Creflo Dollar - How Much Does God Really Care About You?
We have been talking about what to do when you feel like God doesn't care. And that may have been one of your little secrets or maybe your big secret, that as a Christian, you had the thought that "Maybe God doesn't care about me". And I got news for you, everybody in has probably had that thought, a feeling that you are abandoned, wondering where is God. If he was good all the time, why did he allow this to happen? Or why did this situation happen? And I thought rather than ignore those questions after so many years and so many times, and even you asked the question yourself, that we needed to deal with that question. And one of the biggest things that we understood so far is that, you know, God never promised some of the things that we expected from him. Many believers have gotten the message that if God cared, life would be easy, and that if God really cared, problems would go away and they would have whatever they wanted and whatever they needed, if God really cared.
That's what the message that believers got. But God never promised that. What God promised was his presence and his peace in the middle of trouble. You see, I began, and the more, the deeper I dive into this, I recognize in my own life, I felt like I had been trained to use my faith, to either stay out of trouble, or get out of trouble. And that if I found myself in trouble, then I probably wanna keep it to myself because that would indicate that maybe something's wrong with my faith, or something's wrong with me, or I've done something wrong. It's kinda like John 9 guy, you know, "Who has sinned? This guy or his parents, that he was born blind like this"? And Jesus said, "Neither". He said, "But so the glory can be seen".
And we see it over and over again where we'll look at that today, where we see situations that come up and, you know, I think it was Lazarus who died. "My brother died. Well, why did my brother die? Oh, if you'd have been here, my brother would not have died". He says no. The issue is, are we gonna see the glory of God? And that's the real answer, that a lot of things that we go through sometimes is just a set up, so that we can see the glory of God, so you can see the glory of God in your life. No, God has not promised to take away the trouble. No, God has not promised to take away the, you know, the problem. I mean, certainly he could have taken the children of Israel out of the wilderness, but chose to leave them there for 40 years.
Boy, that's a long time. But I guarantee you, they learned some things. He could've taken, he could've poured water on the fiery furnace, I guess, but he didn't. He could've probably, you know, caused the lions to die, he didn't. There's no indication of God showing up saying, "I'm just gonna... every time you have a challenge, I'm gonna remove the challenge". But that's what we think. We think, "Well, I'm gonna use my faith to remove the challenge. I'm gonna remove... use my faith to stay out of the challenge". And no, no, no God says, "I want you to get to know me and you're not gonna know me, until you know that I am with you no matter what you're going through".
And that really helps you. It helps you when you've been diagnosed with a disease or something, and you're like, "O God, why don't you move the disease"? And God says, "No, I'm gonna be with you every step of the way". You begin to see the apostle Paul, he says, "Lord, I have this thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan sent to buffet me. Get rid of the thorn". In fact, Paul said, "I asked three times and he never got rid of it". And then Paul got it, he says, "Wait a minute, my grace is sufficient for you". And so I want us to mature to this next level. This next level that says, "No matter what I'm facing, no matter what I'm going through, no matter what trouble shows up, I'm gonna use my faith to be grateful that your presence is here, that your peace is here, and you're gonna lead, and guide, and protect me, and take care of me in the middle of it, and when it goes, it goes, but my focus is not on the trouble leaving, my focus is, who is here with me"?
'Cause your mama, she might be gone, your daddy might be dead. You might not have no friends around you at that time, and you need to know that God is with you no matter what you're going through. It gives a whole new insight of Psalms 23, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadows of death, the Lord's with me". You're with me. "Your rod, your staff, it comforts me. You prepare a table before me," not in the presence of your friends, but the table is prepared, in the presence of your enemies, because God wants your enemies to see the glory of God working through your life in the middle of the wilderness. Glory be to God. And some of you can sense that God is getting ready to show out in your life. You got to know that you have not been going through all the things you've been going through for no reason at all. God's preparing you, his glory is about to be seen. His glory is about to be realized in your life. And I say this morning, hold on, praise God, everything is gonna be all right, praise the Lord, amen.
So this morning, we wanna talk and take this a little further. How much does God really care about me? How much does God really care about me? Or does God really care about me? You know, not just to respond to, you know, to that question we had before, but does he really care about me? We wanna really give you some ease where that is concerned. 1 Peter chapter 5:6 says, "So humble yourselves under the mighty hand, under the might power of God, and at the right time, he'll lift you up in honor". Humble yourself and at the right time, and at the right time. It's not if God's gonna do something, but when. Say this out loud. Say, "Not if, but when".
And so we've gotta understand that God knows the perfect time to do it. He knows the perfect time. He says, "He will lift you up in honor". Somebody says, "Well, what do I do in between the I believe I receive, and there it is? What do I do in between the I believe I received, and he lifts me up"? Well, that's what we begin to marvel at how he takes care of us in the middle of those things. And that's something that each of us have got to experience in our own lives, man. And look at verse 7. He says, "Give all your worries and cares to God". Now are you doing that? Are you doing that? Or have you done that? Are you giving all of your worries and all of your cares to God? I know it's a challenge sometimes.
I know you're saying, "Well, you know, Pastor Dollar, I can't help, I just worry". Well, worry is a negative form of meditation. And you don't want to worry because worry can be a power that can cause things to show up in your life. The thing you worry about the most shows up and it appears into your life. He says, "I don't want you to do that. I don't want you worrying". Think about that. God loves me so much, he says, "Give me your worry". Wow, that's big. That's a relational God, who says, "Give me your worry. I don't want you worrying". And yet there are lots of things we worry about. We make room for worry instead of making room for peace. He says, "Give all your worries and your cares to God," why? Why do you want me to give my worries and cares to you? He says, "'Cause I care about you". That's a God who says, "I care about you. Give me your worries. I know what happens when you carry the worry and the stress of it, and the pressure of it".
I know all, you know at one point it seems like something so intangible so what's the big deal? But God knows that carrying that intangible worry and care will eventually produce something physical in your body, and all of a sudden your body begins to respond to the worry and the care, and things happen that God doesn't wanna happen. That's how much God cares for you. He says, "I'm dealing with the root issue, give me your worry, give me your care, because I care". Don't ever question God like where his care his concerned. And that's what this message is about today. We're gonna look at how much God cares for us. "Give me your worry, give me your care, because I care for you. I don't even want you going to bed worried".
Some people wake up worried, and that's sad. You go to bed worried, you wake up worried That will mess with you. And God doesn't want that to take place, why? Because he cares for you. So God absolutely cares about people. God absolutely cares about their feelings and the problems they're facing. So let's resolve some questions that we have about God's care. Here's the first question. Does God care about my happiness? Somebody says, "What"? Yeah, that's a question you've had, you might not have asked it, but does God care about my happiness? Because the enemy would love to get you to the place where, you know, you start thinking, "Well, God doesn't really care about my happiness". And then you'll have preachers that'll say, you know, "It ain't about your happiness. It's about your holiness. Praise the Lord, this is about the holiness. You need to be more holy, trying to be happy, you need to be holy".
Well, you know, God wants you to be happy. You don't have to dismiss one for the other. He wants you to be happy. Say it out loud, "God wants me happy". And so when you look at this, God created our senses, your touch, your taste, your eyes, your everything. He created our senses as conduence of enjoyment. In other words, he's given your sensory mechanisms mainly so you can have enjoyment. You've got eyes so you can look at things, and ears so you can hear beautiful things, and taste so you can taste beautiful things, and smell so all of that has been given to us by God so we can enter into enjoyment. He gave us eyes to see majestic landscapes and colorful sunsets.
I'll never forget when I was in South Africa, and I woke up and in the window and there was tabletop mountain and there was a cloud that was laying on that mountain like a tablecloth. And I said, "Oh, what my eyes behold". And that was an enjoyment, something that I enjoyed. He gave us ears to hear the heart stirring sound of music, the enjoyment of it. Now, I don't enjoy all music, but you know, Nita Bacon Elm, you know, I enjoy, "Giving you the mistake I have". You know, "You're supposed to listen to sign me up for the Chris". And I want good music, you know, praise the Lord. Let's go on. We get to smell the morning dew, we get to smell the sizzling pork bacon in the kitchen. Not that other bacon, pork bacon. Somebody said, "That ain't good for you," but it sure smell good.
My youngest daughter heard on the news that they were having a shortage of bacon, she almost start crying. The enjoyment, laughter between friends, that all comes from God, it's all God's idea. Christian people get together like they're not supposed to laugh, I don't know what, I don't know where they came from, but God wants you to enjoy your fellowship. He don't want everybody getting around, you know, feeling like, "Do I have my issue covered up good? 'Cause I don't want 'em to know what I'm really going through". Listen, the body of Christ has perfected phoniness, and you and I have made a idea, made our mind up, we're not gonna be phony. It's okay for us to be who we are. It's okay for us to be who we are with flaws and all. And thank God 'cause sometimes those flaws can be used to help somebody else prevent them from going through something you've already gone through. But how are we ever gonna do that if everybody acting phony when we come around one another?
That's not what God is. God wants us to look at each other's life, share what we have, the good part, the ugly part, the nice part. Now, there might be some private part you can't tell everybody, but you gotta realize that you have holies of holies relationship, you got the inner court relationship, you gotta realize where those people are in your life. You don't share, you know, people in your holies of holies are the only ones you share with. Now, our core people don't need to be hearing what holies of holies people hearing. Amen, but God doesn't mind you sharing. You know, we even demonstrate our phoniness in just simple salutations. "How you doing today"? "This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it". I ain't ask you all that, I ain't ask you all that. You're trying to avoid, just authenticity, just real transparency can become a big ministry tool that can bless people's lives, but church folks don't know how to do it.
They're men in here who are single, and they look at some single woman and they wanna get with 'em, but they don't know how. Their religion is keeping 'em from going up and just simply being a gentleman and say, "Hello, how you doing? My name is Charles Greer, and I'd like to ask you out for some coffee or something, and if you don't mind". You don't even know how to do that. You go through all of this stuff. You know, "O Lord, is that the one"? Ain't nobody trying to get married to you right now. It ain't even about that. We act weird, we just really act weird sometimes, you know? People are weird, they're weirded out. I weird out over folks when I just say hello and they just can't simply, you know, reply. They got to go deep with me. "Hey, how you doing"? We know a guy like that. We're was just speaking to her. Whoa. And after a while, it's like, "Uh-uh," we've got to understand that God hadn't made us to perfect phoniness, man. That God wants us to be real and he wants us to laugh. He wants us to enjoy one another.
I had a lady write me one time, she says, "You know what, I used to enjoy you when you were serious, but now that you do all this laughing and stuff in church, it's hindering the anointing in my life". I said, "Poor baby". "Laughter," the Bible says, "works good like medicine". And get with people that you enjoy, enjoy life. I'm not sitting back, "Oh, well, you know". "It's so hard to get along. It's so", listen to this, "hard to get along". Imagine that. "It's so hard to get along, just can't hardly get along. I can't hardly get along. Just can't hardly get..." Seriously? I don't see no joy in that at all. Turn to your neighbor and say, "Enjoy life".
Look at James chapter 1:17 in the NLT, James chapter 1:17 in the NLT. And I know, you look at me, weird people think I'm off just the rockers. I mean, he's gossiping up here and telling these people they need to enjoy life and, I'm gonna keep doing that because I have a relationship with God, and he assures me that he wants us to enjoy life. He says in verse 17, "Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God, our Father". Whatever is good and perfect, mature, complete is a gift coming down to us. All good things, any good thing that ever happened to you is from God. And God wants some good things to happen to you. And David said, "I had to believe that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living". God wants you to see and experience the goodness of the Lord while you are alive right now. "Well, I'm just gonna wait till I go to heaven". Listen, it's gonna be awesome in heaven, it's gonna be amazing when we get there, but God wants you to have a little heaven on earth. Amen, let me set some of the men free.
So if you'll see a lady, make sure you look at her hand now, make sure she ain't got no ring on it. I don't want you to get punched out. There are beautiful single women in this church. There are amazing single men in this church. And y'all act like y'all don't know that. You don't have to go to no club. I'm just trying to set you free. Now, don't get crazy now after church. "Hey Mama, what's happening"? You gonna get hurt? They don't play that, their name ain't no mama. You gonna have to come correct or don't come at all. And put a little mint in your mouth before you go up to her. You come talking about, "Would you like to go eat coffee with me"? And she smell that breath she like, "Ooh, not now". Amen, let me get going.
All right, so here's the deal when we talk about this happiness, our problem is not in our desire for happiness, our problem is seeking happiness outside of God. The problem is not with our desire to have happiness, the problem is, is we're trying to seek happiness outside of God. And anytime you try to seek happiness outside of God, you're gonna get involved in something called idolatry. Idolatry is when you place something above God in more value. In other words, God is no longer first place, you've now replaced God with something else. You have now assigned a greater value to something else than you do God. And so what happens rather than you understanding the enjoyment that God wants you to have in him, what happens often, is that we're not valuing God like we should, and so now we're looking to try to get happiness in the thing that we've placed above God. And so that's what the problem is.
And people say, "Well, you can be happy in God". "Well, I really don't believe all that". And so now that's where the journey goes. You're now taking a journey, and you're trying to go down a road or a path where you're trying to achieve happiness outside of God. And you bump into hurt, disappointment, expectations are not filled. You operate in a worldly perspective where you feel like "I've got to get validation in order to be happy. I've got to be accepted in order to be happy". All of these weird things in order to try to achieve happiness outside of God. So the problem's never been God doesn't want you to be happy, the problem is you're trying to achieve it outside of God. And it's gonna always be a pseudo happiness. You're never gonna quite be happy. Maybe for a moment, maybe for a day, maybe for a week or a year, but it seems to dwindle away because any happiness without God is happiness that has an expiration and God doesn't want you to have that. But in him, O my God, it just gets gooder and gooder, and better and better, amen.