Thursday, January 07, 2010

God Cares

{1 Peter 5:6-7; NLT}
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

There are times in our lives when we are convinced that no one is able to understand what we are going through. Even when we know that other people have been through a similar circumstances we tell ourselves that what we went through is so much worse.

What happens in these circumstances is that we have our focus in the wrong place. Our focus is all on us and what we are feeling, which then leads us to get so consumed with our feelings that we lose sight of everything else. It becomes a vicious cycle that will guarantee that we will continue to feel worse and worse and more and more isolated until something is able to come in and break it.

That is why Peter’s command in 1 Peter 5:6 is so vitally important. Humility helps us put things in their proper perspective, which allows us to deal with them more effectively. It also allows us to open our eyes to see what is happening to other people, which will allow us to realize that many people are worse of than we are. Finally, humility helps us to remember that God is still on His throne working out His plan to bless the entire world through Christ Jesus, which allows us to remember that we are just playing a small part in a bigger story.

If we continue to look at what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:6 he goes on to say that at the right time he will lift you up in honor. God does not intend for you to stay in the depths of hardship, misery, and tragedy which should add comfort to our lives, for nothing lasts forever, not even our pain.

Yet it is in these depths that God molds us into the people He created us to be. Much like the refining process which requires heat and fire, the hardships of life help refine our character and faith. As painful as these time are God is able to use them for our good. God loves us so much that He will not waste the pain we experience in our lives, but He will use it to make us more like His Son Jesus.

I want you to stop and ponder this thought for a moment. God doesn’t waste the hardships of our lives! What a wonderful thought to remember! He will use this awful experiences for our good. When Peter says that God will exalt us, he is implying two very important realities: the hardships of life are useful in our character development and they will not go on forever.

While hardships are necessary and God uses them to bring change to our lives, that does not mean that He is indifferent to our fear, pain, and suffering. God loves you! The fact that God experienced the pain of death of His Son Jesus reminds us that God knows what pain is and that He is willing to do whatever it takes to rescue us from this world of sin and death. That is why Peter, who knew about pain and tragedy, is able to write that God cares about us. What a wonderful promise this is, and one that we often forget.

Since God cares for us that means that He is not bothered by the hardships and pain in our lives, even if think they are insignificant. God wants us to come to Him with everything on our hearts and to ask for His help and guidance. That doesn’t mean that He will make everything better, but it will mean that He will give us the strength and wisdom to get through the situation.

James tells us:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking (James 1:2-5; NLT).

The only way we can look at life’s troubles with joy is if we have God’s wisdom to guide us. It is also the only way we will be able to understand that God cares about us when we are in the middle of a tragedy. God loves us and when we go to Him in prayer He will give us what we need to get through whatever we are experiencing.

God desires that we experience life, but the problem is that in order to experience life we have to be changed. Change, as we know, often requires hardship and difficulty, which is never easy. It is in moments like those that we have to hold on to the promise that God cares about us and turn to Him for help. I believe that if we turn to God in the moment of crisis He will provide the encouragement and the strength we need to get through to the other side. Why do I believe this? I believe it because God cares about what happens to us.

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