Healing The Brokenhearted: Bible Verses About Loneliness
No matter where it strikes or what form it takes, isolation hurts. The situations or events that trigger isolation are diverse and complicated. Sometimes, we may even feel alone for no apparent reason at all. We can feel alone even amongst others — at the office, the corner coffee shop, or at a crowded party. You may feel alone and without hope, but you're never hopeless. In fact, a book you probably already own has a lot to say about feeling alone. That book is the Bible.
Where To Turn: Bible Verses For Loneliness
The scriptures on desolation are numerous, covering a wide range of experiences. Bible verses for loneliness give hope for specific issues involving abandonment, rejection, grief, conflict, and almost every other life situation that may trigger these feelings. Examples of isolation show that it was experienced by Moses, King David, and especially by Jesus himself. Most importantly, these verses show that Christ, God, and God’s love intimately understand what it's like to feel alone, and that even when you feel most alone, you truly never are. Here is what loneliness Bible verses and scripture quotations have to say concerning desolation and God’s love in various situations.
Sometimes friends or family can let us down, abandoning us when we need them the most. Perhaps no one understood this better than Joshua.
Joshua, the Old Testament hero best known for his conquest of Jericho, started out as the right hand of Moses. When Moses died, he left Joshua in charge of the whole land, but the Hebrews were still lost in the desert on their way to the promised land.
The Hebrews often rebelled against leadership, and Joshua, like Moses before him, often felt alone and discouraged – particularly after the death of his friend and teacher. But God encouraged his right hand with these words: "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you." -Joshua 1:5.
Another Biblical figure who understood the desolation of abandonment was Paul. As Paul fought persecution to spread the gospel of Christ, he found that his friends deserted him when he needed their help. But he remained strong: "No one stood by me the first time I defended myself; all deserted me. … But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength." -2 Timothy 4:16
And the very last words from Jesus Christ to his disciples remind us that we can never truly be abandoned, right up until the very end, no matter how we may be feeling:
"And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:20
The experience of rejection can bring about deep feelings of loneliness, even worthlessness. This can be even more poignant if a parent rejects us. But the Bible offers comfort for this situation, too, in one of the psalms. King David was one of Israel's great kings, but he was also a flawed figure, so many of the psalms deal with difficult emotions. In Psalm 38 he writes, "My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my nearest kin stands far off."
Even if we can't find the support we need from those around us, God is there to support us.
"Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me." -Psalm 27:10
So what do we do when we are feeling this way? The prophet Samuel reminded the people of Israel that God would never reject them, even if everyone else did. Samuel was a prophet and most prophets of the Bible live itinerant and destitute lives. Samuel, however, remained strong.
"For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own." -1 Samuel 12:22
These verses are great reminders that even when those nearest and dearest to us reject us, we are still not alone. God truly loves us like the best kind of parent-unconditionally.
On Conflict And Adversity
Fights, arguments, and disputes of any kind can be isolating. They put distance between friends, coworkers, family, and others we care about. Even lonelier are some of the internal conflicts we face, as we experience mental illness, addiction, and painful memories. Grappling with inner demons can leave us feeling alone. Deuteronomy deals with feelings of conflict and adversity often.
Deuteronomy is attributed to Moses during the exile period following the Exodus period in which Moses led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt. However, because they turned their backs on God, they were made to wander in the sun scorched land of the desert for 40 years before reaching the promised land. In Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses tells the Hebrews, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
The book of Romans deals with similar feelings. St. Paul never met Jesus Christ in person but believed he was called to spread the gospel to the Gentiles. As a result, he was often rejected by the Gentiles who saw his religion as strange and demanding, and he was often spurned by the original apostles who questioned his authority, intentions, and teachings. In Romans 38-39, St. Paul makes it clear that no matter what kind of conflict we face, God is on our side:
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
On Grief and Loss
To face death or the loss of a loved one leaves a huge hole in our lives and causes loneliness like no other. The loss of a parent or a spouse are so painful that the Bible has some verses that directly address the loneliness of orphans and widows, and by extension, widowers.
In Psalm 68:5-6, King David writes, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun scorched land."
The Psalms also address the reflections of our own mortality that we can feel after the loss of a loved one. To face death is a difficult thing, and in Psalm 23:4 King David dared to do so: "Even 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."
With any loss, God provides the ultimate comfort. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, St. Paul writes, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
On Life Transitions
A new job. A new city. Friends moving away. Nursing a child into a young adult, then the child moving out and leaving the nest. A new marriage bed. Growing older. Change can leave us feeling bereft of those we used to rely on, and thus deeply alone.
