Because He Cares For You

 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). These were the first words recorded by Matthew in Jesus’ most famous sermon. Who are the “poor in spirit?” These are people who have come to the realization that their self-sufficiency is not enough to carry on, those who realize that they must depend on God to be alive and thrive. The COVID-19 pandemic has backed all of us into an unforeseen corner. Everyone reading this has lost something because of the coronavirus. For some, it may be your health or the life of a loved one. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience or milestone you were looking forward to celebrating. Many have lost their jobs and sources of income. Perhaps, it is the comforting presence of friends and family that has been taken from you. You may have realized that after these things were taken away, you experienced an addition of dealings with grief, discomfort, anxiety, and weakness, creating a quarantine paradox of sorts. Life’s frustrations bring insurmountable weights that are impossible to carry alone. There is a truth, simple and straightforward, that should cause everlasting joy to spring up within each believer in Christ. It is a truth that can be a rock to those needing something solid to stand upon, and it will never change. This divine truth is that God cares for you, and he would love to carry your burden today. In 1 Peter 5:7, the apostle comforts an anxious audience with that simple truth. Dwell on that for a moment. The Lord of all creation does not leave the mortal world to its chaotic end, but he is sovereignly involved in caring for his creation.

The late seventeenth century saw the rise of Deism, a religious philosophy that had taken root in many societal strongholds. This god is impersonal and indifferent when it comes to the welfare of humanity, but the God of Scripture wants to carry our burdens because he cares for us. The Lord is not a God who cares for us from afar; he is not socially distancing himself from his people. Jesus comes near to bless the poor in spirit, those who recognize their own insufficiency. He is strong enough to carry every temporal weight, but first takes upon himself the weight of our sin debt. The great Puritan minister, John Bunyan wrote about this in The Pilgrim’s Progress, a story that allegorically illustrates the Christian life. The protagonist, named Christian, upon feeling the weight of sin roll off his shoulders at the sight of the cross, sang this song:

Thus far did I come laden with my sin,

Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,

Till I came hither. What a place is this!

Must here be the beginning of my bliss?

Must here the burden fall from off my back?

Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?

Blest cross! Blest sepulchre! Blessed rather be

The Man that there was put to shame for me!

Have you never felt the weight of your sin debt fall off your back? See your Savior, Jesus Christ carrying your own cross. He bears the burdens of sin for the poor in spirit, and he also asks us to throw our everyday anxieties upon him. Why? Peter says, “because he cares for you.” Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Scriptures to ponder: Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 55; John 14:1-7; Psalm 94:16-23


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