Have you ever felt like nobody cares about you? like you’ve been forgotten; overlooked; cast aside? There is nothing about these feelings that is pleasant or enjoyable. Unfortunately these are things that most of us feel at some point in our lives. Maybe it is because of the difficult circumstances that we’re going through or maybe it is because of a breakdown in a relationship with someone that we really trusted.
Sometimes when we’re experiencing things like this, we turn to God and ask “do you even care about me?” This is a big question. The reality is that many of us feel like God has let us down in one way or another. We have been told about a God who loves us, but feel like “if God loves me, how could he let ‘this’ happen?” We think that a loving God equals an easy life. When we look at what He has told us in the Bible, we see that an easy life isn’t what God has promised us. We also see that difficulties in life don’t negate God’s love for us.
A man named Paul, who wrote a majority of what is recorded in the New Testament of our Bible, is a great example of how God works in our lives in the midst of difficulties. Paul left a career as a well respected leader in the established Jewish religious system to follow the teachings of a rebel named Jesus. Because of this decision, Paul spent a large part of his life being beaten and imprisoned. On the surface, it doesn’t look like a very good deal for Paul. We might wonder why Jesus, who is supposed to love Paul, would let him sit in prison for so long. In his own words Paul said “…I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer…” (2 Corinthians 12:10 NLT) You might think, “seriously Paul? you take pleasure?” The only way that I can imagine Paul could honestly say this is if the love that Jesus has for him, and for us, is true! We probably will never enjoy difficulties, but what Jesus can do is help us experience unexplainable joy in the midst of these difficulties. He promises that He will love us and help us as we go through them.