Blog #44- God, Do You Care?
Raise your hand if you have ever questioned what God is doing in your life.
Ok. Now that we are all on the same page, let’s talk about it. When our circumstances go sideways, we tend to ask God why. But underneath that query is something deeper. The disciples voice it clearly in Mark 4.
Remember when the disciples are gripping the sides of a flailing boat while Jesus is sound asleep and seemingly oblivious? They shake Him awake and pointedly ask Him, “Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?” (v. 38)
Did you catch it? Those three little words: Don’t. You. Care.
At the heart of our confusion, we wonder if God cares. Surely if He cared about me, He wouldn’t have allowed that to happen, right? We equate our circumstances with His love for us. And that is a slippery slope.
In Romans 8, Paul speaks directly to the topic of suffering and God’s love. He was no stranger to anguish and adversity, yet he had learned to not be defeated by it. What was the key?
Throughout the chapter, Paul doesn’t shy away from life throwing us curveballs. Painful ones. He doesn’t “Pollyanna” his way through them, focusing only on the positive. In fact, in v. 36 he quotes a psalm to describe how hard it can be:
“For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
Ouch! Though Paul only captures a slice of Psalm 44, if you read it in its entirety, you will easily note that the psalmist felt abandoned. He wondered, “God, do You care?”
But as bookends to that troubling Old Testament verse, we find Paul’s absolute confidence and conviction in this matter. Before quoting it, he states that nothing can separate us from His love and after it, He claims we can conqueror it!
Suffering does not defeat us as long as we know that one day, we will defeat it. Revelation 21:4 confidently forecasts that one day “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” When we come face-to-face with Jesus, our present sufferings will pale in comparison to what will be revealed once He makes sense of it.
Paul had this mindset.
That’s why he said, “In all these things [our present hardships], we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (v.37). We conquer suffering when we understand His great love for us. We can’t look at our circumstances to determine if God cares. We must look at how He has loved us already.
Paul reminds us in Romans 5 that, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (v.8). In other words, God already displayed the depth of His care for you before difficulty ever arrived on your doorstep. Circumstances don’t negate His love.
Having said that, I don’t know why God allows what appears to be needless suffering in our lives. In the midst of deep heartache, it is mind bending to grasp anything good. But His great love for us will sustain us. His great love for us provides the impetus to trust Him. His great love for us equips us to know that one day it will all be over.
And nothing can separate us from that love.
Paul ends Romans 8 by reminding us that neither death nor life (and a host of other things) can separate us from the fact that one day we will not carry this ache in our hearts (v.37-39). One day it will be over. One day we will see the good that came from it. One day there will be joy.
So, yes, God cares about you. Your circumstances don’t, but He does. Hang on, my friend and lean into the love that will one day bring your hardship to an end.
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