Olsen Park Church of Christ

Does God Care?

Introduction. There 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 long?

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, does care.

Others, in 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?

I. 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...

A.      Actions.

1.      This is often true—“I will show you my faith by my works” (Jas. 2:18).

2.      But not always—“All their works they do to be seen” (Matt. 23:5).

3.      Some 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).

a.       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 manner?

B.      Results.

1.      Sometimes—“out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34)—“You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16).

2.      But 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.

a.       Is it God’s fault when others wrong us? Is it God’s fault when disasters happen?

3.      Children 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).

C.      Communication (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).

1.      “No one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (11b).

2.      God 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.

a.       What Does God Say About His Care?

II. His Word Says He Cares

A.      “Therefore 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).

1.      The challenge of faith is to trust what He says about His care.

2.      Let’s notice four ways God describes His care for us by relating it to things we can understand...

III. God Cares As a Comforting Mother.

A.      God punished Israel, but He also promised to comfort His people (Isa. 66:13-14).

1.      What If We Have Not Known the Comfort of a Mother?

2.      This comparison appeals to proper maternal care.

B.      God’s comforting care is seen in the death of Jesus (Rom. 5:6-10).

IV. God Cares as a Sympathetic Father.

A.      He “pities us” and “knows our frame” (Psa. 103:13-14)—i.e. He understands our frailties.

B.      He can be moved by our appeals like a father hears his children (Matt. 7:9-11).

1.      What if We Have Not Known a Father’s Care? Once again the comparison relies upon proper paternal care.

2.      Children do not Always Understand. Not all requests are granted by earthly fathers. That doesn’t mean that the father does not love the child.

a.       Parents know what children do not.

b.      God knows what we do not.

V. God Cares As a Seeking Shepherd.

A.      He seeks out His sheep because He cares for them (Ezek. 34:11-12).

B.      There is risk to others because He seeks those who are lost (Matt. 18:12-14).

C.      Jesus is the “Good Shepherd”—He gives His life for His sheep (John 10:11-14).

VI. God Cares As a Protective Hen.

A.      God wants to care for people but their own choices can hinder His care (Matt. 23:37).

B.      God 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.

Conclusion. 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 chorus:

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,

His heart is touched with my grief;

When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,

I know my Savior cares.

Kyle Pope 2015
Modified from a lesson
by Scott Finley

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