God took note of you.
God chose you.
You did nothing to earn His favor, but He has set His affections on you. God has reached down and grabbed His enemies and made them His friends. John Piper writes, “Deeper than knowing God is being known by God. What defines us as Christians is not most profoundly that we have come to know Him but that He took note of us and made us His own.” Can you handle this truth? Believer in Christ Jesus, God has known and loved you before the foundation of the world. This is a doctrine to be enjoyed and to comfort us in our heartache.
God’s choosing us for salvation is a doctrine that shoots a dart of grace into our hearts when we apply it to our lives.
J.I. Packer writes in Knowing God:
What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it—the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.
Is there a greater love story than this? Brian Rosner calls being known by God the “Cinderella of Theology.” We bring nothing to the table with God. We have no pedigree that would attract Him to us. We have no earthly reason He should look at us, but He does.
Being known by God gives us comfort in the dark nights of the soul. One Puritan called being known by God “the full and final comfort of a believer.” Here are some truths about God knowing you:
But you, O Lord, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you (Jeremiah 12:3).
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27).
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).
God knows you and what you are going through in your darkest trial. This is a truth I must come back to every day. God knows every time I bump my tender elbows on the side of a door and cry out in agony. He sees every accident. He knows when my leg pain is so bad that I lie awake in bed for hours. He is keenly aware of my feelings of depression and the hopelessness that often rage within my heart. He knows you and your trials. He knows each of your chemotherapy appointments. He was there weeping with you when you lost a loved one. He knows your every injury and irritation. He sees your despair. He knows how you feel.
Rosner points out that during the three lowest points in the history of Israel (slavery in Egypt, the wilderness wandering and the exile), God reassured His people that He knew them. During Israel’s greatest trials, God’s way of encouraging them was to let them know He hadn’t forgotten them. He knew what they were going through. Their trials did not escape his divine gaze.
He Really Does Know Every Hair on Our Heads
In the incarnation, Jesus relates to our earthly trials. He faced physical, emotional and spiritual agony during His life and death on the Earth. The one who went through the pain is also the one who knows about our pain. Jesus, when preaching to thousands, told the crowd not to fear:
I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows (Luke 12:4–7).
Jesus really knows every hair on your head. I have what looks like thousands of strands of hair on my head. And Jesus knows them all. Every single one. He knows about every ache, every wound, every thought and emotion. Every bad day is a day Jesus is aware of. No trial surprises Him or escapes His eye. Jesus encourages those who are facing persecution to not fear those who can kill the body but do nothing else. Instead we can trust the God who knows us and is keenly aware of all our circumstances.
Jesus is not unaware of the waves that are crashing down on you today. Don’t look to find your comfort in anyone else. That aimless pursuit would be like Cinderella at the ball being pursued by the prince, but leaving the party to try and make herself known to someone else. It would be ridiculous. But this is what we do when we spend our time searching for significance in the things of this world. We have the King of kings who has set His affection on us. He knows us and cares for us, and yet we go looking for solace in other places.
Hurting friend, don’t look for your ultimate comfort in the things in this world. Some of these things are good things, and they are often a help to us, but one day even the good things will fail you. Don’t look for comfort in your social media activity or your hobbies. Don’t search for it among friends from work or in your boss’s applause.
You are known by the King. He knows your name and everything about you. He sees all of your pain. In the words of the apostle Paul, “If anyone loves God, he is known by God” (1 Corinthians 8:3). The Church, the unlovable chosen by God, is the true Cinderella story.
Content taken from Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials by David Furman, ©2018. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187, www.crossway.org.
Dave Furman (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) serves as senior pastor of Redeemer Church of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which he helped plant in 2010. He previously served in various churches in the United States. More than ten years ago, Dave developed a nerve disease and struggles with disability in both arms. He is author of Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials and Being There: How to Love Those Who Are Hurting.