In the Gospel of John, we read that as Jesus walked, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:1-3)
Do you ever ask yourself – or the Lord – why am I suffering? When you’re ill or meet misfortune, do you harbor thoughts that God’s punishing you for some sin you’ve committed? In Old Testament times, such an outlook was common. Sickness was seen as proof of a person’s sinfulness or as a punishment for it. But Jesus overturned that way of thinking.
Why there’s suffering in this world is not always clear to us, but you can be sure of God’s love and care in the midst of it. Most important is how you respond to it. Jesus himself endured pain, and his sufferings on the cross became the source of salvation – so too, you can trust God that your own sorrows can bear fruit in your life.
As Jesus pointed out regarding this man born blind, sickness and trials can be occasions for God to manifest his love and mercy. Just as he gave sight to the blind man, may the Lord give you spiritual insight so you may recognize his purposes in all the circumstances of your life, whether pleasant or painful. Instead of focusing on your sufferings, ask the Lord to show you how his works might be displayed in you.
Top image credit: photo of woman praying intently, from Lightstock.com, with Scripture verse added. Used with permission.
Jeanne Kun is a noted author, and a member of Bethany Association, an international, ecumenical association of women living single for the Lord in various communities of The Sword of the Spirit, and a senior woman leader in the Word of Life Community, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.