God knows everything.
These are true words, supported by scripture. God is omniscient.
These are comforting words for the one who is suffering. Suffering comes into our life in two ways. It may be a sickness or hardship that God has allowed to test our endurance and faithfulness to Him, in order to conform us to His image. Or, it may be in the form of tribulation caused by our enemy. Perhaps someone has done something to us, and has caused us pain.
How does understanding that God is all-knowing help us to remain faithful while suffering?
There are two aspects of God’s omniscience that I want you to consider.
#1 – God is intimately acquainted with every detail of your life!
Can we imagine the infinite knowledge of God, with our finite minds? Because He knows the concept of “all knowledge” is too lofty for us to grasp, God gave us some specific examples in scripture to help us understand and to give us perspective.
Psalm 50:11 tells us, I know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is Mine.
Matthew 10:29-31 – 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.
Matthew 6:26 – Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
I looked up a few facts on birds. According to one website, the number of species of birds is estimated at 10,000, but the actual number is unknown. The total number of birds in the world at any given time ranges from 100 billion to 400 billion.
100 to 400 billion birds, and our heavenly Father feeds them…every single one.
100 to 400 billion birds, and not one falls to the ground without God knowing it!
God is so intimately acquainted with all His creation that He knows when the smallest sparrow falls! And Jesus tells us that we are more valuable to God than many sparrows. So much more valuable, that He knows the number of hairs on our head!
Psalm 139 gives us a perspective on how well God knows us.
· Every action or move I make – when I get up, sit down, lay down, every path I take, all my ways
· Every thought I think
· Every word I say, and every word I will say (before it comes out of my mouth!)
· Every place I go (I cannot be hidden from Him or go where He is not already there)
· Every part of my physical body – how it is woven together, because He created it
· Every moment of my life – my days are ordained; He knows when I was born and when I will die
· Every anxiety or painful thing that dwells in me
There are approximately 7.4 billion people in the world today – all thinking thoughts and performing actions and speaking words that do not go unnoticed by their Creator! God exists outside of creation, because He created it. Yet He is so intimately acquainted with His creation that the slightest movement does not occur without His knowledge.
God’s intimate knowledge of us extends to our suffering.
Psalm 56:8 – You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?
Psalm 142:3 – When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
Amazingly, God takes notice of our tears, and actually keeps record of them! God knows when we are overwhelmed in our inner spirit, even when no one else can see it! To be overwhelmed is to be feeble, faint, or grow weak. God knows when we are weak. He sees the tears we cry when we are alone.
Hebrews 4:15 tells us that we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Christ knows just how you feel, because He experienced it.
Your suffering does not go unnoticed! God has all knowledge, and He knows every intimate detail.
#2 – Because God has all knowledge, you can trust His judgment in every situation!
Knowing God is righteous and good, we can trust His judgment in allowing suffering into our life. We can question why we must experience hardship, but ultimately it is surrendering to the fact that God knows best, because He knows all, that gets us through by faith. James tells us that suffering and trials come in order to make us perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4). Who better to know exactly what kind of suffering will do this perfect work, than the God who created us – the One who wove us together in our mother’s womb?
He knows exactly how much suffering you are able to endure, because He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. (Psalm 103:14)
Let’s consider suffering that comes because of tribulation. Do we ever get angry or confused as to why wickedness is allowed to continue? There is so much injustice in the world, so many innocent people hurting, so much hunger, so much pain and suffering. It makes one wonder, “Does God know or care about what is going on in this world?”
Knowing the character of God gives us proper perspective!
The omniscience and goodness of God enables Him to make judgments that are always righteous because He knows all the facts and aspects involved, and He always does good. God is able to judge righteously because He knows our feelings and the heart; He sees right into our thoughts, our motivations, our intentions. Outward actions can be false, but the heart always reveals the truth.
Jeremiah 11:20 – But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously, who tries the feelings and the heart, let me see Your vengeance on them, for to You have I committed my cause.
God’s judgment, the outcome of His determined will, is always and completely righteous. He is the referee or umpire that never misses a call! He sees every play, and not only the “play” but the heart of the player.
Psalm 19:9 – The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
God does not forget – He has all knowledge of sinful hearts. If a person rejects Christ’s payment for sin they will stand before God to answer for it, and He will not overlook any detail of our sinful actions, sinful attitudes, or sinful thoughts. Because God is all-knowing, we may live a life of good deeds, but those will not “cover” our stubborn heart that refused to repent and bow before our Creator.
We may think that the wicked are “getting away with” their sin. But the Bible tells us differently.
Romans 2:5 – But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
God, being all-knowing, sees all sin, even the ones we believe are secret!
Psalm 90:8 – You have placed our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
Thankfully, for those who repent, God says He will not remember our sins!
Psalm 103:10-12 – He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Isaiah 43:25 – I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
How do these two facts, that God knows every detail of our life, and that His judgments are always righteous because He has all knowledge, encourage us?
We can trust God’s activity and leading in our own life, because God knows all.
We can persevere in a broken and fallen world, even when we suffer, because God knows all.
We can be secure in God’s love for us, because God knows all – He will never learn something new about us that would cause Him to abandon us!
We can be confident that justice will prevail, and that wrong-doing will be punished, because God knows all.
We can be thankful for God’s restraining hand of mercy that gives time for repentance, because God knows all.
Our faithfulness does not go unnoticed. God knows of our obedience and endurance. (2 Thessalonians 1) Since God sees into the heart, those who will enter heaven are truly those who have repented and are forgiven in Christ – no imitators will pass the test of God’s penetrating judgment of the heart. And we will be rewarded if we are faithful.
In this life, even though it appears that those who treat others unjustly and cause suffering are not punished, there will be a day when righteous judgment will be executed on all who have rejected Him.
Only God is able to judge, because only He knows all the details. He alone knows the complete truth of any situation, of any heart. Only He knows if a heart is truly wicked and will never repent. We do not have the right to condemn and judge, because we do not have all knowledge.
A true believer can never use the phrase “it’s not fair,” because we are recipients of God’s mercy – certainly we did not get what was “fair” for us! We received grace! To the one who has been forgiven and shown mercy, the fact that an unrighteous person is allowed to continue in causing suffering for others, should call us to be more urgent about sharing the gospel…because the withholding of God’s judgment is His kindness, offering time to repent. It is not “letting them get by with it.”
It is the heart of an all-knowing and loving God that does not give us what we deserve the moment we deserve it. What if God had judged us before we repented? And it is the heart of an all-knowing and loving God that allows suffering into our life, to conform us to the image of Christ. He knows exactly what it will take to achieve the result!
I encourage you if you are suffering, in whatever way, to trust that God knows all about it. He keeps a record of wrongs, and the ungodly will meet His righteous judgment one day. Trust that God knows how you feel, and sees the pain in your heart. And not only does He see your pain, He experiences it with you, because He knows all.
He knows, and He cares.
Because that is who He has revealed Himself to be.