The Rewards of Obedience
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
In Jesus' time, the false teachers taught that hardships were the result of your sin or that of your parents. In John 9, Jesus rebukes this false teaching. It's clear from scripture that suffering happens to everyone. After all, we live in a fallen world.
In Mt 5:45, Jesus goes on to say: "He (God) causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
Regardless of whether you are a Christian or not, hardships are going to happen. Oftentimes, we lose sight of this. We ask God, "Why me? What have I done to deserve this?" This is really no different than the question asked of Jesus in John 9. As a healthy view of suffering, we need to accept the fact that hardships happen to everyone. Hardships are not the result of our faith, but they can be a test of our faith. Yes, sometimes God is testing the substance of our faith. Is it strong enough to withstand the storms of life? In Mt 7, Jesus compares two house builders. One built a house with the foundation on a rock. The other built a house with a foundation of sand. The story goes as follows:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Notice a very interesting fact here... both houses were subject to the same storm. The issue isn't the storm. The issue is the foundation. Our obedience to God's Word gives us the foundation to withstand all that this life has to throw against us. Our obedience can cause us to praise Him in the storm. Yes, even in the darkest points in life, we can give Him praise! That's what obedience to God can do for your life. It doesn't make you immune to storms, it just allows you to survive them. When the storm has passed, yes YOUR house will still stand.