I think many will relate to and be helped by this post by Tony Reinke:
Loneliness can be an embarrassing topic we don’t like to talk about or admit to. Yet all of us are familiar with it, to some degree, because loneliness is an inescapable consequence of the fall.
No surprise, we get requests for more content on loneliness. To that end, let me introduce Paul Matthies. Paul is a Christian, former missionary in Asia, current pastor in Texas, he’s single and he has openly shared his struggle with loneliness over the years. In the summer of 2006, while serving as a pastor at The Village Church, Matthies preached a four-part sermon series titled “Only the Lonely” (links available below). The series offers a much-needed biblical theology of loneliness and is filled with mature thoughts on the problem, and wise words of gospel hope, for those enduring its pain.
Recently I went through the four sermons and pulled out 20 quotes to share the flavor of the hope offered in these messages.
“Loneliness is a common human experience. Meaning that all of us, whether single or married, whether for a short period of time or for an extended season, deal with loneliness. Why so? Well that leads into my second aim that loneliness is, at it’s root, a spiritual issue. But often we define loneliness in physical or emotional terms. We think loneliness can be defined by the absence of people whether physically or emotionally. So we think to ourselves, ‘What we need to do to fix our problem of loneliness is to have more people in our lives.’ And when that doesn’t work we think, ‘Well, we needmore considerate people in our lives.’ And so I talked about how we define loneliness as emotional or physical. But that doesn’t complete the picture because loneliness is also the presence of pain. Loneliness is not just the absence of people, it’s the presence of pain, the pain of separation from God and others. It began in the Garden of Eden when Adam decided to choose the pleasures of sin, and in doing so, inherited the pain of loneliness.”
“The worst type of loneliness comes from our sin and disobedience. We do it to ourselves through the pleasures of sin. . . . The second type of loneliness is that loneliness that comes upon us through our circumstances. Not all loneliness is our fault. Sometimes we’re thrust into it. . . . The third type of loneliness comes upon us through our obedience and courage, the loneliness that comes from being Christ’s disciple.”
“In Philippians 3:10, Paul uses the phrase, ‘the fellowship of his sufferings.’ So many of us love to enter into the fellowship of God’s joy, but Scripture also calls us into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. And sometimes, we don’t need avoid the pain or numb the pain, we need to look at that pain and ask God for a deeper joy.”
Much more at 20 Quotes on Loneliness