 15:34 when "Jesus cried out in a loud voice …My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He took the burden of our sins on the cross all alone. Alone he bled, and alone he died. That is the depth of what loneliness can be. But because He loved us, he died for us, all alone.


The remedy for our loneliness is found in Christ, who died for us. He understands our loneliness. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, put his finger on the root cause of loneliness. He said, "God created man for Himself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in Him."  The lack of intimacy with Christ is the root cause of loneliness, and it must be addressed and remedied to overcome loneliness. For this reason, the greatest need of the lonely person is to ensure that he is in the right relationship with God. The Great Physician has a cure for every lack and disorder of the human heart. The world cannot fill this vacuum of loneliness. Ultimately, loneliness stems from mankind's alienation from God, and any remedy found outside of God is just a superficial and temporary relief. We need Christ’s love to minister to us. Those who know Jesus are never alone.  After Christ rose from the grave, He promised us we would never be alone. Matthew 28:20, "I am with you always, even until the end of the earth." 


Loneliness does not have to be a permanent condition of the human heart. Indeed, God can use our times of loneliness to forge new intimacy with Him that will sustain us even in the most desperate moments. The biblical characters were often isolated, estranged, and desolate. Joseph was lonely after his brothers threw him into the pit. Moses was lonely when he led the squabbling children of Israel out of Egypt. (One can be very lonely though surrounded by lots of people.) David was lonely as he evaded Saul's pursuit, providing the backdrop for some of the great psalms. Jeremiah and so many of the prophets were lonely men. Paul faced prison alone. He, as a man, must have felt isolated.


What was their secret in coping with loneliness? All of them accepted the fact of their circumstances and knew God would work things out for good (Rom. 8:28). They were also aware of the presence of God (2 Tim 4:17). They tapped on God's grace and strength to cope with the loneliness (Phil4:13). They believed in God always.

In Psalm 42: 5, the psalmist asked himself, "Why art thou cast down, oh my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?". And then immediately he comes back with the answer, "Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance". Trust in God always and like most of them, keep yourselves busy with the work of the Lord and in helping others.  Our God is a great God. Taste his goodness and presence and be enriched with His fellowship.


We were created with a twofold need--fellowship with God and companionship with other human beings. While the first step is to embrace Christ individually (which is addressed above), the next step is equally important, for God works through His Holy Spirit and through the community of God's people. The crucial role of the fellowship group in overcoming loneliness cannot be overlooked. The best example of a good church is the early church of Jerusalem.  We are told they devoted themselves to specific and certain acts of worship: "...they continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayers."  (Acts 2:42) The Greek word for "fellowship" is "koinonia." They prayed together, they ate together, they shared their possessions with those in need, and they worshipped together. Today we often reduce fellowship to being friendly with one another. But "koinonia" involves loving, caring, sharing fellowship – in one word, it is love.  To some, fellowship is like a jar full of marbles. The marbles are in the same jar, but there is little togetherness or impact. Our fellowship must be like that of a jar of ripe grapes that bleed on one another. Fellowship should allow our faith to rub off on one another and must spur us towards good works unto the Lord.  1 John 3:16 says, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”


Though it is true that Covid19 has brought the greatest social disconnect in our century, yet we are not alone, for we have Jesus and His Church. God has placed you in a church for this purpose too. This need of yours can be met with a fellowship group like a prayer group or bible study group and other such fellowship whose members exercise a mutual interest in the others' welfare. Step out and be part of a caring Church. We care for others, and others do for us. We are the body of Christ. We need all, and all have a part to play. Some parts we cannot see and some we can, but all are important to God and His work. We should give cups of cold water in Jesus name and love one another, taking faith and deeds together.


God has put us in Hope BP Church to be healed and to heal others too. Apostle Paul in Galatians 6 reminds us to "Bear each other burdens". While serving one another, there are so many practical lessons we learn from one another. Our prayers for one another, mutual support and encouragement give us purpose and courage to battle against depression and loneliness.  We should make the local church a priority.  These are the last days. Don't forsake fellowshipping together. We are told in Malachi 3:16 that God remembers such fellowship and records it, "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name." The power in the fellowship will spur us to look forward and help others. We are family members and not just any family, but God's family. Those who know Jesus are never alone. 


Rev Mathews Abraham


More Lively Hope



  • Registration for the Easter Bible Conference (2-4 April), including Sunday service and Holy Communion, is now available. Please register your attendance online (via QR code) OR by paper form (in Sanctuary and Hall). Registration closes Sun, 21 Mar.
  • Helpers required for Easter Bible Conference Sunday School. 
  • Greetings from Rev Gary and Mrs Pat Johnson, Rev and Mrs Tracy Minnick.
  • Women of Hope will be held next Sun, 21 March after worship service in the Hall. Supervision for children has been organised. Please bring packed lunch for your child(ren) to eat. Speaker: Pastor Ki.



  • Healing: Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore) & others who are unwell.
  • COVID-19 pandemic & all affected.
  • Comfort in grief.
  • Missions.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • God’s daily guidance, protection & providence for the past week.
  • Journey mercies: all who have travelled.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041