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One of the most common theological questions in the world today is, "If God is so loving, why is there pain in the world?" Most people ask this question out of deep hurt, longing for God to reveal Himself, or from a place of bitterness because they feel He hasn't.
When the disciples encountered a man blind from birth, they asked Jesus a similar question: "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:2). Essentially, they were asking, "Who is to blame for this man's affliction?" Most Jews believed illness was a direct result of sin, but Jesus' answer turned the Jewish worldview on its head.
We do not always know the reasons for darkness, but we do know that God's light overcomes it.
Rather than spur on a theological debate about sin, pain, and the fall of mankind, Jesus decided to point to the greater Truth: "[T]his happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him" (John 9:3). Jesus was saying that it did not matter what caused the man's blindness—what mattered was that God would reveal Himself in the midst of it. Jesus then rubbed spit and mud into the blind man's eyes, miraculously healing him of lifelong blindness.
Every human being is born spiritually blind. We are all born blind to the fact that our sin has pitted us against God. We are all born blind to the fact that nothing can truly satisfy us apart from Jesus. The only cure is for Jesus to open our eyes. Only then do we see who we are—sinners in desperate need of forgiveness. It is then we see who Jesus is—the King of kings, our only hope, the Redeemer of our souls.
Jesus demonstrated that He not only could open a blind man's physical eyes but could soften his heart, too. This man, formerly blind, first believed Jesus was only a prophet even after Jesus had healed him (see John 9:17). But he soon came to believe He was Lord (see John 9:38). It took the healing touch of God to soften his heart and build his faith. This man had a life-changing encounter with Jesus and left as a man with 20/20 vision, physically and spiritually!
Although the world is fallen and there is not always an explanation for the pain we face, God is big enough to bring healing and renewal. We do not always know the reasons for darkness, but we do know that God's light overcomes it.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for bringing beauty out of ashes. I pray You will be glorified in my life in every circumstance. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe" (Ephesians 1:18-19).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Why Does God Allow Evil?: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW