I have been doing a study in the book of John with a group of ladies this past summer and we are currently in chapter 9. As I was working on my study, a few things jumped out at me that I wanted to share them with you all. Let me first give you a little background before I share what the Lord spoke to me tonight. Chapter 8 ends with the Jewish leaders taking up stones to kill Jesus because He said, “I AM.” Jesus declared His deity to the Jewish people and they rejected Him, and they wanted to kill Him. John 8:59 tells us that Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. He then goes through the midst of them, and passes them by. This brings us to Chapter 9, where verse 1 tells us that as Jesus was passing by those that wanted to kill Him, He sees a man who was blind from his birth, and the disciples ask the question, “Why?”
“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” John 9:1-3
The first thing that jumped up at me was that Jesus “saw” this man. This reminded me of Psalm 139:13 and 15, “You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb…my frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…” Jesus knew this man intimately, because He had formed him in the womb of his mother. Jesus was there, working and forming this man before the world was and He made him to be born blind. He did this for two reasons, the first being to show forth His glory and the second to use his blindness as a tool to bring him to salvation.
I think sometimes we see the pain of our lives and the trials and we find ourselves asking the same question the disciples did, “Why? Why did this happen to me? Why did this happen to her?” We question God for what He is doing, for the things in life that happen that take us by surprise. But we must remember there were two reasons why this man was born blind.
The first was to bring glory to God. The word glory means to extol, to magnify, to bring praise; it mean to give honor, to place honor upon God. It is acknowledging Him, His being, His attributes, and praising His acts. All that comes upon us, whether it is sickness, tragedy, trials, troubles, or persecutions are instances for God to manifest His glory in you and through you.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:17 that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” What we are facing now, at this moment, God is using to bring us to a place where He can be glorified and exalted through us, not only for our benefit but for the benefit of others. When things happen, and they will, it is for a purpose and a reason. We get so focused on the “why” sometimes that we become blinded to the glory that is waiting to be revealed.
Sometimes, God intentionally leaves us without knowledge of the reason or source of the pain we are experiencing. But, we can find comfort in knowing that He is working on our behalf, not only for His glory but that through us His glory will be revealed. Jesus said that the man was born blind not because of sin, but so that the glory of God might be revealed in him. Not to him, but in him. It was for this man’s salvation that he was born blind, and the glory of God was revealed in him because of it.
What if the pain we are experiencing is not to hurt us, but to glorify God and to reveal to those around you the magnificent God you have? What if the trial that you are going through is to show forth the glory of God to an unsaved loved one? What if the trial you are in has nothing to do with you, and is God working through you to bring many to Christ? This is the second reason why the man was born blind- it was for the work of salvation, not only in his life but the life all those who witnessed it.
Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 that we are to “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I believe that Paul is telling us that all that we experience in this life can be met with rejoicing and thanksgiving because of the glory of God that is being worked in us and through us. What a great honor we have been given to be used of God to bring forth the light of His gospel of grace. Yes, it may mean that we have to go through tough times; it may mean that we will face pain and disappointment, but, we can be confident that God is working on our behalf through it all.
I do not know what you are facing in your life right now. But one thing I do know, you are either going into a trial, in the midst of a trial or coming out of a trial. What if we faced the next one with the knowledge that it is for His glory and for our good, instead of with fear and doubt? How do you think you would respond to the trial if you took His word and applied it today? Maybe the blessings would come through those raindrops, and the tears would change from sorrow to joy in the knowledge of His great and mighty power working in you and through you. Maybe, just maybe the trials we face wouldn’t be so trying after all.
May the Lord God bless His word, may His Spirit give you wisdom and knowledge and may He show you the glory that He is working out in you and for you, and may He always be lifted high and may all glory and honor and praise be to Him forever and ever. Amen and Amen.
(Link to “Blessings” by Laura Story- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CSVqHcdhXQ)