As [Jesus] went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (John 9:1-3)
No doubt, many of you who are reading this have gone through something that has caused you to ask God, “What could You possibly be trying to teach me through this?” I suspect most, if not all, believers have, at some point, felt this way. There are simply times in all believers’ lives that rack our brains and make us wonder if God has “stepped out for a minute and forgotten about us.”
Sometimes we’re “let in” on why we’re going through trying times. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul was given insight as to why God had given him his “thorn in the flesh.” “To keep me from becoming conceited…,” Paul explained in verse 7. Other times (most times), however, it’s as though all we get is silence from heaven – “a door bolted shut”, as C.S. Lewis describes it. Job – as far as we know – was never given an explanation for his suffering. Using human intellect, logic & reason, it is a waste of time trying to “figure God out.” Isaiah 55:8-9 and Romans 11:33-34 are just two passages that remind us that we’ll never comprehend God.
In John 9, the disciples thought they knew why the man in the story had been born blind. (Due to a faulty rationale in Hebrew culture, they believed the blind, lame, and leprous all somehow deserved what they got because of someone’s sin – either theirs or a family member’s.) Fortunately, God-Made-Flesh was close by to shed some Light on the situation. “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
There’s no easy explanation as far as suffering is concerned. But there’s one thing I want you to hold onto tightly: Regardless of if you know the reason for your trials or not, God’s in the midst of all of it. And His overriding purpose is this: to gain glory.
How can God gain glory through our suffering? Leave that up to God. You’ll be surprised (just like the man born blind.)
Are you going through a tough time and, as hard as you try, can’t figure out what God’s up to? Remember, God always – always – has a purpose – a “so that” – for the difficult times of our lives. God is saying to you, “Be still My child. You cannot comprehend My love for you. Know that I am allowing you this time of trial and difficulty so that I may be glorified in your life. I know it doesn’t make sense to you right now. Trust Me. I’ve got this.”
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick