Jehovah Cares for Ordinary People
DO WE have to be extraordinary or outstanding in some way to be noticed by God? Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, is quoted as having said: “The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is why he makes so many of them.” Many feel that they are ordinary people who have nothing special to offer. Being ordinary may have the connotation of being “poor, inferior.” Similarly, the word “common” may indicate “a lack of privilege or special status,” “falling below ordinary standards,” or even “second-rate.” What kind of people do you prefer to be around? Arrogant, assertive, proud individuals? Would you not rather be around friendly, humble, unpretentious people who show a sincere, warm interest in others?
Since emotional bullying and ridicule are common in the world today, some find it difficult to believe that God is personally interested in them. “I came from a family that showed little love. I was belittled, teased, and laughed at. So, early in life I felt worthless,” wrote a reader of this magazine. “I still carry entrenched feelings from my past that beat me down when I experience calamity.” Yet, there are reasons to believe that God is personally interested in ordinary people.
God’s Interest in Common People
“Jehovah is great and very much to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable,” wrote King David. (Psalm 145:3) However, this does not prevent Jehovah from caring for us in a loving and compassionate way. (1 Peter 5:7) For example, the psalmist stated: “Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.”—Psalm 34:18.
Things that attract attention in the world, such as physical beauty, prestige, or wealth, are not what God considers important. God’s Law to Israel showed his compassionate interest in poor people, orphans, widows, and foreigners. God told the Israelites, who had themselves been treated cruelly in Egypt: “You must not maltreat an alien resident or oppress him . . . You people must not afflict any widow or fatherless boy. If you should afflict him at all, then if he cries out to me at all, I shall unfailingly hear his outcry.” (Exodus 22:21-24) Moreover, the prophet Isaiah expressed his confidence in God’s care for the lowly: “You have become a stronghold to the lowly one, a stronghold to the poor one in the distress that he has, a refuge from the rainstorm, a shade from the heat, when the blast of the tyrannical ones is like a rainstorm against a wall.”—Isaiah 25:4.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus Christ, who is “the exact representation” of God, became an example to his disciples in showing genuine interest in common people. (Hebrews 1:3) On seeing the crowds who “were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd,” Jesus “felt pity for them.”—Matthew 9:36.
Notice also what kind of people Jesus chose as his apostles—men who were described as “unlettered and ordinary.” (Acts 4:13) After the death of Jesus, his followers began to invite all sorts of people to listen to God’s Word. The apostle Paul wrote that “any unbeliever or ordinary person” could come into the Christian congregation and become a believer. (1 Corinthians 14:24, 25) Rather than choosing just those admired according to worldly standards, God selected many plain, ordinary people for his service. “You behold his calling of you, brothers,” said the apostle Paul, “that not many wise in a fleshly way were called, not many powerful, not many of noble birth; but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put the wise men to shame; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put the strong things to shame; and God chose the ignoble things of the world and the things looked down upon, the things that are not, that he might bring to nothing the things that are, in order that no flesh might boast in the sight of God.”—1 Corinthians 1:26-29.
Today, God is likewise sincerely interested in us. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) If God loved mankind so much that he sent his Son to earth to die for us, we have no reason to feel that we are unloved or worthless. (John 3:16) Jesus Christ showed his followers the importance of treating even the most insignificant one of his spiritual brothers as if dealing with Jesus personally. He said: “To the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) Regardless of how the world may view us, if we love the truth, we are special in God’s eyes.
That is how Francisco, * a fatherless Brazilian boy, felt after developing a personal relationship with God. He explains: “Knowing Jehovah and his organization helped me to cope with my feelings of insecurity and timidity. I learned that Jehovah is personally interested in each one of us.” To Francisco, Jehovah became a real Father.
Concern for Young People
Jehovah takes a genuine interest in young people not only as a group but as individuals. Of course, young or old, we never want to think too highly of ourselves. Yet, we may have talents and qualities that God can use in the future. Jehovah knows what refinement and training we need to make full use of our potential. For example, notice the account in 1 Samuel chapter 16. Since other prospective candidates for Israel’s kingship seemed more qualified to the prophet Samuel, Jehovah explained His reasons for choosing David, the youngest son of Jesse, as the future king of Israel: “Do not look at his appearance and at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him [David’s older brother]. For not the way man sees is the way God sees, because mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is.”—1 Samuel 16:7.
