Hurting People Need to Know the Character of God

Hurting People Need to Know the Character of God

During a recent interview, Pastor John pointed out that most people recoil at the thought of God’s sovereignty over things like making babies who are born blind, or ordaining deadly diseases. He asked me why the healing accounts that demonstrate God’s sovereignty over disability are such good news to me.

I’ve thought quite a bit since he asked that question, and I believe my first response to him was incomplete. So, here’s my second attempt at an answer.

Why God's Sovereignty Over Disability Is Good News to Me

First, God did a miracle by enlightening the eyes of my heart to see my need for Jesus and to know the hope to which he has called me (Ephesians 1:18). If that doesn’t happen, there is no hope and certainly no ability to see good news in the Bible.

Second, my pastors helped me understand the nature and character of God, using the Bible:

  • He is perfect - “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4 ).
  • He is good and merciful to unrighteous sinners - "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy. . . (Titus 3:4-5a ).
  • He supplies all our needs - "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
  • He knows my future - "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them" (Psalm 139:16).
  • He is unapologetically sovereign over disability - "Then the Lord said to him, 'Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?'” (Exodus 4:11).

The list goes on and on.

Third, my pastors helped me see that the love of God in the Bible is primarily about making much of God and not about helping or healing people:

True love aims at satisfying people in the glory of God. Any love that terminates on man is eventually destructive. It does not lead people to the only lasting joy, namely, God. Love must be God-centered, or it is not true love; it leaves people without their final hope of joy.  John Piper, The Goal of God’s Love May Not Be What You Think It Is, October 24, 2000.

When God helped me see that the healing accounts are primarily about God and not about healing, I could see those same miracles as wonderful and hopeful even though my son would not experience the same sort of healing.

But that didn’t happen right away; it took time. So I’m also grateful that God calls his elect to persevere for those like I was: "And have mercy on those who doubt" (Jude 1:22).

May you do the same today.

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John Knight is Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God. He is married to Dianne and together they parent their four children: Paul, Hannah, Daniel, and Johnny. Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments, and a seizure disorder. John blogs on issues of disability, the Bible, and the church at The Works of God.