Coping with loneliness
But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you...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 4:5, 16-17
The Apostle Paul expressed his feeling of loneliness while imprisoned in a Roman jail awaiting his impending execution. He was anticipating that friends would come and visit him, yet he felt abandoned by them. In the midst of such feeling of isolation and loneliness, he did not allow these emotions deter him from exhorting young Timothy to be faithful in doing the work of telling others the Good News. He challenged him not to give up during times of suffering but have a clear mind so he could continue to serve the Lord. Loneliness is not an easy thing to deal with. The problem was as old as creation that when God saw Adam by himself, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). For Paul, the only way that he could go on living the life God gave him was to realize that he was not alone and by himself. He found strength in the knowledge that God is with Him. When God sent Isaiah to reassure the Israelites of His presence, he referred to God as the husband whose intimacy and presence will be of no match to any kind of relationship that every human being could have in this world. “For your Creator will be your husband; the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:5). When Elijah felt that all his effort to serve God was of no avail and his life was threatened he ran away and even asked God to end his life. He felt that all the things he has been doing are not accomplishing anything. That is when the angel of the Lord appeared and assured him of His presence. Then God told him; “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you” (1 Kings 19:7). Being in the will of God is what will help you overcome feeling of loneliness. God wants you to be assured that even when others abandoned you, He will always be there and He promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6).