Jeremiah, another Old Testament prophet, assures us that God is always present in these transitions. In 29:11, he writes, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
In Joshua 1:9, God reminds Joshua of his presence during scary and difficult transitions, saying, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
And a similar reminder is in Isaiah 43:1-4 reads, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
Solomon, another Old Testament King of Israel, was known for his wisdom. The opening of the third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes, commonly attributed to him, reads "For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to live and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to sow."
On Fear About The Future
There is nothing lonelier than those hours in the middle of the night when we lie awake worrying about tomorrow. We may be afraid about the state of our finances, our health, our children's well-being. And our fears make us feel very alone. But the Bible does hold comfort for those dark hours.
The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah writes, "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).
St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, writes "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
These verses reflect the intimacy and omnipresence of God. St. Peter, one of the leaders of the early church, recommends that you cast "all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
There's also the fact that worrying about the future seldom helps us to thrive when the future catches up with us. As Jesus says at the end of Matthew chapter 6, "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day."
Jesus And Bible Versus: The Ultimate Example Of Loneliness
Jesus experienced isolation in all its most painful forms. But rather than avoiding it, he sought out isolation and desolation, even though those around him often resisted his efforts.
In many instances in the gospels, Jesus seems exhausted by his ministry. The gospel writer Matthew records that "...he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns" (Matthew 14:13).
Jesus knew well the pain of desertion and rejection from those closest to him. But he also gave us an example of how to move through that pain. In John 16:32, Jesus tells his apostles, "Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me."
But the most painful moment for Jesus and one which we can all relate to was when he felt that even God had left him alone when he was dying on the cross. The gospel writer Matthew records that: "About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" (Matthew 27:46).
We might use these words as ultimate proof that even Jesus despaired in times of hardship. However, this is not the end of the story.
Biblical scholars know that Jesus was simply quoting the beginning of Psalm 22. Like other Psalms, this one starts in despair but ends on a note of triumph: "Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!" Jesus knew that those moments of ultimate isolation and pain on the cross would result in victory. The desolation was necessary to achieve a greater end, namely his resurrection, ascension, and the spread of the gospel message.
If you are a Bible believer in a season of loneliness, your first defense can be to put your trust in God. However, you can also get help – whether it be a pastor, a church recovery program, or a professional therapist.
Research has found that online cognitive behavioral therapy (I-CBT) can effectively reduce feelings of loneliness, as well as depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues that can accompany loneliness. I-CBT is a popular form of therapy that can help you change your negative thinking patterns and behaviors.
Online therapy, such as through BetterHelp, has been proven to be just as effective for most situations as in-person therapy. Because you can talk with a therapist from the comfort of your
"When I think of all the qualities of a good counselor I have to say Dr. Counts is one who I would highly recommend. My faith in God guides me and Dr. Counts has provided me with a sound listening ear and counsel. Not only is Dr. Counts compassionate and a wonderful listener, I wholeheartedly recommend him and feel confident that he has given me the tools to successfully go through one of the hardest periods of my life."
"Kimberley has been compassionate, helpful, and informative. I immediately felt better emotionally after receiving such tremendous support. I love it that she is open to talking about aspects of my faith experience, good and bad. I always leave our sessions feeling heard and supported."
Most people feel alone sometimes, and that's okay as long as you understand how to work through your emotions in healthy and constructive ways. Hopefully, some of the scripture passages above will help you on your way. If you need further help, however, reach out to a therapist at BetterHelp. Take the first step away from isolation today.
Other Commonly Asked Questions:
What is a good Bible verse for loneliness?
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
What the Bible says about being single?
The Bible references many instances of God assuring his followers that they will never be alone or lonely, whether or single or married, as long as they have faith in the Lord. Jesus himself says that singleness can be a good thing “for those to whom it has been given” (Matthew 19:11). Also in the New Testament, Paul states that we each have our own “gift from God” (1 Corinthians 7:7) that is special and can be used of service to the world, whether we marry or not.
What does Psalms 27 say?
Psalms 27 of David starts out by saying, “The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?” The Psalm ends with David praying in fear for God to imbue him with strength and safety.
Is it okay to be single forever?
It is absolutely alright to be single forever. Many verses in the New Testament speak to this very thing, saying that it’s better to be single than miserably married. In fact, many of the holiest people in Christian history were single forever, dedicating their entire lives to service or a religious vocation. But if we remain single, we must make sure we don’t feel like we’re living a second-rate life by comparing ourselves to those who are married. We need to find the beauty in being alone, and realize that with God as our support, we need not ever truly feel lonely.
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