“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

(Matt. 10:29-31)

Last week, I wrote about the difficulties that we face in life. Using a statement from the book of James, I talked about the benefits of the trials God appoints for us. The Bible provides a perspective on our trials that helps us understand why God allows them and what is accomplished through them. That devotional went out on Friday morning. On Saturday evening, my son and I were involved in a serious car accident. We were struck from behind while stopped in an intersection waiting to make a left-hand turn. The impact left me groggy for a few seconds, but one of the first thoughts that came to mind as my head began to clear were those words to which I referred last week: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.”

The verses above from Matthew 10 were spoken by Jesus as He encouraged His disciples with the assurance that God was constantly and comprehensively watching over them. No matter what they faced, no matter what threats were made, no matter what they might need, God was fully knowledgeable. To emphasize the significance of this truth, Jesus declared that God is aware of the fate of every sparrow that falls to the ground. By implication, therefore, God will certainly show even greater concern for the creatures made in His own image. That is, in essence, what the Savior said after mentioning the birds: “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

Obviously, this passage teaches that God is always aware of us and, of course, there is a wonderful measure of comfort and encouragement to be taken from that fact. But I want to stress something in addition, which is the love of God. This aspect comes out clearly in Christ’s expressions. As He spoke to the disciples, Jesus referred to God as “your Father.” This designation reminds us of the familiar relationship we enjoy with God. By grace, we are His sons and daughters; we have been adopted into His redeemed family. (cf. Gal. 4:4-7)

Consider again what the Savior says. Our Father’s love for us is comprehensive, particular, and ultimate. God is all-seeing and all-knowing, which means He is cognizant of everything at every moment. But the Lord’s point goes beyond a simple consequence of God’s nature. As noted, He draws attention to the relationship we have with God, that of child to Father. From experience, we know this is one of the most personal and essential relationships that exist in this life. God not only controls what we experience, but He also cares about what we encounter. This assures us that whatever He allows or appoints for us is grounded in His love and, therefore, must be for our good.

A number of questions occurred to me as I stood beside our vehicle last Saturday evening waiting for the police to arrive. Did the other driver, who was at fault, have insurance? If so, would his insurance company be cooperative and truly helpful? Will our car be fixable or is it totaled? What kind of medical consequences were we facing? As important as these questions were, the knowledge of God’s Fatherly love as the foundation for our trials dominated my thinking and it was, without question, the one element that gave encouragement during a stressful and upsetting episode. In love, our Father was with us and was looking upon us as His treasured sons.

Every believer may rest in and count on God’s love as our heavenly Father throughout life and in every circumstance. This is the one truth that will sustain us during the most painful and demanding trials we endure. We are never without the loving embrace of our Father in heaven. We will never be cast out of His household. Fear may be overcome and worry may be subdued because our Father in heaven loves us—forever.

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