Does God Really Care About You?
DO YOU feel loved? Or are you sometimes left with the impression that nobody cares about you? In this fast-paced, self-centered world, it may seem easy to believe that you are too small to matter, too insignificant to be noticed. True to the Bible’s description of our times, many today are so absorbed in themselves that there is a widespread lack of concern for others.—2 Timothy 3:1, 2.
Regardless of age, culture, language, or race, all humans have a deep-rooted need to love and be loved. According to some reports, our nervous system is specially designed to sense love and tenderness. Jehovah God, the one who created us, understands better than anyone else our need to be loved and appreciated. How would you feel if he assured you that you are precious to him? It would certainly be the most treasured recognition you could attain. Can we really be sure that Jehovah is interested in imperfect humans? Is he concerned about us as individuals? If so, what makes a person desirable to him?
Jehovah Does Care
Some 3,000 years ago, a God-fearing psalmist was filled with awe when he beheld the grandeur of the starry night sky. There was no doubt in his mind about the infinitely superior majesty of the One who had created the countless stars. Pondering Jehovah’s greatness and contemplating man’s littleness, the psalmist expressed his amazement about Jehovah’s loving concern: “When I see your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have prepared, what is mortal man that you keep him in mind, and the son of earthling man that you take care of him?” (Psalm 8:3, 4) It would be easy to conclude that the Supreme One is too far off or too preoccupied to take note of imperfect humans. Yet, the psalmist knew that in spite of our comparative insignificance and transience, man does count with God.
Another psalmist expressed this assurance: “Jehovah is finding pleasure in those fearing him, in those waiting for his loving-kindness.” (Psalm 147:11) The thought expressed in both of these psalms is touching. Jehovah, elevated as he is, is not simply aware of humans. Rather, he ‘takes care of them’ and ‘finds pleasure in them.’
This fact is further emphasized by a Bible prophecy that describes developments taking place in our time. Through the prophet Haggai, Jehovah indicated that the preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom would be carried out worldwide. With what result? Notice one of the effects: “The desirable things of all the nations must come in; and I will fill this house with glory.”—Haggai 2:7.
What are these “desirable things” that are collected out of all the nations? These can hardly be material riches. (Haggai 2:8) What really makes Jehovah’s heart rejoice is not silver and gold. He delights in people who, despite their imperfections, worship him out of love. (Proverbs 27:11) They are “the desirable things” that bring him glory, and he treasures their heart devotion and zealous service. Are you among them?
The thought that imperfect human creatures can appear desirable to the Grand Creator of the universe may seem unbelievable. In reality, though, this truth should motivate us to accept the warm invitation to draw close to him.—Isaiah 55:6; James 4:8.
“You Are Someone Very Desirable”
In his advanced age, the prophet Daniel had a striking encounter early one evening. While Daniel was praying, a distinguished visitor arrived suddenly. His name was Gabriel. Daniel had met him before and recognized him as Jehovah’s angel. Gabriel explained the reason for his sudden appearance: “O Daniel, now I have come forth to make you have insight with understanding . . . because you are someone very desirable.”—Daniel 9:21-23.
On another occasion, one of Jehovah’s angels addressed Daniel, saying: “O Daniel, you very desirable man.” Then, to strengthen Daniel, the angel said: “Do not be afraid, O very desirable man. May you have peace.” (Daniel 10:11, 19) Three times Daniel is thus described as “very desirable.” This expression can also mean “greatly beloved,” “highly esteemed,” even “a favorite.”
Surely, Daniel already felt close to his God and no doubt perceived that Jehovah approved of his devoted service. But that expression of God’s great affection as conveyed through his angelic messengers must have been most reassuring. Not surprisingly, Daniel responded: “You have strengthened me.”—Daniel 10:19.
The heartwarming account of Jehovah’s tender feelings for his faithful prophet is recorded in God’s Word for our benefit. (Romans 15:4) Reflecting on Daniel’s example allows us to understand what makes a person desirable to our loving heavenly Father.
Study God’s Word Regularly
Daniel was a diligent student of the Scriptures. We know this because he himself wrote: “I . . . discerned by the books the number of the years . . . for fulfilling the devastations of Jerusalem.” (Daniel 9:2) The books available to him at the time likely included the inspired writings of Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and other prophets. We can imagine Daniel surrounded by numerous scrolls, thoroughly immersed in reading and comparing the prophetic pronouncements that had a bearing on the restoration of true worship in Jerusalem. Undisturbed, possibly in his roof chamber, he no doubt meditated deeply on the meaning of such passages. His purposeful study strengthened his faith and drew him close to Jehovah.
