Replace Loneliness with Mornings of Joy

Loneliness, often ignited by some form of difficult separation (particularly divorce or the death of a spouse), is a destructive spirit designed by Satan to put and keep us in bondage. Unprepared, we easily fall victim to its accompanying emotions: despair, grief, depression, and bitterness.  These emotions intensify when we are thrust into the roles of single parenting and head of household. 

This does not automatically mean that we have to be lonely and discouraged. Loneliness can be defeated!

Recognize Loneliness for What It Is

First, we must not allow our feelings of loneliness to run unchecked. We need to recognize its deceitfulness from the onset and know that its primary goal is to separate us from God. We can’t be bitter or angry. Instead, we must identify and subdue the true adversary – the devil. The Word counsels us to “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NIV). We lean on God, who always grants compassion and safety to those who have suffered loss. We can use our status of single parent as an opportunity to experience the fullness of God’s love – to fill our minds with God’s Word and reject the lies from the devil.  

The Bible instructs us to face trouble when it comes – to turn to God, whose “eyes are upon the righteous and [whose] ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34:15, NIV). We must let Him comfort our hearts and renew our hope.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them: He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:17-19 (NIV)

I, myself, became totally aware of the negative power of the spirit of loneliness when a trusted friend prophesied that I was lonely, given my then-status of single mom with no male companion, two young children, etc.  Not yet divorced, but separated from my husband, I submitted to a voice that insisted that I had to be lonely. She was correct; I missed my children who were spending a portion of the summer with their dad in another state. But, because my husband and I had been separated for months, I had grown accustomed to “aloneness” and managing my home and the children by myself. Most of the times, I was happy to make decisions on my own.  

Initially, I resisted, but immature in the area of prophecy, I received my friend’s words as truth before fighting back. I’ll never forget the feelings of dread, anger, shame, and embarrassment that swept over me during the following week. I was glad that my children were with their dad and that I was home alone. After all, this gave me time to wallow in my self-pity without witnesses.  Distracted from the real enemy, I remained a pitiful mess until I began to remember God’s promises that He would be my husband – that I am never alone because He lives in me and I in Him! I began to pray fervently, and God rescued me from the snare of the enemy. I praised God for His faithfulness. Whenever such emotions tried to resurface, I fought back with prayer, praise, and the promises of God.

Identify Strongholds

In addition, we must combat loneliness by identifying it as a stronghold – a prison that has the potential to hold us captive to psychological, physical, and sensual emotions; it must be resisted and torn down. We are instructed to “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, NIV). To resist means to actively oppose those thoughts and imaginations that are not of God, who never intended for us to be ruled by emotions like despair, loneliness, and grief, but instead, by His Holy Spirit. For example, we sometimes eulogize or continuously rehearse our past, which prevents us from moving forward into the future God has for us. Instead, we must press forward to the things that God has planned for us and our children. Jeremiah 29:11 illuminates God’s plan: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (NIV).

Don’t Allow Loneliness to Affect Your Relationships

Equally important, we need to realize that loneliness, if allowed to run unchecked, will interfere with our ability to successfully parent our children, who may also be grieving, and strain our relationships with family and friends. Sometimes, family and friends will remove themselves from us if our out-of-control emotions make us unpleasant to be around. Other times, we may voluntarily isolate ourselves from those who may become uncomfortable in an atmosphere of sympathy or who may offer unsolicited advice or help. More often, caught up in the tentacles of shame and false pride, we may not ask for well-needed help or may even reject it. These are all dangerous places to be because we and our children need a network of support to navigate through turbulent times; having adult friends and family to spend time with is important.

Do Not Ignore Your Feelings of Loneliness

Finally, we should neither ignore nor entertain feelings of loneliness and despair. While we may initially experience grief and loneliness, especially following the death of a loved one, it is important that we confront negative thoughts and, above all, include God in our journey back to wholeness. He’s an expert at healing broken or hurting hearts and at delivering His children from the pitfalls of the enemy. He can take our anger, even when it is directed at Him! We must allow the Holy Spirit, our comforter, access to our emotions. 

We can choose to allow God to supply us with His peace. Peace is an antidote for loneliness.  According to Isaiah 26:3, God will keep you in perfect peace; and Proverbs 14:30 declares: “A heart at peace gives life to the body” (NIV). The only other choice we have is to entertain the sensual emotions that the devil uses to bombard us, and this can only lead to spiritual and physical death.

Loneliness is a thief that can rob us of God’s promised peace, rest, and joy. Finding wholeness should be our goal, and the only way to do so is to embrace the love and promises Jesus purchased for us. According to Hosea 2:19, God betroths us to Him in righteousness, judgment, love, and compassion. He can do this through the indwelling Holy Spirit, who, like a spouse, yearns for our love and attention. It is through the Holy Spirit that God aids us in our fight to overcome loneliness, as well as its accompanying strongholds. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NKJV).

 

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