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How Jesus Helps Me Through Tough Times

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “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. 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. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing! His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!” But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!” They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?” He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!” JOHN 9:1-11 NLT

Jesus will respond to my situation in one of three ways:

Change my _situation _

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. JAMES 5:13 NLT
So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials… 2 PETER 2:9 NLT

Change my _understanding _

Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. HEBREWS 5:8 NLT
This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. JOHN 9:3 NLT
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 NLT

I must expect difficulty
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 1 PETER 4:12 NLT

I must prepare for tough times
So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. 1 PETER 4:1 NLT
Everything that hurts is not evil, and everything that feels good is not Godly.

I must have compassion for those who suffer
Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 TIMOTHY 2:3 NLT
If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:26 NLT

Change my direction

The formerly blind man is:
● Harassed by the authorities
● Abandoned by his parents
● Kicked out of his ethnic community
God allows me to hurt physically and emotionally to direct me spiritually *
When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.” “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!” “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus. *JOHN 9:35-38 NLT

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. 1 PETER 4:19 NLT

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. What are your expectations about how much suffering and happiness should be in your life?
  2. How do those expectations compare with what the Bible says?
  3. How does your suffering shape your view of God and his love for you?
  4. When has there been a time in your life where you experienced suffering and asked God “why”?
  5. How did God use your suffering to shape your faith and trust in him?
  6. Think of Jesus’ three responses to our suffering (Change my situation, my understanding or my direction). What would it look like for you to see all three options as a pathway to joy, even if you don’t initially like the response?

Personal Reflection Guide

Find a quiet place where you can be alone with God. Imagine that you are standing near the blind man in John 9. Imagine him not knowing that Jesus is approaching him, thinking about him, speaking of him. What would you say to him in that moment? Reflect for a few moments on your own life–is there a situation or a place in your heart that feels like you’re sitting in blindness? Could it be possible that Jesus is there with you, just out of sight, thinking of you, approaching you? Allow your heart to remain open to signs of his presence as you move through your week, knowing that Jesus is with you always.

My Notes