At Citylight Church, we strive to be a culture shaped by the gospel. As a gospel culture, we look to the gospel for solutions to our problems and one of the most significant and common problems we face today is loneliness.
What is loneliness?
Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo, director of the Brain Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Chicago, writes, “Loneliness is a state of mind characterized by a dissociation between what an individual wants or expects from a relationship and what that individual experiences in that relationship. Because loneliness is a state of mind, being physically alone is not a necessary…condition to experience loneliness.”
Where does loneliness come from?
We can trace the roots of loneliness all the way back to Genesis and the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 1-2, there was not a hint of loneliness in the Garden. The man and the woman were fully known and fully loved by God and one another. Genesis 2 concludes with these beautiful words, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:24). Sadly, things did not stay perfect in God’s world for long. Adam and Eve believed the terrible lie that God didn’t love them, ate the forbidden fruit, and alienation entered into our relationship with God and one another (Ephesians 2:1-3; Titus 3:3). Loneliness is a feature of this fallen world.
How does the gospel apply to loneliness?
The gospel is the good news that the creator God is adopting sinners as his sons and daughters by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Adoption is the greatest benefit of the gospel. “In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:4-5). My lonely friend, the promise of the gospel is that all who receive and rest in Jesus Christ for salvation are not only forgiven, we are adopted. And since we are adopted on the basis of Christ’s merits, not our own, nothing can separate us from the love of our Father (Romans 8:31-39). No matter what is making you feel lonely, your Father is not far away. He will never leave or forsake you. Let his presence be your deep and abiding hope as you wait for the day when your faith shall be sight!
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me by night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is a light with you (Psalm 139:7-12).
Yours in Christ,