For He Has Not Despised
For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help (Psalm 22:24 NIV).
The feeling of being despised can affect believers too. It need not be taken as a sign of lack of faith. But it can be understood as a natural human reaction and emotion. David went through this. He felt like a worm who was scorned and despised by the people. They did not treat him with respect. More than that what pained him most was the fact that they despised him because of his unwavering trust in the Lord.
This feeling of being despised can become big when troubles surround the believer. David had his phases of trouble. He felt as if God had abandoned him. He cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” (v.1). During those times human help may not be available too. These are times when your best friends might not understand your agony. Then it is quite natural to think that God has forsaken you. If you are thinking like that today, know that you are not alone. Many believers have passed through this valley of despair.
The biggest difficulty comes when you do not receive an immediate answer from God to your cries for help. Then it is quite natural to think whether God also despises your prayer. This is because you think that God is also looking at you in the same manner that people are treating you. But God is not like men. He does not despise His children especially when they trust in Him and cry out to Him for help. You are precious to Him and He gives attention to you when you cry out to Him.
Know that there is nothing wrong in feeling abandoned by God. Jesus, on the cross, too felt like that. But you need to get beyond that phase and come back to quiet assurance that God hears and listens to your cry. You are not a nobody before God. You are one for whom His Son Jesus endured the abandonment of God. Therefore, know in your heart once and for all that God does not despise you. He knows your suffering and your afflictions. For God turned His face away from His Son on the Cross so that He will never have to turn His face away from you!