Grace Upon Grace

"As he was passing by, 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 answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him."

Have you been in a place of prolonged discomfort or discouragement? Sometimes there are things we can do to improve the situation; sometimes (as in the case of the blind man) there aren't. For religious people, it's natural to assume like the disciples did that every instance of suffering is owing to some particular sin. In one sense, that's true. Suffering is part of God's curse upon all mankind for Adam and Eve's rebellion in the Garden of Eden. But there isn't always a 1-to-1 correlation between specific suffering and a specific sin in an individual's life. As Christians, we must always return to the fact that to even be permitted to live in a world where suffering is present is a grace of God we don't deserve. If we got what we deserved, we would be infinitely worse off than than even the most grievous earthly suffering imaginable.

The point is that there's a point! There's a point to your suffering, your discomfort, your discouragement as a Christian. The point is that suffering is an occasion for the works of God to be displayed. As a Christian, to want a trouble free life is to want a life that's also void of the mighty working of God, who delights to demonstrate His grace's sufficiency in our weakness, in our weariness, in our woundedness.

The blind man received his sight, but that wasn't the end of his suffering. The controversy of his healing by Jesus opened up all new areas of discouragement and distress--perhaps even worse than when he was blind--as his faith in Jesus made him a a target of ridicule and Pharisaic intimidation and even estranged him from his parents.

May God in His mighty working demonstrate his grace to us in easing our present discomforts and discouragements. But, as the process of sanctification unfolds, John's words in John 1:16 remind us that the grace we receive for today's troubles will need to be replaced (and surpassed) by new grace for tomorrow's.

"And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work." (2 Cor. 9:8 CSB)