I discovered recently that ‘¹ A national commission investigating loneliness in the UK in January 2017 showed that a fifth of the population privately admits they are “always or often lonely”’.
Herbert Van Zeller, 1905-1984, once wrote ‘the soul hardly ever realises it, but whether he is believer or not, his loneliness is really a homesickness for God’. That’s quite a statement. Loneliness is deeper than a lack of company and it affects people in all stages of life.
The following quote from an article in the Guardian newspaper gives us an insight into the loneliness that afflicts young people – ‘²I’m 22 years old and going into my fourth year in medical school. I have been using study to escape loneliness, insecurity and anxiety’. So here is an intelligent young woman and despite all the prospects that she has in life she is lonely.
Social media posts and images are often a cover up for the fears, anxiety and rejection that many fear. There is a real loneliness in many lives. Liz Hoggard in her ³article in the Daily Telegraph writes ‘Researchers now recognise that loneliness is a serious public health issue. As a predictor of early death, it eclipses obesity. Some studies argue that it is a bigger killer than cancer or heart disease’.
The Bible teaches that we were not designed to be solitary creatures; our social needs are deeply ingrained in our personalities. ‘It is not good that the man should be alone’ (Genesis 2v18) is a classic and abiding statement of truth. At a basic level we were created to have a relationship with God as well as with other human beings. Numerous times in scripture we come across the statement ‘I will be their God and they shall be my people’ (Leviticus 16v12, Jeremiah 31v33, Jeremiah 32v38, 2 Corinthians 6v16). In the original creation God came down and walked with Adam & Eve (Genesis 3v8) but sin entered and that relationship was damaged.
Sin separates us from God in this life, and the next, if we fail to address our need of forgiveness and salvation. God is the source of joy, peace, contentment, justice and all the valuable things we crave for in life. Without God, we are without hope in this life (Ephesians 2v12). I believe that the ultimate answer to loneliness is found in a person – Jesus Christ. Life can only be lived to the full when God is involved. Jesus said ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent’ (John 17v3).
Loneliness is only one of the many effects of sin.
Sin came into the world by an act of disobedience on the first man’s part (Romans 5:12 states – ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned‘) and it has been perpetuated by our acts of disobedience.
Before the effects of sin can be resolved (and this will only be partial until we are in heaven where there will be no sin, death etc) the root (cause) has to be dealt with. Which is why the scriptures teach in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 that ‘Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures‘.
To know God in your life you need your sins forgiven. To experience the joy of that relationship each individual needs to turn from their sin (repent), turn to God and trust His Son, Jesus. You trust Him in the sense that you understand that He (Jesus) is the Son of God, that he paid the price in full to cancel sin when he suffered and died on the cross. You believe that He alone can forgive you for your past behaviour, your sinful character and that you need Him as your Saviour.
If I have confused you please get in touch and I will try to answer any questions that you might have.
Stephen Baker (source http://www.findingthemissingpeace.co.uk)