God Will Use Anything To Glorify Himself
"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?
Truth In Real Life
"I don’t need explanations from God. I simply believe Him and accept whatever comes my way.”
He crouched at the starting line of the Olympic track, waiting nervously for the starting gunshot to go off. He was competing in the Paris Olympics of 1924, but his chances for winning were very poor. The 400-meter race was not his strongest run, and he knew it. The 100-meter race was by far his best chance at a gold medal, but 100-meter had been scheduled for a Sunday. That was no good. Eric Liddell always refused to run on the Lord’s Day.
Born on January 16, 1902, Eric Liddell was the son of missionaries to China. Spending most of his younger years at school in Scotland, he was known for being both humble and athletic – a rare combination in most athletes. He loved races and rugby; and he excelled in them so much that he was encouraged to enter competition for the Olympics!
He trained hard, and it was a long journey to become an Olympian athlete. He and his teammates were very disappointed when they arrived in Paris to learn that “his” race, the 100-meter race, had been scheduled for the one day he could not – would not – run. Liddell’s conscience felt compelled to honor God by resting and “not doing his own thing” on God’s special day. He wanted to do whatever he could to bring attention to God’s glory. He understood God’s nature and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Liddell’s motto was, “He who honors Me, I will honor.”
So Liddell had a race in front of him now that was 3x longer than the one he was accustomed to running well. The gunshot sounded and the race began. In his signature style, he threw back his head and ran with absolute abandon, giving it everything he had for all 400 meters. When he crossed the finish line, the crowds thundered with shouts and applause. Not only had he finished the race, but he had finished first! He had also broken the previous record! God gave Eric Liddell a gold medal after all that day.
After those Olympics, Liddell returned to China as a missionary. He learned the difficult Chinese language and told everyone he met about the Gospel. Whatever he did – running, preaching, living out the Gospel – he was faithful and gracious. People were attracted to his determination and humility and wanted to know more about his God. His life story pointed all kinds of people to his Savior. There was even a movie made about his story (Chariots of Fire).
Do your decisions and priorities make it clear to everyone around you that you love and value your Savior more than your own fame and reputation? Have you ever risked losing something you really wanted because you felt God would be displeased with you for going after it? Are you truly humble about God’s gifts to you? Do people praise your talents and your gifts only, or are they able to see beyond them to the One Who gave you what you have?
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.