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.
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Author: David Scharf
Volume 107, Number 09
Issue: September 2020
- Q&A: Are there different interpretations of the Bible? - 2021/07/27
- Bible study: Interpretation practice - 2021/07/27
- Q&A: How can we be sure the Bible includes what God originally gave us? - 2021/06/29