Sometimes when one suffers it is for the glory of God. The biblical account of the man who was born blind is an example of this as recorded in St. John in the ninth chapter. Verses 1-3 reveal this fact: “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
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.” Suffering for the glory to God is seen in the account above. It was not for an evil that either the man or his parents had committed that caused this man to suffer blindness.
But God ordained this man’s suffering as an instrument for His glory. By nature, people seem to gravitate to the dramatic elements or events around them. It seems that the agonizing length of the blindness only served to bring more glory and honor to God.
The healing of a man who was blind from birth caused an uproar and controversy among the people. An entire chapter of the Bible is taken up with the contention of the general populace over this miracle. It sounds a lot like our modern day Internet blogs where controversy over religious issues runs rampant. Human nature never seems to change. Oh, if we could only see ourselves!
The blind man brought great glory to God through his patient enduring and eventual healing. But, he was not the only one to suffer. His parents suffered fear over his healing because they felt if they acknowledged his healing by Jesus, they would be put out of the synagogue. We are not told of the outcome of his parent’s fear factor, but we are made to understand that God used the personal pain and suffering of an innocent person to bring glory to Him through the demonstration of His healing power.
In 1 Peter 4:16 the scripture says: “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” As a Christian, we will suffer at times simply because we are a Christian. The world will see to it that we do, especially if we are careful to maintain a vibrant Christian witness.
Jesus said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matt. 5:11). When we are reproached and persecuted for the gospel’s sake, we will be blessed of God and in turn, it will bring glory to Him. He is worthy of the glory for what He has done for us. He saved us and delivered us from a life of sin and its eventual destruction. We can show the world the true spirit of Christ when we suffer willingly without retaliation.