God's Involvement in the Little Things

(Chelsea Casali) #1

Hi all! I had a question regarding God’s personal involvement in the things of our lives. I’ve read articles about how God cares about all the “little things,” but the Scripture given (i.e. Matthew 10:29-31 and Matthew 6) seem to be talking about God’s care for your life, food, and clothing (which seem like bigger things). What about issues like house problems or work problems? I’m hoping to find Scriptural evidence that God cares about those details. And then, where is the balance between God caring about our small problems and the prosperity gospel? Obviously, God isn’t a Genie in a Bottle who is going to fix everything we’re going through whenever we pray. I’m just trying to seek understanding about how to approach God for these things. Thanks so much!

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(SeanO) #2

@Chelsea_Casali Great question. For me, I think the easiest way to approach this question is to remember that God is our Father.

Matthew 7:11 - If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Luke 11:13 - If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

How would you want your kids to trust you? What would you want them to share with you? Everything of course! God cares about us because He loves - how could He not care about the details :slight_smile: So rather than trying to find a specific proof text - I think it is easiest to approach by remembering who God is and how much He loves us.

These verses also make it clear that the greatest gift God gives is His Spirit - to make us like Christ and to use us as Kingdom people in the world.

Jesus also made it clear that in this life we may suffer - not because God does not love us, but because the world is broken. So we should not be surprised when this life is hard, but we can know that Jesus is with us in the process.

John 16:33 - “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

While I personally do not think that God predestines everything, I still really appreciate Tim Keller’s sermons on finding peace and trusting God in a world where the future is uncertain from our perspective.

Hope that helps and may Jesus grant you understanding :slight_smile:

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(LaTricia) #3

I approach God about everything big and small. We’re told to cast our cares on Him, our cares can be anything. Size isn’t important, what’s important is that it’s important to us enough to care. And honestly, I have a deep level of wonderment that fills me whenever something happens that shows me that He sees and hears me.

I pray about things in the gym, things at work, things with my car, things at church, things driving on the road. I pray for other people’s cares, I simply bring a plethora of cares before the our Lord. I even remember the time that I was trying to learn how to line my lips and hadn’t even considered looking at YouTube videos because I was rushing to get to an event. I talked to God about it. And that was the best time I probably ever lined my lips lol.

I want to be seen by God, I want to know the depth of His care and concern for me. I can’t really experience that if I’m not free with the things that are on my mind and in my heart - the good, bad, ugly, trivial, big, and astronomic.

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(Suzanne Richardson) #4

Hi Chelsea,

In truth, I’m still seeking answers on many day to day things, but I believe there is Scripture that helps in answering this. Psalm 37:3,7,18-19 reassures me that He provides for us and cares deeply. For those who seek and rejoice in Him, even our “desires” and hopes are remembered. When Psalm 37 references “safe pasture” and an inheritance of land, I believe it’s also referring to housing in a way because that is what the land meant in one sense for His people - a place to live. Isaiah 32:18 specifically mentions homes too.

I’m not sure exactly how to answer on the prosperity gospel. However, my Mom has many times told me that our God is not one of poverty (Psalm 50). This being said, we are not all wealthy or called to wealth in this life. When I read Proverbs and other passages though, I believe that He wants the best for us as there is much instruction and wisdom laid out, even for day-to-day life. Also, one article that may be helpful (https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-work.html) listed verses and mentioned how work is a gift given by Him.

Concerning how to approach God for anything we need or even want, Psalm 37:7 tells us that we should be “still” and trusting. In whatever way we pray it should be with trust and faith that He will answer (James 1:6, James 5:13). Lastly, remembering to “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7) is something I often turn to. Whatever the worry or care, be it housing, work, a broken fence, so on, this comforts and reminds me to simply lay it down because He cares.

Please let me know if you come across more articles or verses as I am always interested in this as well. Hope this is somewhat helpful :slight_smile:

In love,
Suzanne

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(LaTricia) #5

I forgot that prosperity gospel was mentioned. The prosperity gospel isn’t a part of the gospel. @Chelsea_Casali if you could flesh out or explain what you mean by your use of the term that would be helpful, but as it stands how prosperity gospel is used, that isn’t biblical.

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(Chelsea Casali) #6

Thank you so much everyone for your responses. I’m reminded to focus on God’s character and His love in the midst of our daily anxieties. Thanks @SeanO for the reminder that God is a good Father so of course He wants to hear about our anxieties. Thank you for the encouraging Scripture @ZanneR! It is nice to look back and see God’s desire for our well-being, even in the Old Testament. It’s very encouraging to focus on 1 Peter 5:7, remembering that He cares about our anxieties.

@LJan thank you for your response! It’s always encouraging to hear stories of God answering when you bring “little things” to Him. As far as my comment about the prosperity gospel, I know that the health/wellness mindset is not Biblical. So my question is trying to understand how we can bring our daily concerns to God and expect His help and care for us when He doesn’t promise us health and wellness. Would love to hear thoughts on this! Thank you!

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(LaTricia) #7

Aaaaah, got it, I understand what you’re saying. As I understand it, it’s in the same vein as someone mentioned as God being the good Father, He cares for us and wants to hear all the things about us. It’s like building a deep and intimate relationship/friendship with a person. We talk to our friends, share details of our lives, the ups downs, the things that annoy us, we ask for things, we ask for prayers … However when it comes to God, we tend to shy away from doing this, which is unfortunate. We aren’t promised pristine health and worldly wealth, but we have a constant companion in the Holy Spirit, and we live in the ultimate safety of God’s sovereign hand.

