by Mark Mountjoy
Scripture text: “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due season. Cast all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
Many people have heard the comforting words, “God cares for you.” Yet today (as has been true throughout history), the course of the majority of millions of lives has been one of adversity, loss, and pain, and struggle. Natural disasters, personal misfortunes, loss of a loved one, loss of work, earthquakes, famines, terrorism, and false flag events, addiction, debt, disappointment, thoughts of suicide—there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the hazards we must in this life face—often unexpectedly.
So then, how can anyone put credence in the words “God cares for you”? Surely, if God cares so much where is he? If he's so caring why do things in this world and in our lives seem so overwhelming, so tragic, and so hopeless?
Many have entertained these thoughts—Christians or otherwise. And this question, though asked by all, has been variously dealt with differently by the various world religions. What new insights can possibly be gained by exploring what the Bible says about how God cares about me? one might ask. This: the Word of God attributes the care of God for you under at least two aspects:
First, under the general order, goodness and bounty of the material universe. God gives us sunshine and rain, fields and grain, and fruits in their seasons.
Secondly, God’s care is demonstrated IN us by our obedience to his commandments and precepts for living. This second is true and certain, even if the first order should be unsettled or disturbed or should you come to the greatest want or distresses. But how is this so?
How can God care for us when we are undergoing the greatest want and distress? How can obedience to him in spite of our situation reveal his care?
Proof of this claim is abundant from one end of the Bible to the other. But one story from among them—the story of Job—highlights precisely what we mean, for, in the life of Job, we discover that at first, he was a man of singular wealth.
This Job had lands; cattle; sheep; servants; a wife; many sons and many daughters. But one after another God allowed the adversities of Satan to take away these blessings and these comforts out of Job's life.
Reduced to nothing, nothing but quivering sore-laden flesh, Job sat down on a pile of ashes and scraped his wreaking wounds with the broken edges of a flower pot. In fact, the loss of all that he held near and dear was almost more than he could bear. Everything was taken out of Job’s life except his exasperated and cynical wife, a wife who suggested to Job that he “curse God and die!”
Job also had three friends; these three suggested to him that his woes and misfortunes came as a direct result of some secret sin, sins he had committed against the Almighty God.
And so, as the story goes, it was not that Job had sinned against God; nor was it untrue that God cared for Job, but what had befallen Job was allowed by God in order that it could be clearly seen that EVEN IF Job lost every material benefit, comfort, and advantage, even in the midst of the fire, he would STILL stand and say,
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust him” (Job 13:15).
Job, in his wisdom, understood that God cared for him. He also continued to believe God deserved to be praised (even in spite of his miserable existence). So because of his wisdom and his piety Job showed his steadfast love for God by refraining from willful sins when his trials, tests, and temptations became very great. The truth is, God sends the storms and the rains and the winds of adversity into our lives—not that we should become bitter—but that we should become better:-
"For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned."(Hebrews 6:7-8).
No circumstance in this life (even those that cause us to despair of life (2 Corinthians 1:8-9), can be allowed to take away the assurance that God cares for us even when it does not seem to be that way at all. Nothing in this life can be allowed to make us forget the prize: what exceeds in both weight and glory (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
We end with these words:
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38-39).