Isolation is something that everyone faces in their lives at one time or another. Some struggle with physically isolating themselves more than others. Some struggle with feelings of isolation even when they are physically present with other people. Now, maybe for the first time in our lives, we are all being commanded to isolate ourselves physically in order that this terrible virus may be slowed and stopped. This is most certainly the appropriate response to what we’re facing. In that sense, isolating ourselves from the crowds is a very good thing. However, isolation can also be a very bad thing; especially in terms of emotional and spiritual health. I’ve heard it said many times, and believe it to be true, that isolation is one of Satan’s “go to” strategies to destroy people. Jesus said in John 10 that “the thief (Satan) comes only to steal, kill, and destroy…” That is his desire. To isolate, deceive, and destroy us. To see how isolation can be devastating to the believer, and how we can combat it, we should look at what the Scripture says. First, let’s see why isolation is a threat to the emotional and spiritual health of the believer:
We were made for community with others
Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Though Adam had a perfect, unbroken, and intimate relationship with God in the Garden, The Lord said that it wasn’t good for him to be alone and He created Eve to be his wife and helpmate.
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Christians are urged to meet together regularly to encourage one another to live out the gospel with urgency.
Acts 2:42-47 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The early church met every day to hear the Word of God preached, prayer, communion, and fellowship. We are all members of the Body of Christ and it takes all of us in community to live out the gospel effectively.
We were made for community with other believers. So, what can we do to combat the negative effects of isolation during this unprecedented time in our world? A couple helpful things to remember and practice.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
As a born-again follower of Jesus, we have the indwelling of the Holy Sprit living within us. We have God’s presence with us always. This is a tremendous comfort in times of isolation. The Spirit is a comforter to us when all other sources of comfort fall short.
Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Opening God’s Word every day is not like cracking open a history book and getting helpful content. God’s Word is “living and active.” God meets with us when we open His Word and He speaks directly to our minds, hearts, feelings, and lives. Don’t miss your standing appointment with your savior each day. Make your time with The Lord a priority to combat isolation.
Technology can be an amazing resource to help believers who are battling isolation. Leveraging platforms like social media, Zoom, Google Hangout, FaceTime, etc. can still allow believers to have genuine fellowship through an online format. This may be a temporary approach to community, but still can provide something that is beneficial during this time where physically being in the same place for fellowship is discouraged.
Finally, if isolation is something that is leading to anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. in your life, please reach out to someone you trust and tell them. Jesus is the light of the world and He can expose darkness and dispel it when you make it known. Don’t suppress or try to hide these feelings and thoughts. Take them to Jesus and then share them with a fellow believer who loves you and can walk through these issues with you Biblically.
I’ll leave you with these words of our Savior in the Great Commission:
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus has called us, commissioned us, empowered us, and will always be with us!