Solving Big Problems
Sermon shared by Brian Atwood
Summary: Gaining insights on how to have the positive outlook it takes to face problems effectively - based on Christ’s healing of the man born blind.
Audience: Believer adults
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(CEV) As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been blind since birth. 2 Jesus’ disciples asked, "Teacher, why was this man born blind? Was it because he or his parents sinned?" 3 "No it wasn’t!" Jesus answered. "But because of his blindness, you will see God work a miracle for him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do what the one who sent me wants me to do. When night comes, no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
6 After Jesus said this, he spit on the ground. He made some mud and smeared it on the man’s eyes. 7 Then he said, "Go and wash off the mud in Siloam Pool." The man went and washed in Siloam, which means, "One Who Is Sent." When he had washed off the mud, he could see.
We’re in the series on Jesus’ encouraging conversations that took place prior to each of the seven miracles recorded by John in his Good News account. We’re finding that the words of Christ provide great hope and help. We’re finding God’s Word is the great force behind the miracles he performs.
Whenever God speaks there is power and provision for our needs. When God speaks, great things happen!
For example God’s creative acts are often spoken.
Genesis 1:3 (KJV) And God said, "Let there be light": and there was light.
Light was precisely what the recipient of this miracle needed. He was born blind. He didn’t know what a rainbow or a flower looked like. He had never held his breath at the sight of a sunset. The face of his parents was a mystery to him. The world was colorless and formless. It’s really hard to imagine what that is actually like.
The good news is that when Christ’s path intersected his life there was an unprecedented change! He received the gift of sight and he later received the gift of eternal life by believing in Jesus! The miracle not only met his physical need but more importantly it met his great spiritual need of a Savior!
From this miracle we gain several important insights that produce a positive outlook for facing big problems in life.
The first insight this story opens our eyes to is:
1. Look for blessing, not blame.
One of the greatest keys to winning in life is a good attitude. This biblical narrative contrasts the winning attitude of Jesus with the various examples of bad attitudes around him. The first attitude that needed correcting was that of the disciples.
Verse 2 (NLT) "Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?"
Sin does have consequences but problems aren’t always punishment. Jesus pointed out a better mindset than that which the disciples’ question portrayed. Instead of finger pointing when you face big problems, you have another option. Here’s how Jesus replied.
Verse 3 (Msg) "You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do."
Here you have specific instructions from the Lord Himself on what to do when you encounter a big problem - look for what God can do! See problems as opportunities for God to display his love and power.
It’s a shame that the disciples didn’t look at this man with a desire to help him in his trouble – instead they wanted to start a theological discussion. People don’t need a gabfest when they’re facing big problems.
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