“And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:2-3; *read John 9:1-12*)
Have you ever seen a beautiful diamond? Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes. Every little girl dreams about that day when her “Prince Charming” will ride up on a white horse and presents her with a huge, sparkling diamond ring. And no little boy ever dreams he might end up being that Prince Charming!
Diamonds are beautiful. When sunlight comes through a diamond and makes a rainbow of colors, it is something to see! But do you know what diamonds are made from? The beautiful diamond that you see on your mom’s ring comes from carbon. Ok, so what is “carbon”? Carbon is the same thing that coal is made of. Coal!?! That’s right! Genuine, solid, black, ugly coal.
So, what makes the difference whether coal or diamonds come out of carbon? The answer is pressure and heat. Basically, the more the pressure and heat that get put into the carbon, it will produce a better and better quality diamond. Less pressure and less heat on carbon causes it to produce coal, which is far less valuable than diamonds.
The way diamonds are made can be a reminder to us of how God often chooses to work when He refines believers. In John 9, we read about a man who was born blind. The disciples asked Jesus if this was a result of this man’s own sin, or perhaps the sins of his parents, or what? Jesus’ response is very interest. He said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
Jesus teaches us a valuable lesson in the passage: God will use anything to glorify Himself. What does that mean? It means that God will use all situations and circumstances to bring honor to His name. This man was born blind, not because of anything he did, but so that one day Jesus would pass by, spit on the ground, make clay, put it on the blind man’s eyes and give him sight. The man was born blind so that he could be a part of an exhibit of Jesus’ supernatural, miraculous, powerful, and gracious glory.
Just think about it! God used the “pressure” and “heat” of a very hard situation (this man’s lifetime of blindness) to turn this man into a dazzling testimony of God’s ultimate strength and lovingkindness!
The next time something happens to you that you do not like or that you feel you cannot bear, stop and ask yourself how God could be honored in your situation. Your response to hard things could be one way God gets glorified. If you trust Him to take care of you through a hard time, your faith and submission to Him is an honor to Him. And if you wait to see what He is trying to do in the lives of other people through your hard situation, or how He might change your heart to make you better through this trial, then you are honoring Him. He will glorify Himself through showing Himself as a powerful and gracious God. Trust Him that He knows what He is doing and that He will do whatever it takes, for the sake of His own glory and His people’s best good.
God will do what it takes to accomplish what will glorify Himself and bless His people.
» Am I in a situation right now that is confusing and hard for me to bear?
» How might my response to God’s control bring Him glory in this situation?
» What might God be showing me and others about Himself through a painful thing that He has brought into my life?