Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”3“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,”Jesus answered.“This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.4We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.The night is coming, and then no one can work.5But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:1-5 (NLT2)
But some may say, “It is my complaint that my sufferings cannot be compared with the sufferings of the saints. I am a sinner and do not deserve to be compared with them. They suffered for their innocence, but I suffer for my sins. Little wonder that they bore everything so blithely!” That is a very stupid statement. If you suffer because of your sins, then you ought to rejoice that you are being purged of your sins. Then, too, were not the saints also sinners?
During my life, I have noticed that after disasters and major challenges, some groups come out and blame the trauma on the fact that someone has sinned. They blindly say this epidemic or that earthquake, or whatever tragedy is because of this groups’ sin.
Glad I haven’t seen that so far… I really don’t want to get that angry.
But it is a question that has been asked before. While I wouldn’t call it stupid the way Luther did, it does show a lack of knowledge about God., about His love for you and the incredible depth of His mercy. These things aren’t new, the love and mercy is gloriously rampant throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament.
God doesn’t punish this group of sinners less than that group. For all have sinned – we see that in the world, and of course scripture acknowledges it. Even the “heroes” and holy prophets did. They had their time of weakness, scripture has no problem showing us that!
But even in the midst of our suffering, we can see God at work, using the moment to bring us back, to cleanse us of our sin, to reveal to us again that we are saints, that we are the people He is healing who have been broken by sin, even shattered by it. Yet God can and does put us back together.
The power of God seen in us… healing our brokenness, while using us to help heal others.
What a glorious thing!
Lord, help us just look to you! Help us to depend on Your love and mercy. Help us to rejoice in Your glorious work that is revealed in our lives, even during this time of pandemic. We pray this in the Namr of the Father, and of the Son † and of the Holy Spirit! Amen!
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 42: Devotional Writings I, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 42 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 140.