For His Glory
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,” Jesus said, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
- John 9:1-3
There are a lot of bad things in the world. I’m sure we can all list a plethora of examples of things we’ve seen on the news or things that have happened in our own lives. Some things are a direct result of our own personal sins, but there are also things we just cannot explain. We look to God and ask, “Why?”
Many people choose not to believe in a God who allows bad things to happen. There are many directions the answer to this question can go, but let’s zero in on verse 3 – “…but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Sometimes God allows difficult things to happen so His glory can be displayed. We tend to forget that we’re not the star of our life. God should be. Yet we tend to kick God to the side of the stage or off the stage completely so we can stand in the limelight. So when the difficult things happen, it’s easy to get angry at God or question His goodness.
I used to coach at a local college and two years into coaching there, I experienced the worst night of my life. We were in Florida on our spring break trip and one of our athletes went missing and all through the night police and rescue squads searched for her. The following morning we learned she had drowned at the complex where we were staying. As horrible and painful as that was (and still is), God was able to use that for His name to be known. I had more spiritual conversations with my athletes on the bus ride home than I had had in the whole two years of my coaching. A year later, I was able to share the gospel with one of the guys.
I don’t know if that’s why she had to die or if that was how God intended the results of her death to be, but I’ve learned that instead of asking God, “Why?” when difficult things happen, I’ve started to ask different questions. I’ve asked, “What are you trying to teach me?” or “What do you need of me in this situation?” A friend of mine once said, “When faced with the unknowns, I look to a God who is known.”
Lord, I know hard things are a part of our fallen world. I know they’re inevitable but Lord, I believe in You and I believe you can turn evil things into good things. Thank you, Lord, for walking through the hard times with me so I am not alone. Thank you for using me in the hard times and allowing me to minister to others through and because of the pain I have experienced. I know you never waste a hurt.
How have you seen God glorified through terrible situations?
Second Corinthians 1:3-4 says that God comforts us so that we can comfort others. Look back at the hard times you personally have experienced and ask the Lord to show you how you can use your experiences to minister to others.
Compliment at least 3 people every day this week.