“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.” Psalm 13:1-4 (ESV)
As you read, try to keep that passage (Psalm 13:1-4) in mind.
“Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever! Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground. Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!” Psalm 44:23-26 (ESV)
When it feels like God is ignoring you, what do you do?
On top of that, when it feels like nobody else wants to hear your thoughts or is paying you any attention, how do you deal with that, as well?
I’m sure there are many emotions that come with feeling ignored… And I can say that because, personally, I’ve been there. I’ve felt ignore, I felt like people weren’t taking me serious or like they really didn’t care about what I was doing with my life or what I was going through… I remember feeling like I didn’t have a voice; like nothing I said mattered at all… And my response to it all was anger, bitterness and resentment. I shut the whole world out and started keeping everything to myself.
It’s sad to say, but because I felt ignore by people, I eventually found myself feeling ignored by God. I felt like, if no one else was listening to me, He wasn’t either. I can’t even tell you why I started thinking that way. I just did. I didn’t pry, I didn’t read my word or anything like that… I just kept it all to myself.
The thing about “keeping everything to myself”; it really didn’t help how I felt towards people or God. It only made things worse… As I got more silent, the more silent it the world got to me. I didn’t hear anything, because I chose not to hear anything. And because I was being ignored, I told myself to forget about what everyone else had to say as well. It was an eye for an eye. Why should I listen to them if they’re not hearing me out? And why should I pray or even go to God for anything, if He’s treating me the same way?
Every voice was drowned by the way I felt. If anyone tried to get my attention, whether they were sincere or not, I was pushing them away.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have known if they were really caring for me or not, at the point I was. I didn’t trust anyone to really be there for me. I had my paranoid thoughts to thank for that. I started feeling like the whole world was against me and people everywhere were plotting against me in some way.
I felt like that because they weren’t talking to me. To me, there had to be some big reason why everyone was ignoring me or not paying me any attention. And you’d be amazed at the stuff that the devil put in my mind about people’s thoughts about me.
I learned two things about that whole situation though:
One; I put God in the same boat with people who really were ignoring me. And that was not fair at all. Even though at the time, He was pretty silent, I’m sure now that He was still listening to me the whole time I was talking to Him. But because I couldn’t hear Him or see Him moving, I made my judgement and went from there… He was always listening though… Even when it didn’t feel like it. I can testify to that.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1 (ESV)
Out of nowhere, He started answering prayers and showing me why certain things were the way they were. Me feeling ignored, had nothing to do with Him but a lot to do with how I viewed Him because of how people treated me.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 (ESV)
Anyway, the second thing I learned; the people that I THOUGHT were ignoring me, I never really gave them a chance before I boxed them in with everyone else. I never reached out to them because I figured they would just ignore me like everyone else did.
The reason for that was because I had people who told me, “You can talk to me, I’ll be hear for you if you need me and blah, blah, blah.”
But when I talked to them, they either couldn’t handle what I had poured out and said nothing else to me or they just let me know they’d be praying for me and left it at that… So, as I said before, I shut everyone out.
Eventually, I started hoping for someone to somehow guess what I was dealing with or maybe God would lay it on their heart to speak to me and I open up to them, then. I was tired of suffering in silence and the thoughts that came with that were tearing me apart… If I didn’t get no help soon, the devil was going to have his way. So I was longing for someone to come my way and help me out of what I was going through. It didn’t happen… I was expecting some of my closest friends or family members to just come in and save the day, but it does not work that way… Sometimes, maybe… But not all the time. People only know what you open up and tell them. And I wasn’t telling anyone anything. So that was my fault.
Once I realized that I was going about things all wrong, it still didn’t help that those I reached out to ignored me… I was still hurting inside from trying to reach out to people who said they loved me and would be there for me. I wished that they were as serious about me as I was about them. So, I was still struggling to open up to people and let them in. I didn’t want to feel the sting of rejection ever again. But it really didn’t help that I kept ignoring God, though. I just couldn’t find it in me to run to Him for anything.
After I finally had a heart check, I realized that what I had done the whole time was put people before God… He was not the place I was running to for safety (Proverbs 18:10). I had made people that place… And I wondered why God wouldn’t use them… I was longing for things that only He could give me, from people. I wanted people to save me from what I was going through… I didn’t seek Him out. Yeah, in my mind, I was thinking, “God, use these people” – and when He didn’t, I just kept silent. If they weren’t going to be used, then I was never going to be heard.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
If I would have just turned to God, not just one time, but all throughout that entire season of my life, I would have been heard. I would have been going through the healing process and things would not have been as bad as they were. But like I said, I put Him in a box with everyone else. And that pretty much ruined His chances with working on/in me.
