(1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV)
Is there a thought more comforting than the one that tells you someone cares for you? What else in this world are we seeking? Money comes and goes. Success is fleeting. Happy circumstances arise but end too soon. In the human condition we’re often teetering on the verge of exuberant joy or collapsing failure – it just depends on the day, perhaps even the hour. What then is greater than to know someone cares for you? Does your child care for you? Of what worth is his presence? Does your wife care for you? Of what value is her love? Does God care for you? Of what value is his attendance?
God has little reason to care for us. First, we are prideful. So prideful, in fact, that our heart works to reject his love. We don’t want it. We deny its power. We seek things that affect our own pride first, and then, if there is room for the Lord, we may give him some of the honor. Secondly, we are ungrateful to the core. Even our tears of repentance are stained with sin. We cannot fully see the depth of ourselves. And praise God for it! For if we had but one moment’s view into the total depravity we find ourselves we would never recover. Finally, even after our conversion and after feeling the nearness of him, we go on sinning. We are not only prideful and ungrateful but at the same time evil. Only his goodness overshadows our evil. If left to ourselves, we’d perish and no blame could we place outside our own flesh. But he cares for us.
In what way does he care for us? As the apostle shows, he exalts us to a lofty position. In our state, we do not call for much honor. We do not deserve an ounce of glory even on our best of days. Yet our Lord exalts us to co-heir with his Son. We do nothing for it. We go nowhere to get it. We reach no level of achievement. We humble ourselves. We see him as the mighty God he is and put ourselves, by his power, in the very place we deserve to be – at the bloody cross, where sin is forgiven.
How else does he care for us? He takes upon himself the anxiety of our heart. We cast aside our fears, our worries, our doubts, our insecurities. We take them to the throne of God by the blood of Jesus and throw them at his feet. In return we are given the grace of God. We are comforted and encouraged. We are set free. Our problems do not disappear but we see them through new eyes. It is as if we are seeing for the first time. What was once only darkness on the road ahead, we now see full of light because we’ve been placed in the very light of God and his grace illumines our path. We may still have to endure the stormy sea, perhaps we must even suffer the ship wreck, but though it may be on the planks of the ship that we reach the shore, our Lord will take us there because he cares for us.
All of this is done because God is wonderful. He is merciful. He is glorious. He is gracious. He is abounding in steadfast love. He is longsuffering. He is kind. He is many more things that cannot even be described. And this God cares for you! What ails your soul? Cast it onto him because he – the Lord of heaven and earth – cares for you! Of all realities swirling about your head, know that there is a God who deeply cares for you.