A Stage for God’s Glory

A Stage for God’s Glory

It may just be that the circumstance in your life that has brought the most pain and produced the most tears will be the very stage upon which God’s power is most visibly made manifest.

It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
– John 9:3

As Christ-followers, we want to make our lives count for the gospel. We long to do something that would be so significant, so lasting, that God’s glory would be forever displayed in what we have done. If we could, however, we would also like to select how this takes place. After all, who wouldn’t rather bring glory to God by humbly handling great success as opposed to glorifying the Lord by faithfully enduring suffering?

In John 9, we are introduced to a man who has been blind since birth. The suspicion of the disciples kept with the traditional assumptions of the day. Surely, they reasoned, this man is in this condition because of his sin or the sin of his parents. While the rationale sounds harsh to our modern ears, it merely echoed the thoughts of that time and culture.

In the first century, the assumption of the disciples was not that unusual, but the answer Jesus gives was quite profound. Jesus clarifies that the man’s physical limitations are neither a direct punishment for specific sin the man committed nor retribution for his parents’ rebellion. There was something altogether different happening. Jesus enlightens his followers by explaining that the condition of the man is such that “the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3).

The physical condition of this man had purpose and design. I do not doubt that if offered a choice, he would have much preferred to proclaim the works of God on the mountaintop of blessing rather than in the valley of suffering. Just like us, the man did not choose this particular disadvantage in his life. What he did, however, was decide to obey the Lord (verse 7).

Are you suffering? Do you have a physical limitation or perhaps some other difficult issue with which you must contend?

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