He Loves and Cares

“Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” —Isaiah 40:28-31

THE APOSTLE PETER wrote, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (I Pet. 5:7) How reassuring are the many texts of Scripture which affirm the fact that our loving Heavenly Father, the Creator of heaven and earth, is abundantly able to care for his people. He is all-powerful, and is never weary. He watches over us, and his ear is ever open to our cries for help in time of need. He will not withhold any good thing from those who love him sincerely, and who have devoted themselves wholly to his service.—Ps. 84:11

Man was created in the image of God, but we do not understand this to refer to a bodily image. However, in order that we may grasp to some extent the unlimited capabilities of the Creator, the Scriptures refer to his various senses of sight, hearing, smelling, etc. By this use of language we are able to understand that our Heavenly Father enters into our feelings, and is sympathetic to all our needs, and will, through his unlimited agencies, care for us. The psalmist inquired: “He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see?”—Ps. 94:9

He does indeed ‘see’ and ‘hear’ his people. In Psalm 34:15 we read: “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” And again, “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”—Ps. 34:17-19

In the 7th verse of this psalm we are informed that “the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” This is an indication of one of the means the Lord uses in the care of his people. Jesus spoke of these angels, and said that they “do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 18:10) Thus they have an accurate knowledge of the Heavenly Father’s will for each of his people, and can shape the divine providences in their lives in exactly the right manner for the accomplishment of his will.

This, however, calls for a right attitude of heart and mind on our part. The Lord’s delivering power is exercised only on behalf of those who are of a “contrite spirit,” and of a “broken heart.” The proud of heart, and those who resist his providences in their lives, have no assurance that the Lord’s ear is always open to their cry. Nor should we expect that his power exercised on our behalf will necessarily deliver us from all of our trials and difficulties. The Lord in his wisdom may see that certain hardships—mental, physical, or both—are among the experiences we need in order that we might be more fully developed as New Creatures in Christ Jesus. But while he may not deliver us from these trials, we are assured that he will provide strength to bear them.

On the other hand, the Lord’s faithful people are assured of ultimate deliverance from all their afflictions—the deliverance which will be theirs in the first resurrection. It is important, therefore, that in noting the Lord’s providences in our lives we maintain this regard for the ultimate, which is the Lord’s viewpoint. He is not working in us merely for the accomplishment of what might be his good pleasure for today or for tomorrow. More particularly he is preparing us for the glory of the future, when, if faithful, we will have the privilege of living and reigning with Christ.

The Apostle Paul presented the proper viewpoint in this connection when he wrote that our “light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (II Cor. 4:17) If we are of a contrite spirit, and fully submissive to the manner in which the Lord is working in us, then we also will realize that whatever our trials may be, they are in reality to be considered as “light afflictions” in comparison with the eternal “weight” of glory which they are helping to work out in us. And the Lord knows just how to shape our schooling to accomplish his purpose in our lives as New Creatures.

In Psalm 101:6 we read, “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.” Here, again, we are reminded that it is only those who faithfully serve the Lord who are the objects of his special watchcare. These, the Lord declares, “may dwell with me.” How precious is the thought that if we are endeavoring with all our might to know and to do the Lord’s will, it means that we are to dwell with him in the secret of his presence. And this, after all, is where we should always delight to be. The psalmist spoke of dwelling in “the secret place of the Most High,” and of abiding “under the shadow of the Almighty.”—Ps. 91:1

God’s Foreknowledge

God’s love for his people and his watchcare over them can be seen in a more wonderful light when we take into consideration the exercise of his foreknowledge. In Psalm 139:16 we read, “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” In this psalm David declared that he was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (vs. 14) It is quite possible that David is representative here of Jesus, the Head of his church, which is his body, and that the ‘members’ known in advance, even before they ‘were fashioned’, are the members of the body of Christ.

In any case, whether the reference be to the natural body, or to Christ and his body members, the lesson is the same in that it reveals the infinite wisdom of the Creator. He is always able to know in advance the outcome of the mighty works which he sets out to accomplish. Nor does this in any way destroy our free moral agency. Our finite minds could not determine what another would do tomorrow unless we controlled his actions, and compelled him to take a certain course. But God is able to know what we will do without controlling our actions. This is because his ‘eye’ is able to discern that which goes quite beyond our comprehension. The best we can do is to understand the meaning of what is taking place in our lives today, and the experiences through which we passed yesterday, and even here our understanding is quite limited. However, many of the Lord’s people can look back in their lives and note the wonderful way in which the Lord was overruling their daily lives, frequently even before they knew him. And this is still more true of his wonderful providences since we dedicated ourselves to the doing of his will.

