Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Psalm 102)

I am like a pelican of the wilderness;
I am like an owl of the desert.
I lie awake, and am like
a sparrow alone on the housetop
(PSALM 102:6-7 NKJV)

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Loneliness leaves a vacuum in every soul, which people try to fill in every way imaginable. But here is what I think works the best.

First of all, reach up to the Savior. Jesus understands your loneliness. Psalm 102 is a messianic psalm, which means it is a prophecy of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus knew what it was to be lonely. In fact, I believe Jesus knew loneliness as no other person who has ever lived has known loneliness.

Jesus understands what it is to be rejected. He can relate to that feeling of “nobody cares.” John said about Jesus, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:11). Rejected by his family, rejected by his friends, and rejected by the religious elite, Jesus knew what it was to be lonely. At his greatest hour of need, the crucifixion, his closest friends deserted him.

Even on the cross Jesus was rejected by his own Father. You remember as he died on the cross he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you, forsaken me?” At that moment Jesus Christ became the loneliest person who ever has lived or ever will live. Believe me, Jesus understands your loneliness.

He knows what it is to be alone, and he knows what it is to be lonely. But Jesus has given us a promise that with God we will never be alone. As a child of God, you enjoy the permanent company of God the Father who said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). You enjoy unbroken fellowship with God the Son who said, “Surely I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). You enjoy the continuing presence of God the Holy Spirit whom we are told will “be with you forever” (John 14:16). The first cure for loneliness is to reach up to the Savior.

52 Weeks Through the Psalms

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God understands our every emotion. He has made us for fellowship with himself and with others, and when the latter is lacking through loneliness, God still offers himself as our companion. As Christians, then, we are never really alone.

When, in our loneliness, we’re comforted by God, it should make us more sensitive to those around us who are also lonely. Just as Jesus knows our loneliness and offers himself, so too we know the loneliness of others and, like Jesus, can offer ourselves to others.

Who in your circle of acquaintances is lonely? How can you represent Jesus to them? By comforting them in their lonely hour, you both will receive a blessing.

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James Merritt. 52 Weeks Through The Psalms Devotional. Harvest House Publishers. Eugene, Oregon, 2018.