By Greg Holt:
Have you ever wondered – does God really care about me? I know I have at various times. It’s easy to believe in God and to think/know that He truly cares about us when life is going well for us. But what about those times that life throws us an unexpected curveball?
Maybe it was the death of a parent, persecution for our faith, a divorce, the loss of a close friend, or the loss of a child, maybe an unexpected job loss, or the loss of a home, or abuse against you. How do you react to these things? Do you still believe that God cares even though these traumatic events happened to you, or do you begin to wonder?
If God cares – why did He let these things happen?
You just lost your job – and now you are losing your home. If God cares for and loves you, why did He let this happen? Actually this did happen to me, but that is a story for another day.
Why does God allow these things to happen? I do not have that answer. Only God does, but one thing to remember is that God is not unjust.
Here is what I do know:
- Our understanding is often incomplete. – Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding
- ALL things work together for our good, even though we do not see that at times makes it no less true. – Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
- God allows things in this life to happen as a way of strengthening us, growing our faith in Him, teaching us to depend on Him – not ourselves. – James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
- If Christ suffered, and He did so – how then can we expect that we shall not suffer as well? – Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together 2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
- Regardless of what happens in this life, God’s plans for us are for good. – Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
We will suffer through various trials and events in this life. Ultimately however as evidenced by the above verses – God has in mind good things for us, not bad. Some things happen as a result of our own poor choices and God will often allow the negative events that happen as a result of those poor choices – why? I think so that we will learn from the choices we make. Often the best remembered lessons come from something negative that happened to us. Take parenting for example – do we withhold or prevent the consequences from the child’s negative action? Often no – how else would our child learn that their particular choice was a bad one, incurring the due penalty? In the same way – what would we learn if God cleaned up the mess from all our own poor choices and decisions? We would learn that there are no consequences for our behavior and therefore we would not change! God wants us to change – to become more like Him and less like the world.
How can I know that God always cares about me?
From our own limited perspective – especially when things are not going well, it may be hard to perceive that God is there, that He cares about what happens to us. So how can we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Lord does indeed always remain faithful and true?
God has said that He will never leave us. – Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Through the good and the bad, God is with us – at times it may not seem like it. But He is with us, watching over us – God has said so and God cannot lie.
In His Word – God has said that where He will be, there shall we be. John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. In Revelation 21:4 we are told that suffering and death will cease when we are in heaven with God. If God has that in store for us, and He does, then He most certainly is not going to forsake us in this life! As well – we cannot live this life in Christ without Him, nor does He expect us too. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
The most important reason to believe God loves us and cares about us
Aside from the fact that in the Word God expressly says that He cares about us and loves us, (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:4-5, Romans 5:8, Psalm 86:15) He personally came here and showed us how much He loves us. Jesus Christ – Christ is not Jesus last name. Christ means – “Messiah”, or “anointed one of God”. So Jesus came to this world as man, still God, still divine – but a man as well as God at the same time.
I think the most important reason to believe that God loves us always is that this very God, Jesus – came here – suffered tremendously and died for us. If that does not indicate unfailing love on a level we cannot even begin to understand, then I don’t know what does!
A closer look at Jesus redeeming sacrifice
We know through the Bible that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross at Calvary for our sins – to make payment, or restitution if you will for us. But there is more to this then meets the eye.
Why is the death of Christ – other than the obvious reason that His death saves us from our sins so that we do not die so important?
It is commonly said and written on that the Jews of that time killed Jesus. Now wait a minute – that is not expressly true, nor is that what happened. What??? You say.
Lets look a little closer at the crucifixion of Christ.
The Jews via the Romans (Pontius Pilate) did have Jesus crucified. That being said – there is no force on earth that could have compelled Jesus to the cross or any force in heaven or earth that could have killed Him if Jesus had not willed it to be so.
In John 10:18, Jesus clearly states that He chooses to give His life for us. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
When Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot in the garden of Gethsemane, one that was with him cut off the ear of one of the high priest’s servants. Jesus said to him that He could call on His Father for angels. – Matthew 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
If Jesus could call on the Father for this, then He certainly could have done so while being scourged, beaten, and crucified. But He did not do so; instead He chose to obey His Father’s will.
The Lord of heaven and earth, the very One who created the heavens and all that is in them, who created us, came to this world as a babe – grew up as a man – and willingly gave His life, suffered enormous pain and untold agony. All to save the very people He created from the penalty of their own sin – death, eternal separation from God.
Now I ask you – would the very God of all creation, our God – would He indeed leave you to founder on your own if He were willing, and He was, to save you at enormous cost to Himself?
Jesus was not born in a nice clean hospital – no He was born in an unsanitary barn. He did not have a nice quite pleasant life – no He was disliked, His own family thought He was nuts, He was hated by many, His words were not believed, and many wanted to kill Him. Then Jesus was beaten to within an inch of His life, and then crucified. Not only was crucifixion extremely painful, it was the most shameful way of that time to die. And as well – He was sandwiched in between two criminals on the cross. Every injustice that could be done to Jesus was done.
Christ suffered all this in love for us – He loves you – every moment of every day, count on it.
Republished with permission The Olive Branch Report
© Copyright by Greg Holt, 2017. All rights reserved.