How Can I Help?
23 August 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 9:1-12 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
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. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:1–5 NLT)
I need to spend one more day on this point, friends! It was a common belief in Jewish culture then, and in our culture now, and perhaps especially in our Christian culture, that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people, and that tragedy or loss is someone “getting what’s coming to them!” That makes for a nice, tidy philosophical package, but it’s not at all consistent with the message of Scripture or the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We live in a fallen world where evil is not always punished and good is not always rewarded. Sometimes the bad guys get away with murder and the innocent suffer. In yesterday’s devotional “Wrong Question”, I addressed the “blame game” approach to human suffering or loss. We Christians don’t play the blame game. Our approach is the Jesus approach: 1) There’s an opportunity for God’s power to be displayed in human suffering; 2) We were sent to help; 3) We are the light of the world!
When we encounter suffering and loss, it’s way beyond our pay grade to judge the person in pain! God judges, and God judges through a heart of unconditional love. So let’s look at what we can do to help:
1) What’s the opportunity here for God’s power to be displayed? Is this the place for a miracle? Is this the place for comfort and encouragement? Is this the place to quietly support and encourage?
2) What’s the most helpful thing I can do? What do you want me to do to help, Father? How can I help, friend?
3) How can I shine a light for Jesus? I purpose to let my light shine so others can see my good, love-motivated effort to help and give you praise and thanks!
Father, How can I help? Please use me to lift a burden, heal a hurt, and shine a light!