God Cares About You
MARY, a Christian woman in her late 40’s, has suffered much in her life. Her husband’s adultery led to divorce more than a decade ago. Thereafter, Mary struggled to fulfill her role as a single parent to her four children. But she is still alone, and at times the loneliness seems unbearable. Mary wonders, ‘Does this mean that God doesn’t care about me or my fatherless children?’
Whether you have experienced a similar adversity or not, surely you can sympathize with Mary’s feelings. All of us have endured trying circumstances, and we may have wondered just when and how Jehovah would act in our behalf. Some of these experiences are a direct result of our adherence to God’s laws. (Matthew 10:16-18; Acts 5:29) Others are the consequence of our being imperfect humans living in a world ruled by Satan. (1 John 5:19) The apostle Paul wrote: “All creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain.”—Romans 8:22.
However, the fact that you face a severe trial does not mean that Jehovah has abandoned you or is not interested in your welfare. How can you be sure of this? What shows that God cares about you?
An Ancient Example
The Bible provides clear evidence of Jehovah’s care for people as individuals. Consider David. Jehovah had a personal interest in this young shepherd, finding him to be “a man agreeable to his heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14) Later, when David ruled as king, Jehovah promised him: “I shall prove to be with you wherever you do go.”—2 Samuel 7:9.
Does this mean that David led a “charmed” life, free from any hardship? No, David faced severe trials both before and during his reign. For several years before becoming king, he was pursued relentlessly by murderous King Saul. During this period of his life, David wrote: “My soul is in the middle of lions . . . even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows.”—Psalm 57:4.
Still, throughout this adversity David was convinced of Jehovah’s personal care. “My being a fugitive you yourself have reported,” he declared in a prayer to Jehovah. Yes, to David it was as if Jehovah had documented the entire ordeal. Then David added: “Do put my tears in your skin bottle. Are they not in your book?”* (Psalm 56:8) With this analogy, David expressed confidence that Jehovah was aware of not only the situation but also its emotional impact.
Toward the end of his life, David could write from personal experience: “By Jehovah the very steps of an able-bodied man have been made ready, and in his way He takes delight. Although he may fall, he will not be hurled down, for Jehovah is supporting his hand.” (Psalm 37:23, 24) You too can be confident that even if your trials are persistent and ongoing, Jehovah notices and values your endurance. Paul wrote: “God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name, in that you have ministered to the holy ones and continue ministering.”—Hebrews 6:10.
Furthermore, Jehovah can act in your behalf by giving you the strength to endure whatever obstacle is placed in your path. “Many are the calamities of the righteous one,” wrote David, “but out of them all Jehovah delivers him.” (Psalm 34:19) Indeed, the Bible tells us that the eyes of Jehovah “are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.”—2 Chronicles 16:9.
Jehovah Has Drawn You
Additional evidence of Jehovah’s personal care can be found in the words of Jesus. “No man can come to me,” he said, “unless the Father, who sent me, draws him.” (John 6:44) Yes, Jehovah helps people individually to take advantage of the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice. How? To a large extent, it is through the Kingdom preaching work. True, this work serves as “a witness to all the nations,” yet it reaches people on an individual basis. The fact that you are listening and responding to the message of the good news is evidence of Jehovah’s personal concern for you.—Matthew 24:14.
By means of holy spirit, Jehovah draws individuals toward his Son and the hope of eternal life. This enables each one to grasp and apply spiritual truths despite any inherent limitations and imperfections. Really, one cannot understand the purposes of God without the help of God’s spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:11, 12) As Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “faith is not a possession of all people.” (2 Thessalonians 3:2) Jehovah supplies his spirit only to those who display a willingness to be drawn by him.
Jehovah draws people because he loves them as individuals and wants them to attain to salvation. What firm evidence of Jehovah’s personal care! Jesus said: “It is not a desirable thing with my Father who is in heaven for one of these little ones to perish.” (Matthew 18:14) Yes, in God’s eyes every person is important as a distinct individual. That is why Paul could write: “He will render to each one according to his works.” (Romans 2:6) And the apostle Peter said: “God is not partial, but in every nation the man [the individual person] that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”—Acts 10:34, 35.
The Miracles of Jesus
God’s personal interest in humans was poignantly demonstrated in the miracles performed by his Son, Jesus. These healings were accompanied by deep feeling. (Mark 1:40, 41) Since Jesus “cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing,” his compassion paints a touching portrait of Jehovah’s concern for each one of his servants.—John 5:19.
