Does Jesus Care? (1)
Difficulties we sometimes face can be beyond words. Our minds can hardly grasp the evils, the hardships, the pain and suffering that life here can bring. We look to this world and find such heartbreak and sorrow. We look to God and ask, “Do You care?” Does Jesus Care?
None are alone in their cries for help. We, with the psalmist, may indeed cry out, “Save me, O God, for the waters have threatened my life. I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me. I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail while I with for my God” (Psalm 69:1-3).
Such cries of pain and sorrow can be multiplied through the Psalms. Through sickness, threats, and even through the dealing with sin’s consequences, the psalmists took their feelings to God. Of the many lessons we are taught in the Psalms, this one really stands out: take what you are feeling to God. It’s okay to tell Him how you feel, to express your heartaches to Him, and to lay all of your cares and concerns on His table.
God cares. It may not always seem evident at first. We may wonder why He allows problems to persist. We may ask, “Why me?” “Why now?” “Why this?” We don’t know His time-frame. We cannot see behind the scenes. We can only learn to trust that God sees, God cares, and in His time will bring the peace that passes understanding.
Read Psalm 77 as an example of one who seeks after God in the day of trouble. In order to help us deal with so many strains and difficulties, please bear in mind the following:
1. Tell God what is on your mind. Whatever it is. However painful. However upset or angry. Tell Him about it. Be respectful, of course, but still tell Him. God wants us to pour out our souls to Him. This is one of the great messages of the Psalms. Prayer isn’t about a formula. It’s not repeating rote phrases. Among other things, it is letting our hearts emotionally bleed before God.
2. God wants us to seek Him out in the day of our troubles. Even when we feel so troubled that we refuse to be comforted. Even when we are so disturbed, so troubled that we cannot speak or sleep. Even when we feel rejected, without His mercy, without His promises. Even when our grief has so overtaken us that we don’t know how to address it.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
3. Whatever we can worry about, we can pray about. Only by praying through our worries can we ever find that peace that passes understanding.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).
If we persevere and trust Him, then the peace will come. We must push through the hardships, trust Him through the pain, and know that He sees and cares. He will know our grief and provide comfort.
4. Weeping before the Lord is perfectly acceptable. It may be over various heartaches. It may be over our sins and failures. It may be over hurts and insults others have heaped upon us. It may be out of compassion for others. It may be over the death of a loved one. For whatever reason, we have been led to believe that crying and weeping is a sign of weakness. We must remember that God made us with the ability to weep, and there are times when weeping is the appropriate reaction to the pain and difficulties this world brings. There is a “time to weep” and mourn (Eccl 3:4).
Joseph wept upon seeing his brothers (Gen 43:30). Hannah wept over her barren condition (1 Sam 1:8). David wept over his family being taken captive (1 Sam 30), over the loss of his children, and over his own sins.
“I am weary with my sighing; Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears” (Psa 6:6).
Even our Lord wept (John 11:35), whether in disappointment, in compassion for others, in sorrow for the lost, even over the city of Jerusalem as He contemplated their fate (Luke 19:41).
“In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety” (Heb 5:7).
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15).
More to follow.