Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
You Are Not Alone
Since the ingratitude and the wickedness of the burghers, the peasants, and the classes of every kind are so great, we, too, are often driven to conclude that the entire world is possessed by Satan. Moreover, the very sad spectacle troubles the hearts of the godly. But one must hold fast to the hope which is here before Abraham: that nevertheless there are some pious and saintly people still living. For God is not without a people. He is a God of mercy and of judgment. Therefore He preserves and guides those who are not impenitent but humble themselves and seek forgiveness. Thus Psalm 12:1 states: "The faithful have vanished from among the sons of men"; that is, the world casts aside and hates the truth and the Word. Yet at the end the Lord says (Psalm 12:5): "I will arise because of the poor." Therefore there always remain some who keep and receive the Word.
From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 3:345)
[The LORD'S] eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man.
A God Who Sleeps?
According to Cassiodorus…."eyes" denote God's clear knowledge concerning the righteous, while "eyelids" are, as it were, sleep and ignorance concerning the unrighteous. Not that God did not see both with equal clarity, but that He appears to the people themselves to be like this. For the righteous always act (in fear) as if the Lord saw them. But the ungodly walk along smugly, as if God has His eyelids closed and did not see them, even though He examines them, too, and knocks, warning their conscience, as Revelation 3:20 says: "I stand at the door and knock, etc." . . . Therefore if a person does not yet fear and see God everywhere and at all times, the eyes of the Lord do not yet look at him, for God is sleeping as far as he is concerned, even though God cannot sleep. . .. His "eyes" are open when He causes us to have open eyes and to be watchful. But they are "eyelids" for Him when He lets us sleep and snore or permits us not to think about Him at all, etc.
From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 11 (Luther's Works 10:99-100)
Why, O LORD, do You stand far away? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
In the Meantime
We find those mournful laments in the psalms, such as “Arise!” in Psalm 7:6 and "Why does Thou stand afar off?" in Psalm 10:1. Similar words are spoken by hearts that are in doubt as to whether we have a God and ask: "Where is your God?" (Psalm 42:10). "We do not have to believe in Him who conceals and withdraws Himself from us, do we?" . . . But we have nothing from God except the pure Word, namely, that the Lord Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and is the Judge of the living and the dead, and that through Him we are kings and priests (Revelation 1:6). But where can this be discerned? Not in the indicative mood, but in the imperative and the optative. Why He hides Himself in this way we shall see on that Day, when all enemies will have been put under His feet (1 Corinthians 15:25). Meanwhile we should believe and hope. For if one could see it now before one's eyes, there would be no need of faith.
From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 4:356-57)
Those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
It's Not Always What It Seems
[God] is really a helper in need. For He does not forsake His saints who hope in Him, although they seem to be forsaken and cast off. For this is what it means not to forsake those who are nearly forsaken. But God makes an affirmative out of a negative. When the godly say: "There is no help in God: I am lost," God replies: "You are not lost, and you will not be lost as you conclude, but I shall give you a mouth and wisdom even in the extremity of the greatest dangers so that you are not forsaken." It certainly appears to be forsaking, but in reality it is not. Therefore God again sends forth His Word and comforts the troubled old man [Jacob].... "Your prayer and tears," He wants to say, "compel Me to come to your aid. The things which seemed to threaten you with destruction will not harm you at all. I am the Lord your God!"
From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 6:221-22)