Consider the account of a miracle Jesus performed, recorded at Mark 7:31-37. Here Jesus healed a man who was deaf and who suffered from a speech impediment. He “took [the man] away from the crowd privately,” the Bible relates. Then, “with a look up into heaven he sighed deeply and said to him: ‘Ephʹpha·tha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’”
Why did Jesus take this man away from the crowd? Well, it is likely that a deaf person who is hardly able to speak would feel self-conscious in front of spectators. Jesus may have noted this man’s discomfort, and that was why he chose to heal him in privacy. “The whole story,” observes one Bible scholar, “shows us most vividly that Jesus did not consider the man merely a case; he considered him as an individual. The man had a special need and a special problem, and with the most tender considerateness Jesus dealt with him in a way that spared his feelings and in a way that he could understand.”
This account shows that Jesus had a personal concern for people. You can be sure that he is just as interested in you. True, his sacrificial death was an expression of love for the whole world of redeemable mankind. Yet, you can take that act personally, as did Paul, who wrote: “The Son of God . . . loved me and handed himself over for me.” (Galatians 2:20) And since Jesus noted that ‘he that had seen him had seen the Father also,’ we can be certain that Jehovah has the same interest in each of his servants.—John 14:9.
Jehovah Becomes a Rewarder
Taking in knowledge of God involves coming to know each facet of his personality as it is revealed in the Bible. The very name Jehovah means “He Causes to Become,” implying that Jehovah can become whatever he chooses in order to carry out his will. Throughout history, he has taken on various roles, including those of Creator, Father, Sovereign Lord, Shepherd, Jehovah of armies, Hearer of prayer, Judge, Grand Instructor, and Repurchaser.*
To appreciate the full meaning of God’s name, we must also come to know Jehovah in the role of Rewarder. Paul wrote: “Without faith it is impossible to please him well, for he that approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”—Hebrews 11:6.
Jehovah has promised everlasting life on a paradise earth to those today who choose to serve him wholeheartedly. It is not selfish to look forward to the fulfillment of that grand promise, nor is it presumptuous to imagine oneself living there. Moses “looked intently toward the payment of the reward.” (Hebrews 11:26) Paul likewise keenly anticipated the fulfillment of God’s promise for faithful anointed Christians. He wrote: “I am pursuing down toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 3:14.
You too may look forward to the reward that Jehovah promises to those who endure. Anticipating that reward is an integral part of your knowledge of God and your endurance in his service. So meditate daily on the blessings that Jehovah has in store for you. Mary, mentioned at the outset, has made a special effort to do this. “For the first time in my life,” she says, “I recently accepted that Jesus’ ransom sacrifice applies to me. I am beginning to feel that Jehovah cares for me as a person. I have been a Christian for more than 20 years, but only recently did I really begin to believe this.”
Through study and heartfelt meditation on the Bible, Mary, along with millions of others, is coming to learn that Jehovah cares about his people not only as a group but also as individuals. The apostle Peter was so convinced of this that he wrote: “Throw all your anxiety upon [God], because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Yes, God cares about you!
A skin bottle was an animal-hide container used to hold such things as water, oil, milk, wine, butter, and cheese. Ancient bottles varied greatly in size and shape, some of them being leather bags and others narrow-necked containers with stoppers.
See Judges 11:27; Psalm 23:1; 65:2; 73:28; 89:26; Isaiah 8:13; 30:20; 40:28; 41:14; see also New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures—With References, Appendix 1J, page 1568, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.
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The Resurrection—Proof That God Cares
CONVINCING proof of God’s interest in each individual is found in the Bible at John 5:28, 29: “The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus’] voice and come out.”
Interestingly, the Greek word mne·meiʹon (memorial tomb) is here used instead of taʹphos (grave). The word taʹphos simply conveys the thought of a burial. But mne·meiʹon suggests that the record of the person who has died is remembered.
In this regard, just think about what the resurrection will require of Jehovah God. To bring someone back to life, he has to know everything about that one—including his or her inherited traits and complete memory. Only then could that individual be restored with the same identity.
Of course, this is impossible from a human standpoint, but “all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27) He can even ascertain what is in the heart of a person. Even if a person has been dead for many centuries, God’s memory of him is unfailing; it does not fade. (Job 14:13-15) Thus, when mentioning Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Jesus could say even centuries after they died that Jehovah “is a God, not of the dead, but of the living, for they are all living to him.”—Luke 20:38.
Thus, billions who have died are in Jehovah God’s memory in full detail. What stunning proof that God cares about humans on an individual basis!
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Jesus took a personal interest in those whom he healed