Can young people today be confident that Jehovah shows genuine interest in them? Consider Ana, a young Brazilian woman. As is the case with many other youths, she was disturbed by seeing corruption and injustice. Then her father began to take her and her sisters to Christian meetings. In time, she began to enjoy what she was learning about the Word of God. Ana began to read the Bible together with Christian publications and to pray to Jehovah God. Gradually, she developed an intimate relationship with God. She explains: “I enjoyed riding my bicycle to a hill near my home where I could observe beautiful sunsets. I prayed to Jehovah and thanked him for his kindness and generosity, trying to express how much I loved him. Getting to know Jehovah God and his purposes gave me tranquillity and a feeling of security.” Do you too try to find time to ponder over Jehovah’s loving care?
Admittedly, our background may stand in the way of our enjoying an intimate relationship with Jehovah. Take for example Lidia. When she opened up to her father about a matter of deep personal concern, he simply brushed her off, saying: “Nonsense.” Although understanding that her father wanted her to forget the problem, Lidia says: “Studying the Bible gave me everything that I desired and much more. The attractive personality of Jehovah made him my best friend. Now I have a loving, understanding Father to whom I can pour out my feelings and my most intimate fears. I can spend hours talking with the most important Person in the universe, certain that he will listen to me.” Such Bible texts as Philippians 4:6, 7 helped her to feel Jehovah’s loving care. That passage says: “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”
Help to Care for Your Needs
Jehovah shows his concern for his servants individually as well as for his worldwide congregation. We can show our love for our heavenly Father by taking time to talk to him. We should never take for granted our relationship with him. David was constantly aware of his relationship with Jehovah. He said: “Make me know your own ways, O Jehovah; teach me your own paths. Make me walk in your truth and teach me, for you are my God of salvation. In you I have hoped all day long.”—Psalm 25:4, 5.
The idea of having an intimate relationship with God may be new to you. Whatever problems you may have, you can always be confident that the Most High will be able to help you, in harmony with his will. (1 John 5:14, 15) Hence, learn to make your prayers specific, taking into consideration your circumstances and needs.
The importance of recognizing our needs is highlighted in the prayer that King Solomon offered when the temple was inaugurated: “In case a famine occurs in the land, in case a pestilence occurs, in case scorching and mildew, locusts and cockroaches occur; in case their enemies besiege them in the land of their gates—any sort of plague and any sort of malady—whatever prayer, whatever request for favor there may occur on the part of any man or of all your people Israel, because they know each one his own plague and his own pain . . . Then may you yourself hear from the heavens, . . . and you must forgive and give to each one according to all his ways.” (2 Chronicles 6:28-30) Indeed, only you yourself ‘know your own plague and your own pain.’ How vital, then, it is to acknowledge your real needs and desires. If you do, “[Jehovah] will give you the requests of your heart.”—Psalm 37:4.
Strengthen Your Relationship With Jehovah
Jehovah is pleased to let ordinary people enjoy an intimate relationship with him. His Word assures us: “‘I shall be a father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me,’ says Jehovah the Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18) Really, Jehovah and his Son want us to succeed and gain everlasting life. How encouraging it is to know that Jehovah will help us in caring for our responsibilities in the family, at work, and in the Christian congregation!
Still, we all face critical times. Poor health, family problems, low income, or something else may cause us pain. We may not know how to deal with a test or a trial. The increased pressures are, directly or indirectly, caused by the wicked accuser, Satan the Devil, who is waging a spiritual war against God’s people. However, there is someone who understands us and helps us to maintain a good relationship with Jehovah. He is no other than Jesus Christ in his elevated position in the heavens. We read: “We have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin. Let us, therefore, approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness, that we may obtain mercy and find undeserved kindness for help at the right time.”—Hebrews 4:15, 16.
How reassuring to know that we do not have to be famous or wealthy to enjoy God’s favor! Even when in sore straits, be like the psalmist who prayed: “I am afflicted and poor. Jehovah himself takes account of me. You are my assistance and the Provider of escape for me.” (Psalm 31:9-14; 40:17) Be assured that Jehovah loves humble, ordinary people. Really, ‘we can throw all our anxiety upon him because he cares for us.’—1 Peter 5:7.
^ par. 10 Some names have been changed.
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Many of Jesus’ followers were unlettered and ordinary
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Christians strive for strong faith
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We do not have to be prominent to enjoy God’s favor