How wonderful it is to realize that the Lord’s wisdom was shaping our affairs, even in our being drawn to him, when as yet we possibly had no definite knowledge of him, or of his plans and purposes for us or for the world. Yes, we can trace his over rulings which brought us in contact with the Word of truth, and with Jesus, and with the brethren. And after we made a full consecration of ourselves to do his will, his providences in our lives have been still more outstanding. To realize this is to strengthen our faith, for we should find it easy to believe that he who led and blessed us in the past will continue to do so, and that the darkness which may surround us today will, in his due time, be dispelled, and once again the sweet smile of his presence will be revealed.

Proverbs 15:3 reads: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” This is most comforting, for it assures us that no matter where we are, or what our circumstances might be, the Lord ‘sees’ both the good and the evil. That is, he knows the circumstances which are favorable to us as New Creatures, and sees the evil influences which are arrayed against us. This means that God is always aware of the difficulties which confront us, and of any efforts which might be made by the Adversary to hinder our progress in the narrow way. We have been assured over and over again in his Word that God will use his power to prevent any evil befalling us as New Creatures.

David’s Experience with God’s Foreknowledge

In moments when our faith might not be as strong as it should be, we might temporarily wonder if the Lord really knows about the complexities of our trials, and is actually caring for us in each situation. But we have the assurance of his Word that he ‘sees’ in every place, and understands every situation, and is abundantly able to care for us regardless of what the circumstances may be. How wonderful this is! We know, too, that he will care for us if we continue faithfully to walk in the narrow way, and put our trust fully in him. David, the man after God’s own heart, was assured that Jehovah was with him in every event of his life. He wrote:

“O Lord, thou has searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell [the grave], behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”—Ps. 139:1-12

David beautifully emphasizes the fact of God’s love and care for us, regardless of what situation or place in which we might find ourselves. No matter where we may be—even if we fear that our mistakes may have taken us away from our Heavenly Father and his care—we can still be assured that he leads us, and that he upholds us, when we ask for forgiveness and guidance. If conditions seem dark around us, and we are uncertain of the direction in which we should go, we can be assured that the darkness is as the light to our Heavenly Father. He is never confused by the situations in our lives which seem so complex to us, and which may baffle and perplex us.

We know that our God knows and understands our every need. He is sympathetic to our every ache and pain—whether they be heartaches or bodily pains. We may not be able to ‘see’ his hand immediately in every changing circumstance of life, but by faith we can know that his providences are directing us, his mighty power is sustaining us, and he will not permit us to be tested above that which we are able to bear; and if our burdens become too great he will provide a way of escape.—I Cor. 10:13

Job’s Experience

In the account concerning Job we have a wonderful example of faith in God’s love and care. Job did not understand why the Lord had permitted such severe experiences to come to him. Everything in his life which he treasured, and which he had accepted as having been given to him by the Jehovah, was removed—even his health. Job did not understand this, but he continued to believe that the Lord knew all about it, and would overrule his experiences for his good. While passing through these deep shades of sorrow, Job explained his search for God, saying: “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: on the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: but he knoweth the way that I take: when he bath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”—Job 23:8-10

This is a wonderfully true description of experiences which God permits to come to all those who are faithful to him. The purpose they serve is to test our fidelity to the Lord, and our faith in the fact that he knows exactly what is best for us as New Creatures. How we have all searched for our Heavenly Father in trials which have come upon us! Job says that he looked in every direction, symbolically describing his attempts to understand the meaning of the calamities which had come upon him, and why his God, whom he trusted and had served faithfully, had permitted them.

At the time Job was encountering his severely difficult experiences, he failed to comprehend their meaning. He did not ‘find’ God. But Job’s anchor of faith held secure. He remained assured that while he could not see God in his experiences, the Lord could see him, and his conclusion was, “He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” He knew that God was testing him and understood all about his trouble, and that if he maintained his faith and his integrity he would pass the test, and come forth as gold.

