Does God Care?
is a song we sing from time to time that expresses a very human concern. It is
number 466 in the book Hymns for Worship and is entitled Does Jesus
Care? Its lyrics were written in 1901 by a man named Frank Graeff. It has
four verses, although our hymnal only has three of them. Its verses each begin
with the question in the title of the song...
Does Jesus care
when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens
press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Does Jesus care
when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight
fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care
when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my
deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night
Does Jesus care
when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad
heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
We will notice later in our lesson,
although he poses these questions, Mr. Graeff believed in Jesus and ultimately
would express in the chorus a confidence that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh,
consideration of such things have seen such questions as a reason to even doubt
the very existence of God. Atheist Sam Harris, the author of The End of
Faith published in 2004 restated a claim made centuries ago by the Greek
philosopher Epicurus. Harris wrote, “Either God can do nothing to stop
catastrophes, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either
impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick and choose wisely.” Another person
put it, “I would rather believe in a God that doesn’t exist, than a God that
doesn't care” (Eric Wilson). Does God Care?
How Can You Know Someone’s Thoughts? To answer this we must as the
question in general—how to we know anyone’s thoughts and feelings? The views
expressed above rely on a belief that our observation of God’s actions (or lack
of action) demonstrate God’s mind. Is that necessarily true. We can know
someone’s thoughts by...
is often true—“I will show you my faith by my works” (Jas. 2:18).
not always—“All their works they do to be seen” (Matt. 23:5).
works are misunderstood—When Moses killed the Egyptian for oppressing his
brethren, the Holy Spirit says of his Israelite brethren, “They did not
understand” (Acts 7:25).
What husband and wife have not experienced times when a word or deed was
spoken or done from one motive and it was taken in a completely different
of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34)—“You will know
them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16).
not always—“Do not judge according to appearance” (John 7:24). Some results
might appear to come from one source, when in face they have another source.
Is it God’s fault when others wrong us? Is it God’s fault when disasters
do not understand the love and care that stand behind discipline—but that does
not mean that it doesn’t exist (Heb. 12:8-11).
(1 Cor. 2:9-13). Ultimately we can only truly know what lies in the heart and
mind of another by what they choose to communicate to us. “What man knows the
things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?” (11a).
one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (11b).
has revealed His mind to us through the gospel (9-10). I contend that we can
only truly know what lies in the heart and mind of God by considering what He
has revealed to us about Himself.
Does God Say About His Care?
His Word Says He Cares
humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due
time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6-7).
challenge of faith is to trust what He says about His care.
notice four ways God describes His care for us by relating it to things we can
God Cares As a Comforting Mother.
punished Israel, but He also promised to comfort His people (Isa. 66:13-14).
If We Have Not Known the Comfort of a Mother?
comparison appeals to proper maternal care.
comforting care is seen in the death of Jesus (Rom. 5:6-10).
God Cares as a Sympathetic Father.
“pities us” and “knows our frame” (Psa. 103:13-14)—i.e. He understands our
can be moved by our appeals like a father hears his children (Matt. 7:9-11).
if We Have Not Known a Father’s Care? Once again the comparison relies upon
proper paternal care.
do not Always Understand. Not all requests are granted by earthly fathers. That
doesn’t mean that the father does not love the child.
Parents know what children do not.
knows what we do not.
God Cares As a Seeking Shepherd.
seeks out His sheep because He cares for them (Ezek. 34:11-12).
is risk to others because He seeks those who are lost (Matt. 18:12-14).
is the “Good Shepherd”—He gives His life for His sheep (John 10:11-14).
God Cares As a Protective Hen.
wants to care for people but their own choices can hinder His care (Matt.
stretches out His hand to care for those who rebel against Him (Isa. 65:2-7).
These principles make a few things clear...
1. We may
not see His care because we rebel against Him. I don’t mean that God causes
hardship, but when we live as God commands it is living the way man was
designed to live. Some pains that come from going against God’s intended ways
are the natural result of this rebellion.
2. We may
not see His care because we fail to trust Him. Why is it that the Christian
can face the same trials experienced by the non-Christian and yet the same
trials that destroy the unbeliever do not crush the believer? Trust—the
believer trusts the promises of God through the trials.
Does God Care? Absolutely He cares—we must simply have the
faith to trust what He says about how He cares. Frank Graeff, in his song Does
Jesus Care? answers each series of questions posed in his song with the
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my
When the days are weary, the long
I know my Savior cares.