Does God really care? Look at the trouble we see. Why does he seem so distant and disinterested?
God has a higher goal for us
Deism is the belief that says God created the world but then removed himself from its operation, like a clockmaker who creates the clock but then lets it run on its own. In other words, he is not directly involved in this world.
But it is not just deists who think this way. Sometimes even Christians believe that God is distant or disinterested about the evil and suffering that exists in this world.
The Bible explains why it seems that God is not interested in the evil that takes place in the world. Simply put, it is because a perfect life in this world is not the goal! That would be impossible because of sin in this world. Romans 8:19 says, “The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” on the Last Day. A perfect life in this world is not the goal.
Then why doesn’t God just end the world right now? Peter explains, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God wants to bring many more to repentant faith!
Three points of providence
Though God has a higher goal for us than this world, he still does care for us while we are in the world. This is called God’s providence.
First, God preserves his creation. Preservation refers to God’s daily care and sustenance of creation. The psalmist recognized this when he wrote, “The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time” (Psalm 145:15).
Second, God concurs or cooperates with creation. God enables creation to function by establishing the “laws of nature.” The psalmist wrote, “He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills” (Psalm 147:8). The apostle Paul said, “In [Jesus] all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).
Finally, God governs, that is, he directs the affairs of creation to accomplish his will. Jeremiah wrote, “Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). And remember what God’s will is. He wants “all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
Jesus is proof God cares
In the Nicene Creed, we confess, “For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became fully human.” Why? God did that for me, for us and for our salvation!
Traditionally (and still today in some Christian churches), fittingly, there is a pause in the service at these words to give people time to kneel or bow their heads in awe of God’s action of becoming man for us. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). Never gloss over that profound statement! If I had ten sons, I would not give one of them up for anyone! But God did. Jesus suffered for our sins on the cross and rose from the dead.
God cares! Jesus invites us to come to him with our burdens and troubles. He wants us all to leave behind this imperfect world. He has opened the door to a perfect life in heaven.
Ask a question at forwardinchrist.net/submit.
Author: David Scharf
Volume 107, Number 09
Issue: September 2020
- Q&A: Why is Pontius Pilate immortalized in our creeds?
- Q&A: How does remembering my baptism help with the guilt I carry?
- Q&A: Do parts of the Bible teach works righteousness?
- Q&A: How can I overcome my struggle with lust and pornography?
- Q&A: How should I help my child struggling with same-sex attraction?
- Q&A: Should Christians pray to saints?
- Q&A: Is anger sinful?
- Q&A: How can parents encourage adult children who wander from the faith?
- Q&A: Does the doxology belong in the Lord’s Prayer?
- Q&A: Is God fair?
- Q&A: When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” what are we praying for?
- Q&A: How can I better manage what God has given me this year so that I glorify him?
- Q&A: What are ways to glorify God besides singing in church?
- Q&A: I have no special gifts, and I mess up all the time. Does God really need me?
- Q&A: How do I overcome the feeling that my life has no purpose and I don’t make a difference?
- Q&A: My friend died and was not a professing Christian. What do I say to the family?
- Q&A: How can my mother and I forgive my father for being unfaithful and causing my parents to divorce?
- Q&A: Why were demon possession, gifts of healing, and gifts of tongues more prevalent in biblical times?
- Q&A: Is Christianity the only religion that gives the certainty of heaven?
- Q&A: If people go to hell, isn’t it their fault because God gave them free will and they rejected him?
- Q&A: Why are the 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension important for the disciples and for us?
- Q&A: Can you explain Jesus’ words to the wailing women he met on his way to be crucified?
- Q&A: What if spouses don’t “love” each other anymore?
- Q&A: Is it wrong to have a cross with Jesus’ body on it?
- Q&A: Is our time of grace really unchangeable?
- Q&A: I know that we are saved by grace apart from works, but how can it be that easy?
- Q&A: Are there degrees of glory in heaven as a reward for good works?
- Q&A: Do Lutherans take the Bible literally and teach millennialism?
- Q&A: Are there different interpretations of the Bible?
- Q&A: How can we be sure the Bible includes what God originally gave us?
- Q&A: Why does it seem like Christianity is so negative?
- Q&A: How can I explain how Jesus’ resurrection is possible and if the Bible is reliable?
- Q&A: Is it okay to live together if we are planning to get married?
- Q&A: How is the Bible God’s Word?
- Q&A: Were we “created to make a difference”?
- Q&A: Am I being judgmental if I point out someone’s sin?
- Q&A: Do I need to read the Bible to have a relationship with God?
- Q&A: Can a Christian vote for a political candidate who supports abortion?
- Q&A: Does God really care?
- Q&A: Does it really matter how God made the world?
- Q&A: Does God send people to hell?
- Q&A: Is death natural?
- Q&A: How can I forgive and forget?
- Q&A: Does God help those who help themselves?
- Q&A: How can we say that the Old Testament God is the same as the New Testament God?
- Q&A: Is Jesus the only way to get to heaven?
- Q&A: Doesn’t God want me to be happy?
- Light for our path: Does God hate us?
- Light for our path: What kind of comfort can you give someone when a loved one commits suicide?
- Light for our path: What does a submissive wife in a Christian marriage look like?
- Light for our path: Is it a sin to want to die from a terminal illness?
- Light for our path: What advice can you give about applauding in church?
- Light for our path: Can you please explain Matthew 5:20?
- Light for our path: What is karma?
- Light for our path: Can the devil personally be tempting me and a lot of other people at exactly the same time?
- Light for our path: Does the word Easter refer to Ishtar, the Babylonian fertility goddess?
- Light for our path: What role does emotion play in contrition?
- Light for our path: What does the white stone in Revelation 2:17 mean?
- Light for our path: Is the cross symbol now anti-Christian?
- Light for our path: Were Joseph and Mary engaged or married when Joseph learned of Mary’s pregnancy?