Job trusted the Lord even though he could not understand why his providences had so harshly frowned upon him. Job’s faith enabled him to be convinced that God’s love and care were being manifested in his life, even though his own reasoning on the matter would lead him to believe otherwise. The Apostle Peter described a situation like this as “the trial of your faith,” which, he explained, is “much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire.”—I Pet. 1:7

The reason we can trust in the Lord, and know that he is caring for us, regardless of circumstances which might indicate otherwise, is our faith in his ability to see beyond the immediate present, and therefore to shape our experiences in a manner to accomplish the ultimate purpose he has in mind for us in his great plan of the ages. And when we remember that God’s design for us is that we might attain “glory and honor and immortality” (Rom. 2:7) and a place of joint heirship with Christ in his kingdom, we will realize that the trials of the present are not worthy to be compared with the glories of the future; and since the Lord is using them to test our fidelity to him, and to work out in us the peaceable fruits of righteousness, we will rejoice in his love and wisdom which permits them, and continue to believe that he is caring for us in every vicissitude of life.

The psalmist wrote: “The eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” (Ps. 33:18,19) There is little or nothing in this present evil world that is favorable to the sustenance and growth of God’s people as New Creatures in Christ Jesus (Gal. 1:4) We could well say, as New Creatures in Christ Jesus, that we are surrounded with famine conditions which, apart from the Lord’s love and care, would lead to our death.

Our Experience with God’s Foreknowledge and Care

Our loving Heavenly Father watches over our every interest and makes every provision to deliver us from the death from which there would be no awakening. He provides “meat in due season” in his Word. (Matt. 24:45) He provides the fellowship and comfort of his people. He provides just such experiences as will best serve to accomplish his divine purpose. He can turn unfavorable circumstances into assets for the New Creature if we but put our trust in him, and continue to allow him to work in us to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The fact that we feel weak and inadequate for the tasks before us merely gives our Heavenly Father an opportunity to use his mighty power on our behalf. As our text declares, “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” When Paul prayed for the removal of his “thorn in the flesh,” and his request was not granted, he accepted Jehovah’s will in the matter, explaining that the Lord said unto him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” To this Paul added, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”—II Cor. 12:7-9

It is indicated by our theme text that even those who by nature are usually strong, sometimes become faint and weary, and that even young men ‘shall utterly fall’. Thus is emphasized that even those who might be inclined to think they are strong are not really so when it comes to walking in the narrow way, for actually none are able to maintain their faithfulness to the Lord and their zeal for his cause, without divine help. There are too many opposing forces arrayed against the children of God for any of them to suppose that they can win in the struggle except as they wait upon the Lord, looking to him at all times for grace to help.

How blessed the assurance that “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”; that “they shall mount up with wings as eagles”; that “they shall run, and not be weary”; that “they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31) How blessed, indeed, is the privilege of waiting on the Lord, of knowing that in his own way and time he will provide strength; knowing he does love and care in all the circumstances of life. Sometimes, indeed, the cares which seem difficult for us may, and usually are, evidences of his love, for he knows our needs better than we do. He will see to it that when the need is for bitterness, that need will be supplied. He also supplies the sweetness that so fills our hearts and lives with joy.

The Apostle Paul admonished us to consider Jesus, who endured such “contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Heb. 12:3) We know that our Heavenly Father loved his Son, Jesus. We know that Jesus never displeased his Father—yet he did suffer. He was allowed to die on Calvary’s cross. The Father did not deliver him from these ordeals, but did give him strength to bear them. And we are to think of him, and remember his prayer in which he affirmed that the Father loves us even as he loved him. (John 17:23-26) Let us rejoice in the richness of the Father’s love, and not faint when his love permits trials which are difficult for the flesh to bear, for he knows just what is best for us.

“O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Jesus said to Peter when he became fearful of the storm which was swirling about them. And how quickly that storm was calmed when the due time came. (Matt. 14:22,33) So with the storms in our lives. They cannot harm us, but should only help to increase our faith as we note the Lord’s power in bringing us through these tempests of the soul. And may our faith continue to increase in our Father’s love and care, enabling us to trust him fully until he brings us all the way into that desired haven of perfect rest and peace beyond the veil.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |