February 14th Devotion

A God Who Hears and Listens
By Lynette Kittle

“Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live” - Psalm 116:2

Have you ever had times in your life when it seemed like God didn't hear you? It can seem pretty discouraging when we feel like our prayers aren’t being heard and we aren’t sensing God’s presence and interventions in difficult situations. Sadly, feeling unheard often leads people to feel unloved, forgotten, and of little value to God.

Yet all those feelings aren’t based on truth but rather on we what we aren’t seeing or experiencing happening in our lives because God does hear us. “And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him” (1 John 5:15). Often, when we feel unheard, God is at work in ways we may not see or know at the time. Romans 8:28 assures us in all situations, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

But God not only hears; He also listens, which means, He pays attention and considers our words. Psalm 66:19 tells us, “But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.” God hears and listens to our voices. “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears" (Psalm 18:6). As believers, we have God’s ear.

Examples of His Hearing Us
There are countless stories in the Bible of men and women who may have felt at times that God wasn’t hearing them. Individuals in situations where they really needed His ear, some of those caught in life-and-death situations where there was no hope for them if He didn’t hear and respond to them. Individuals like Joseph, Daniel, Paul, and more. Although we know how their stories ended, being human like us, they may have experienced a roller coaster of emotions in their circumstances.

Daniel 10:2 describes some of what he went through in wondering if God was hearing him, “At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks.” Sometimes God goes to a great extent to let us know He hears us, like in Daniel’s situation where He sent an angel with a message. “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them” (Daniel 10:12).

Even Jonah, who was running away from God’s call on his life, describes how He heard him. “From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord His God. He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord and He answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and You listened to my cry’” (Jonah 2:1,2). At the darkest, loneliest times in life, where we may even be running away from God, straying away, or turning our backs on Him, He hears and listens to us.

Where to Turn When Discouraged
When we feel like God isn’t hearing or listening to us, we can join King David’s voice throughout the Psalms to help encourage us through His ongoing confidence in God hearing him:

“I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy" (Psalm 116:1).
“The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer” (Psalm 6:9).
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles" (Psalm 34:17).
“He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them” (Psalm 145:19).

As believers in Jesus Christ, we never have to wonder if God is hearing and listening to us. As Proverbs 15:29 reminds us, “The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.”

Intersecting Faith and Life:
If you’ve been feeling like God isn’t hearing or listening to your prayers, consider how God heard and listened to individuals in the Bible. Let their stories encourage and strengthen your faith, believing you have God’s ear and He hears and listens to you.
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