But now that I’ve learned from my past mistakes, I want to tell you; just because people have treated/are treating a certain way, doesn’t mean God will/is. Do not put Him in the same category as man and don’t look at God like your enemy because people you trusted and relied on have not been there for you or have hurt you some type of way. He does not take pleasure in hurting you, AT ALL. You may have your trust issues with people, that’s understood, but don’t push God away like He’s the reason for all you’ve been going through. He’s the only one you should be fully trusting in the first place. People are only vessels and He chooses to use them when He sees fit.
And even though man might treat us badly, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
We have to remember that people are not the real enemy of our souls. I know it feels that way a lot. I know you’re tempted to hate, get revenge, talk bad about them, plot against their fall, see them worse off than you… but that’s not how we are to live.
“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18 (ESV)
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21 (ESV) – One of my favorite passages EVER.
I don’t want to turn around and make this all about vengeance and getting people back for how they treated you and stuff like that. But I want to show how suffering in silence had affected me… Because that’s where I was at for a while, until God delivered me and changed my heart in the situation… I had a very hard heart towards a lot of people. Now that I think about it, half of those people never even knew that I had something against them. Some of them never even knew and still don’t know, what I was going through. But that’s not their fault.
Maybe you can relate to me on how I felt… Maybe you are still struggling to let some things go. Maybe turning to God seems to be the hardest thing in the world to do, but if you want to be free, you have to do it.
I know that not seeing/feeling God physically is a problem for some people. I’ve heard that a lot. I remember being there, myself, too. It makes it difficult to know if He’s really there… And it’s pretty easy to feel ignored when you don’t know if He is or not. But you must know that He loves you and He cares for you, more than you can fathom. When people seem to take your voice away from you, treat you like you don’t matter or like the dreams/goals you have in life aren’t important, you can always turn to the one who cherish and support you all the way to the finish line of life (Philippians 1:6).
Here are a few Psalms that I personally recommend for times you feel alone: Psalm 40, 42, 44 and 56. Those have helped me out a lot and often reminded me that God is not my enemy, and He’s listening to me, no matter where I am in life.
“God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19 (ESV)
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (ESV)
God has not lied about being there for you through everything… Nothing can separate you from the Love of God. He is with you wherever you go. He promised that and He meant it.
“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:5-9 (ESV)
In the midst of how people are treating you, in the midst of your all the emotion, I sincerely urge you get in the word of God and seek Him out there. Don’t worry about hearing God through people. He’ll speak through them when it’s the season for that. Right now, He just needs you to come to Him.
Don’t stop moving towards Him because of the feeling of being ignored. He’s not ignoring you. He would never do that. Believe me, He’s listening. That’s why I’m still here today… Because He heard me.
Also; just because He hasn’t spoken to you in a way that you would expect to hear from Him, that doesn’t mean He’s silent. Pay closer attention as you get in His word. The way you want God to speak, that may not be the way He speaks to you in this season. He may be trying to get you out of your comfort zone; out of the norm. Consider that before you think about staying silent towards God.
“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.” Psalm 139:7-10 (ESV)
There is nowhere you can go in this life that God won’t be. He’s everywhere; omnipresent. He sees you. He’s with you, right now, wherever you are. He’s not left you. People may have, but He hasn’t and He won’t.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (ESV)
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 (ESV)
God loves you… I can’t stress that enough. He loves you because He loves you, because He loves, Because He loves you… Because that’s just who He is and it’s what He does (1 John 4:8).
You may feel alone, but you are never really lonely. You may know the feeling of being ignored, but God is always listening; He is not deaf (Isaiah 59:1).
Again, I really encourage you; don’t keep your distance from God because of how people have made you feel. Seek God out, you will find Him and you will find relief in Him. He’s not hiding from you or casting you away.
You can run to God… And when you get to Him, you can lay everything at His feet. All the pain, all the anger, all the grudges; all of what you might feel right now. Give Him your burdens and be free of the weight (Hebrews 12:1). Allow God to lift you up and give you a new song to sing (Psalm 40:3).
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 (ESV)
Finally, the conclusion of Psalm 13:1-4, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5-6 (ESV)
The Lord does not fail.