Studying God’s Word also molded Daniel’s personality and affected his whole life course. Scriptural instruction during his tender years no doubt made him determined as a youth to observe the dietary regulations of God’s Law that were applicable at the time. (Daniel 1:8) Later, he fearlessly declared God’s message to Babylon’s rulers. (Proverbs 29:25; Daniel 4:19-25; 5:22-28) His diligence, honesty, and trustworthiness were well-known. (Daniel 6:4) Above all, rather than compromising in order to save his own life, Daniel fully trusted in Jehovah. (Proverbs 3:5, 6; Daniel 6:23) No wonder he was “very desirable” in God’s sight!
In some respects, Bible study is easier for us today than it was for Daniel. Bulky scrolls have given way to convenient books. We now have the complete Bible, including the written record of how some of Daniel’s prophecies were fulfilled. And we have at our disposal an abundance of Bible study aids and research tools.* Do you make good use of such tools? Do you schedule regular times for Bible reading and meditation? Then the effect of your doing so will be the same as it was in Daniel’s case. You will be able to build solid faith and deepen your relationship with Jehovah. God’s Word will be a sure guide for your life, giving you the assurance of his loving care.
Persevere in Prayer
Daniel was a man of prayer. He made appropriate requests of God. As a young man, he faced the threat of execution if unable to interpret Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Without hesitation, Daniel implored Jehovah to grant him support and protection. (Daniel 2:17, 18) Years later, in humble realization of his human imperfection, the faithful prophet confessed his sin together with the sin of his people and begged Jehovah for forgiveness. (Daniel 9:3-6, 20) When he lacked understanding regarding the things that were given him by inspiration, Daniel asked for God’s help. In one instance, the angel who subsequently visited Daniel to give him further insight confirmed: “Your words have been heard.”—Daniel 10:12.
Faithful Daniel, though, did more than offer petitions to God. Daniel 6:10 states: “Even three times in a day he was . . . praying and offering praise before his God, as he had been regularly doing.” Daniel found many reasons to thank and praise Jehovah. And he did so regularly. Yes, prayer was an integral part of his worship, so much so that he could not give it up even at the risk of his life. Certainly, this steadfastness endeared him to Jehovah.
What a wonderful gift the privilege of prayer is! Never let a day go by without talking to your heavenly Father. Remember to thank and praise him for all the goodness he shows. Freely express your anxieties and concerns. Reflect on how your requests or supplications have been answered, and express your gratitude. Take time to linger in prayer. When we thus open our heart to Jehovah in prayer, we experience his love in a very personal way. What an incentive to “persevere in prayer”!—Romans 12:12.
Glorify Jehovah’s Name
No friendship can thrive if one party is self-centered. The same is true in our relationship with Jehovah. Daniel was aware of this fact. Consider how greatly he was concerned about glorifying Jehovah’s name.
When God answered his prayer by revealing to him Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation, Daniel said: “Let the name of God become blessed from time indefinite even to time indefinite, for wisdom and mightiness—for they belong to him.” Later, when making known to Nebuchadnezzar the dream and its meaning, Daniel repeatedly gave credit to Jehovah, emphasizing that only He is the “Revealer of secrets.” Similarly, when pleading for forgiveness and deliverance, Daniel prayed: “O my God, . . . your own name has been called upon your city and upon your people.”—Daniel 2:20, 28; 9:19.
We have many opportunities to imitate Daniel in this regard. When praying, we may express our concern that God’s “name be sanctified.” (Matthew 6:9, 10) Never would we want our conduct to bring reproach on Jehovah’s holy name. Instead, may we always glorify Jehovah by sharing with others what we learn about the good news of his Kingdom.
Granted, in the world around us, love and concern for others are wanting. We can, however, find great comfort in knowing that Jehovah really does care about his worshippers as individuals. As the psalmist says: “Jehovah is taking pleasure in his people. He beautifies the meek ones with salvation.”—Psalm 149:4.
Jehovah’s Witnesses publish a number of research and study aids that can help to make Bible reading and study more beneficial. If you are interested in obtaining such aids, feel free to ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
[Blurb on page 21]
God expressed his affection for Daniel by sending the angel Gabriel to strengthen him
[Blurb on page 23]
Daniel’s diligence in study and prayer refined his personality and endeared him to God