Are there times when you feel that God doesn’t really care about you? Do you sometimes feel that He’s like a taskmaster who is only concerned with the things you need to accomplish? Does He ever feel like a distant, impersonal force and no matter how hard you try connecting with Him, He still seems so far away?
You certainly aren’t alone in how you feel. At some point in our relationship with Christ, many of us may feel alone or begin to doubt that God is a loving God. This is especially so when we are persecuted or when disease or disaster strikes. But here’s what we need to know: God’s attitude toward us is love, and that doesn’t change.
The Bible explicitly tells us that God loves and cares about us deeply. And even if our emotional connection with Him isn’t always there, God is still near.
One of the most reassuring verses in Scripture that perfectly captures this truth of God’s heart toward us is found in Zephaniah, which states: “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zeph 3:17)
No sooner had Zephaniah laid open the abounding wickedness of Judah than he pointed forward to brighter scenes — to the returning suppliants, under the power of the Spirit, ashamed of their doings, to the remnant of Israel, which shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies. The text is consolatory.
Consider what Christ has already done for His people. They are His by choice, by purchase, by a new creation, by covenant. And we have the whole past experience of the Christian Church to prove the truth of the text.
As an encouragement in the midst of persecution, Jesus told his disciples of his Father’s care in Matthew 10: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matt. 10:27-31).
So insignificant were these little birds that if you bought four sparrows the seller would throw in one more for free (Luke 12:4-7). It was this extra sparrow of which Jesus said, “and not one of them is forgotten before God.” His care for His creation is so great that even this extra sparrow is noted and observed by God!
The point our Lord was making is this: if God is concerned about the tiny sparrow and notes its fate, how much greater must His concern be for man, who is immeasurably greater in value than the sparrow!
David was impressed by God’s care for us: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen — even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (Psal 8:3-9).
So how do we break out of our spiritual dryness or lack of zeal and begin to feel God’s love once again? God’s promise is that if we draw near to Him then He will draw near to us (James 4:8). But how can we draw near to Him?
James gives us the formula for drawing near to God (James 4:8-10). If we’ve committed sin, confess it, get rid of it, and put it under the blood of Jesus. Next, ask the Lord to examine our hearts, our motives, and the things that make us do what we do. Bring our hearts under His lordship as well. May our actions be manifestations of a clean heart and conscience.
Notice that when he writes about this he says, “Purify your hearts, double-minded people.” What does he mean by “double-minded”? A person who is double-minded is drawn in two completely different directions. Thus, he will get nowhere fast because his loyalty is divided and he vacillates between faith and unbelief. A double-minded person is unstable in all his ways and his spiritual walk is inconsistent because he tries to serve God and his own interests at the same time. We’ve all learned that this kind of living never works. You cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13; Matt 6:24).
To really know Jesus personally and to understand His nature, His character, and His ways will require us to draw near to Him. We draw near by listening to His Word, following the leading of His Holy Spirit, responding positively to His dealings with us when it comes to spiritual matters, as well as carrying on the cause of His great gospel. If we want to know the power of His resurrection, then we must experience the renewal of our lives by being born again (John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:23), and be set free from the bondage of sin (Rom 6:22). We must yield to the power of the Holy Spirit in order that we might be effective witnesses for Christ Jesus. As a result, we will have a physical resurrection, when our mortal bodies will put on immortality (1 Cor 15:54) and we will live with the Lord forever and ever (Psal 23:6).
Let us praise God with the song “God Is Good All The Time”: