In this sermon, Pastor Neil poses the question, “Does God care about you?” The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Here are some excerpts:
… Does God really care about… what happens in your life? About the pain and suffering, the evil, the violence and hate, the grief and heartache, the tragedies and disasters, the crises and setbacks, the defeats and disappointments that befall us in this world?
This may surprise you, but I’m going to suggest that there are some things God does not care about. At least not nearly as much as we may care about them… God is not nearly so concerned with who wins and loses as He is with the heart-attitudes and well-being of those who play and those who watch. He is concerned about how the game is played and about what winning or losing does to those who compete, as well as to those who just watch and cheer… I don’t think God cares what tie I wear, or whether I even wear a tie when I come to church on Sunday. Nor does God care what flavor of blizzard I have at Dairy Queen.
There are some things God does not care about, including things some people think are of the utmost importance, such as things like wealth, prestige, position, power, and popularity. God is not so impressed by the things that impress us. In James 2:1-9, the Bible says that God doesn’t play favorites – and neither should we in the church. It is not how much or how little you have that God is concerned about, but what you do with what you have … and what it does to you. It is not how you dress or who you know or what your title is that God cares about, but what is in your heart. How you live. And how you treat other people, including those closest to you.
So, you see, there are some things in life God does not care about, at least not in the way we care about them.
But what about the storms of this life that catch us off-guard and knock us off our feet? What about the problems and hardships of life that threaten to undo us? The burdens we carry that sometimes feel so heavy? What about the fears and uncertainties of life in this fallen world that so often have a grip on us? Doesn’t God care about what is happening in our world? In your life and mine?
Some people today will tell you it is silly – irrational – to ask if God cares because, they say, there is no God. They say that God – at least the God of the Bible – does not exist and never did. If there is no God, then it is meaningless to ask if He cares about you and me– then we are alone to face the storms and challenges and hardships of life. If there is no God, then, to paraphrase the apostle Paul, we who believe in God are of all creatures most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19).
… Some people think yes, there is a God, but He is too pre-occupied with running the universe to concern Himself with the ordinary (or not-so-ordinary) problems we face. He is too busy to give attention to the dilemmas and question marks of our lives. Running the universe, after all, is a big job, and it is just not realistic to think that a God with such awesome responsibilities could possibly be interested in the details of our lives. He is a good God, they say, but He is just too busy. He’s got too much on His plate to rescue us from every storm or crisis we face.
That, however, is not what the Bible says. God is not finite like we are. He is not made in our image. The Bible tells us of a God who is in charge of everything, a God who does not fail and who will not fail to fulfill His purposes for this world, a God who knows each one of us by name and cares about the details of our lives. Peter, another of the disciples who was with Jesus in the boat during the storm on the Sea of Galilee, said you can “cast all your cares on Him” – on God our Heavenly Father, on the Lord Jesus, who is God in flesh and blood – “because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7; cf. Psalm 55:22).
The Bible also teaches that God is… omniscient. He knows literally everything, including your deepest secrets, your most painful wounds, and the most private longings of your heart. He knows everything about everything. God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. There is no place you will ever go where God has not gone before you. There is no place you can ever go where God is not with you. Read Psalm 139 and let David’s testimony there take root in your heart. There is no storm you can ever encounter in which Jesus is not with you. He will not always deliver you from the storms, but He will bring you safely through the storms, including death itself. He will bring you safely home to heaven. God is also omnipotent. Omni-potent. All-powerful. He is sovereign over nature, over winds and waves, over hurricanes and tornadoes, over floods and droughts, over disasters of every kind. God is sovereign over sin, over all the forces of evil, over Satan and all the demons of hell, over life and death. He will not be defeated.
The God of the Bible is Yahweh El-Shaddai, the LORD God Almighty, who created everything there is and who sustains the whole universe by the word of His power (Hebrew 1:3). He is the Holy One who has no rivals, the One who heals the sick and raises the dead, the One who has authority to forgive sins and the power to change lives, including yours and mine. He is the One who can muzzle the wind and still the storm by speaking a single word.
God is not helpless in the face of life’s storms. Neither are we, because He is with us, and He has already done something about the troubles and storms we encounter in this life. He has done the most important thing.
What has He done? God the Father sent Jesus the Son to us. He sent Jesus to save us. Jesus came to redeem us from our sin. Then God sent the Holy Spirit to us to give us the grace and strength we need in every situation. At every moment.
Does God care? You bet He does! The good news is that the God who cares about us is big enough to still the storms on the sea and the storms in our hearts. He is big enough to run the universe, but never too busy to care about the little things, the nagging problems, and the burdens of our hearts.
God is with us in every storm, even when it seems that He is asleep. He will redeem every trouble. He will bring us safely through. In His time. In His way. For our good and for His glory.