It can be disheartening to think, “Well, God never promised I wouldn’t get sick, so I’m not going to pray for health and wellness,” that leads to quenching the effectiveness of the HS in our lives - we have not because we ask not, type thing. An example from my own life may help you better grasp what I’m saying. I pray for good health so that I can take care of my ma, who’s in a nursing home and she has dementia, as well as so that I can take care of her affairs. Now, I don’t really know what the outcome will be, but all of this matters to me, so I take it to the throne and pour out my heart at times. I also do practical things to support that desire (exercise, good eating, and so on). In my heart, I know that God is sovereign, and should He allow me to get ill or even call me home to be with Him, His hand is still on my ma. As hard as that is to be settled with - because I want to do all the things myself, that is the reality of it all. Above all, I expect what He has promised, His salvation, mercy, grace, and lovingkindness no matter the situation. And I also expect His peace and internal joy to eventually overtake me when I continue to seek Him. That keeps me hope-filled. Is this more helpful?

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(SeanO) #8

@Chelsea_Casali I agree with @LJan’s point - well stated!

The word that jumped out at me in your clarification was expect - what should we expect from God when we know He has not given us a guarantee / promise that we will not suffer on this earth. I think the perfect example of how to handle expectations is perfectly demonstrated by Daniel’s friends when they are face with being thrown into the fire. What do they do?

  • trust God cares for them and is able to deliver them
  • if God chooses otherwise in this situation, they lean into a deeper rooted trust in God

Daniel 3:16-18 - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

As New Testament believers, our ultimate expectation is in the New Creation - it is not in this life - and we wait for it eagerly! But I think we can also practice what Daniel’s friends did - based on passages like Matthew 5 - trust that God knows our needs and cares for us. But when things get tough - we lean into that deeper hope we have in the resurrection.

Romans 8:20-25 - You see, all of creation has collapsed into emptiness, not by its own choosing, but by God’s. Still He placed within it a deep and abiding hope 21 that creation would one day be liberated from its slavery to corruption and experience the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 For we know that all creation groans in unison with birthing pains up until now. 23 And there is more; it’s not just creation—all of us are groaning together too. Though we have already tasted the firstfruits of the Spirit, we are longing for the total redemption of our bodies that comes when our adoption as children of God is complete— 24 for we have been saved in this hope and for this future . But hope does not involve what we already have or see. For who goes around hoping for what he already has? 25 But if we wait expectantly for things we have never seen, then we hope with true perseverance and eager anticipation.

When I think about the times I’ve been in real pain or in real heartache, I did not understand why God allowed those to happen. It just hurt. And I still don’t know why in most of those cases. But there was one thing I could do - I could move my trust deeper still - sink my roots into the hope I have in Jesus and cry out in praise to God.

So what I would say in terms of expectations is:

  • expectantly seek God with every need and concern
  • expectantly seek the Lord for strength when things get hard
  • expectantly wait upon the day when all things are made new!

I think as we let our roots sink deeper into Jesus, it becomes natural to trust Him for all things and to trust that we have been given all things in Him.

Romans 8:31-39 - What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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The Power of Prayer?
(Chelsea Casali) #9

@LJan and @SeanO thank you for your responses to my last question! I shared them with my husband (he and I were both discussing this and had the same question) and he was very moved! @LJan I really like the comparison of an intimate relationship/friendship with another person and how we have a constant companion in the Holy Spirit. It was helpful to see how you live that out practically in your personal example. @SeanO I appreciate the example of Daniel’s friends and I love Romans 8:20-25, 31-39. My husband and I are learning to seek God in everything and trust that He will give us strength, mercy and peace no matter what the situation is. Even when we understand we need to have faith and trust, even if things are hard now, we have the hope of eternity. Thank you for your thoughtful responses, they were very helpful!

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(LaTricia) #10

Thank you @SeanO and @Chelsea_Casali.

I think that somehow, we do end up thinking some things are too trivial, or we like to assign a particular bias to God that He hasn’t expressed to us in His word. But I firmly believe that if we seek Him first and in all things, we more than likely won’t fall of course. :slight_smile:

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(SeanO) #11

@Chelsea_Casali Glad it was encouraging and so excited to hear how Jesus is working in your hearts and lives! Praying for you both :slight_smile:

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(John Hedger) #13

Thank you @SeanO for some new insight for me. I know God loves me and that Jesus is his son and that he died on the cross and rose again to pay the penalty for my sins so that I may spend eternity in heaven with him. That is the hope I have in this fallen world. And I can expect it to happen. He has promised it. But since he hasn’t promised nonstop health and wellness in this work, I can’t expect it, right? Like your comments below, I know God cares for me and is able to deliver me, but he may choose not to. And I know he will give me strength when I ask him for it because he promised he would. But I can’t really trust, undoubtedly, undeniably, without doubt or question that he will deliver me or my loved one from a sickness or injury after I pray for it. I can just have faith that he will give me grace and strength to get through it time and again until I’m finally off this earth and in his presence. Am I stating this correctly? That’s how I understand it as of now, but am willing for God to give me deeper understanding.
Thanks, John

  • trust God cares for them and is able to deliver them
  • if God chooses otherwise in this situation, they lean into a deeper rooted trust in God

expectantly seek God with every need and concern
expectantly seek the Lord for strength when things get hard
expectantly wait upon the day when all things are made new!

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(SeanO) #14

@hedgemo60 Hmmm - I think you have the facts right, but perhaps you are understating the grandeur of what we have in Jesus. Death is dead! God’s promises in Christ are not ‘Yes, but…’ - they are ‘Yes!’ True, we may suffer on this earth, but how small is that compared to the eternal glory prepared for us in Christ!

Romans 8:18 - I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.