Does He Care?

Description

We need to remind ourselves that God's love for us can't be judged by what He does for us; He proved it by what He did for us.

I read my Bible, attend church, and give 10 percent of my income, but I am still single and working in a dead-end job. Maybe He just doesn’t care?

Your question is very difficult to answer without knowing a lot more about you. I could have a range of answers depending on how you came to feel like you feel. Let me explain what I mean.

Basically, you are dealing with disappointment with God. It is one of the most painful feelings in life. God is the One we look to most naturally for our needs to be met. When it seems like He does not come through or that He even cares, we go into a very painful state of despair.

We are created for Him and He is our Father. When you feel as if your Father has left you or let you down, there is nowhere left to turn. So, first of all, no matter how you came to feel what you feel, my heart goes out to you. It is a terrible feeling and strikes at the deepest aspects of our existence.

There are some common answers given to a question like yours— similar to those Job’s friends gave. They told Job his problem had to do with sin, lack of faith, lack of understanding God, and not knowing His Word. Basically, they said it was Job’s fault, but God rebuked them for their answers.

The issue for Job was the same that God makes for all of us— trust, no matter what. As Job said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him (Job 13:15). The point of any period of trial is whether we are willing to trust in God no matter what we see or experience.

So, I would encourage you to look at faith as the commodity that is always at stake in your trials. As Hebrews tells us, “Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul (Hebrews 10:35-39).

On the practical level, when I feel like things are not the way that I would want them in my life, I look at a couple of principles that are helpful.

First, am I being as active in my pursuit of the things that I want as I need to be? We have a tendency as humans to want things to come to us instead of our going after them. We will pray and wish, but until we do something, nothing happens. And sometimes we have to do a lot. I read an article not long ago about a woman who became a physician in her forties. It was extraordinary because she had been a janitor for 20 years to pay for school to accomplish her dream! That is what I call “going for it.”

If I were you, I would ask myself some clarifying questions like what is it that I want to do? What am I doing to get there? Proverbs speaks a lot of the diligence and wisdom required to get us to our goals. In addition Paul tells us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work within you (Philippians 2:12,13). Take a look to see if you are being as active as you need to be in pursuing things you desire, whether relational or career.

Sometimes, there are hurts and fears we need to address before we get the things we desire. Are there fears that keep you from reaching out in relationships, dating or meeting people? On the career side, are you afraid to take the risks, classes, or whatever it would take to go the next step? This is tough medicine, but I think these are the kinds of questions we all need to ask ourselves when things are not going well.

If you are doing your part and growing in all these areas, then continue to ask God to show you what to do next. Ask for His wisdom to understand what He wants you to learn out of this struggle (James 1:5).

The last thing I would mention that concerns me is the thinking that we only serve God in order to get things from Him and that we only know He cares for us when He gives us what we desire. I know that you didn’t say that, but it seems like you feel that way.

Since God is our Father, it is natural to need and to desire things from Him. And He says that He will do things for us. But the relationship, like any other relationship, needs to be based on love, not on performance. This is true about His love for us, as well as our love for Him. We need to love Him no matter what happens in life. That is part of what the Bible teaches about our identification with the sufferings of Christ. The toughest thing in our lives will always be saying “not my will, but yours.” That is where love has to be enough.

In the meantime, as you are working out your love for Him, keep on asking. He promises to hear and give wisdom. Keep on asking, and you will receive (Luke 18:1-8).

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