A survey conducted well before the pandemic found that 75% of American adults feel lonely. Although I am sure we all understand the term loneliness, I found the dictionary definition to be enlightening.
Webster defines loneliness as:
- sadness because one has no friends or company. “feelings of depression and loneliness”
- (of a place) the quality of being unfrequented and remote; isolation.
Loneliness and isolation are a reality for all Americans today. The new normal of social distancing, working from home, limited public gatherings, and the general anxiety over the spreading virus has led to isolation and loneliness like never before.
As I was meditating on God’s Word in 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV), “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness,” I realized he has given us everything we need to live a godly life. Surely, a godly life is victorious over loneliness and isolation. What do we need to grab hold of his promise for this?
I believe God desires us to be proactive in utilizing what he has already provided to his children. “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – Peter 1:13 (ESV)
Here are 5 ways we can proactively apply his power over our loneliness:
- Prayer: the most important first step in defeating loneliness. When we are near to God, we are never alone. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
- Schedule pleasures and treats into your days. Schedule times of connecting meaningfully each day with someone you love. Schedule activities you enjoy and don’t feel guilty about it. “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness.” – Proverbs 23:4 (NIV)
- Be mindful of what gives you joy and what is draining your joy. Keep a journal of your daily activities for a while and note how they make you feel. What triggers your emotions? How can you change some of those things that are causing the triggers? “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
- Try a new hobby or habit that is life-giving to you. Devise ways to integrate it into your daily life. Make sure you enjoy it! “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 (ESV)
- Give awards to others. Acknowledge your appreciation and give tangible affirmation to those you love and admire. “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” – Hebrews 13:16 (ESV)