sin

Suffering and Sin: not always go hand-in-hand

This is part two of the Three Day Quote Challenge I’m participating in. Part one can be found HERE and the first post explaining it all HERE.

The other day I was doing some devotional reading on the ninth chapter of the Gospel of John. The devotional was speaking about Jesus’ teaching on the man who was blinded from birth, verses 1-3:

“As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (‭John‬ ‭9‬:‭1-3‬ ESV)

The devotion also included several quotes from various theologians and preachers, some you may be familiar with:

“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins–but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Christ, who perfectly knew the secret springs of the divine counsels, told them two things concerning such calamities: that they are not always inflicted as punishments of sin–and that they are sometimes intended purely for the glory of God, and the manifesting of His works.” Matthew Henry

“Afflictions are often the black foils in which God sets the jewels of His children’s graces, to make them shine the better. There are some of your graces which would never be discovered, if it were not for your trials. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials. The heart of a Christian is Christ’s garden, and his graces are as so many sweet spices and flowers, when His Spirit blows upon them, to send forth a sweet savor.” Charles Spurgeon

“Stars shine brightest in the darkest night. Afflictions ripen the saints’ graces. Gold looks the brighter for scouring. Just so, afflictions are but our Father’s goldsmiths who are working to add pearls to our crowns. Spices smell sweetest when pounded–and juniper smells sweeter in the fire.” Thomas Brooks 

“Some graces grow best in winter. Grace withers without adversity.” Samuel Rutherford

“The lowly graces of the Spirit thrive best under crosses.” Daniel Rowland

“The Lord’s jewels need grinding, and cutting, and polishing.” R.C. Chapman

And, finally, one I can particularly relate to:

“Grievous afflictions are not always sent as a scourge for sins committed–but sometimes as preventatives from sins. Paul’s thorn prevented his pride.” John Leland

I, too, once placed far too much emphasis – pride – on what I had accomplished in my recovery. If you’ve read some of my story on my About and Maybe I Should’ve Started Here pages you know I’ve been through a couple of surgeries and God has healed me to the point I can walk again; I still need braces and a cane and have chronic pain but I’m not in a wheelchair. Some will say “If God is capable of anything and He healed you, why did He only do it ‘halfway’?”. The answer is simple: For my own good. I know that it wasn’t “me” that did anything, it was all Him but I need to be reminded of that, humbled, in order to make sure I give the praise, credit and glory to Him who it belongs to: God. And I’ll gladly live with my “thorn in the flesh” to be the man He has made me today rather than be 100% physically healed and have to go back to the “old man” I was. 

Healing: a haiku 

This week’s haiku promt from Haiku Horizons immediately drew my thoughts to mankind’s relationship with God: it is broken from the start. But by His grace, our relationship can be healed, completely mended, through Jesus. 

a tear in my soul
the curse of father Adam
mended by Jesus


Rom 5:12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Rom 5:13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break.

Rom 5:14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come.

Rom 5:15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of forgiveness to many through this other Man, Jesus Christ.

Rom 5:16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.

Rom 5:17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one Man, Jesus Christ.

Rom 5:18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.

Rom 5:19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.