This Bad Thing Could Easily Be The Best Thing That Ever Happens To You [Patrick Morley]
What is the bad thing that is weighing you down? Does it feel like a problem without a solution? Does your situation seem hopeless? That’s certainly how the man in this story felt. Born blind, a beggar, so inconsequential the story doesn’t even mention his name! Yet out of this story emerges a hope-drenched picture of God’s love, grace, mercy, and power that compelled him to worship Jesus. Join Patrick Morley and learn how this can be your story too.
Session 5: This Bad Thing Could Easily Be The Best Thing That Ever Happens To You
Good morning men. Turn to John 9:1. And let me give you a little update of where I have been. I said I needed to take a couple of weeks and sort of kind of sequester myself or say it is and finish off the book page script on Christian man and then Patsy and I … For six months planned a wonderful vacation to Glacier National Park and we had a great time there. And then last week Thursday she had a back surgery which was scheduled. So she was in the hospital five days. She’s home. You know one of those decompression and fusion that kind of deals through her back. She’s doing fine. And so I’ve been taking care of her the last week or so and so anyway I’ve have to say that … It’s hard to picture my life without being part of this bible study.
Let’s go ahead and do a shout out this morning to Monday Night Men. I kind of like this name. This is like a really good name do you like it? It’s like Monday night football. And Kent Koch I hope that’s Koch… Koch is the leader in Grand Island, Nebraska. Anybody here from Nebraska?
15 men have been meeting with us for about six months on Monday night 8:00 pm. Kent writes, “Our goal is to better ourselves as men, husbands, fathers and God following leaders.” What a great vision Kent. So I wonder if you join me in giving a warm and rousing Man in the Mirror welcome to Monday Night Men … One, Two, Three, Hoo-rah! Welcome! We’re glad to have you men with us.
Alright so you should be at John Chapter 9:1. Title of the day.. Well we’re going to finish my little part of this Jesus unleashed series here this morning. The title of this talk, This Bad Thing Could Easily Be The Best Thing That Ever Happens To You. I did not put to you on the slide. And so …
I don’t know what the bad thing is that is part of your narrative that influences who you are and how can you say how you act and how you interact with other people. But most of us have some bad things that brings us down. Some big chunky bad thing that’s happened or is happening in our life. It’s a bad thing. It might even be the worst thing. That has ever happened in your life … And it doesn’t seem like it has any solution. And guess what? It may not even have a solution in this life But the result is that from time to time it can leave you feeling hopeless.
And so it could be a health problem as the story we’re going to look at today, or it could be a money problem, either not enough or too much or it might be a relationship problem. Something that is unreconciled and seems irreconcilable, whatever that word is. And if this thing is chronic, and you probably have had, not probably, certainly had one or more of these kinds of thoughts.
I wonder if I’m being punished for something that I’ve done in the past …I wonder if there’s something. It must be some sin that I committed that I can’t remember that I haven’t confessed that’s holding me back here … Maybe I just don’t have enough sins. Maybe I just don’t have … I read about your stories. Maybe I just don’t have enough faith. Whatever is happening to me, It’s my fault … And so some of us are riddled with guilt and shame. Some of us have done things for which it would be appropriate, but we’re … Also some of us are riddled with guilt and shame for things that we have not been responsible for. And no doubt the man in this story today had very similar question.
WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY, WHY, WHY?
So let’s look at the story of what happened and why, why, why. So we’re going to begin John 9:1. And we’re just going revers a little to answer what happened? So Jesus was going along and he saw a man blind from birth. Now just stop right there I mean and elsewhere we read this text that he was a beggar. So he’s poor. He was born blind and his name is not even mentioned in the story, so inconsequential personality everybody knows that, but nobody knows his name.
Basically that’s what’s possible here … He saw a man blind from birth, his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind? So … Notice that it wasn’t the unbelieving part of the audience that was asking you the questions that we were asking earlier. There was confusion on the part of the disciples. The disciples are asking, “Who sinned that this man was born blind?” Is it his sin, or his parents sin? And that was the prevailing theology of that time.
I guess it’s the 10 commandments but any way where the sins of the fathers are visited to the fourth generation. And so there were reasons why people thought that when something was going wrong with somebody was because obviously they had sinned, or their parents had sinned. And then Jesus says this … He says, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned.” Now, parenthesis, . Jesus is not saying that they were not sinners. Everybody is a sinner.
But with respect to this man being born blind. He’s saying, “That this man nor his parents sins of Jesus. But this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. And verse six, having said this, “He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva … And then put it on to the man’s eyes”. I wouldn’t let you do that to me but would definitely let Jesus do that. And it’s at the end of the tunnel at his age.
It’s kind of a filthy little place. But for me in this story I … But when I was there I knelt down and the water like, “You can get malaria and typhoid and HIV.” So I did get my finger in the water and then I took off my glasses and I just took water and I washed off. It’s a man get to Jesus sacred this pool and be washed and anatomy. He went home sacredness. Look at verse seven. “Go.”, Jesus said, “Wash.” So the man went and wash and he came home seeing. The hopeless situation … The dire hopeless situation. There probably was. Not probably.
He was absolutely no one in on the face of the earth who thought that this would be possible. Of course, except Jesus. No one would have thought this hopeless situation. Your situation is so dire that if you were to explain to us now there’s not a single man in this room who would think it was able for your situation … And so that was the prevailing theology. It my question to you is this, “Did your theology put limits on God like God doesn’t put on himself? What do you think?
I think for myself, as I ask myself this question I’d answer most certainly, “My theology definitely puts limits on God and apparently God does follow us and so … So it says that this happened, its interesting that there is either or fallacies. This is in logic who said, “This man or his parents that he was born blind.” This is … Logic and the study of logic is called either or fallacy. Where it’s either this or that. What are you going to do?
It’s a fallacy. But there is a passion quiz third option Jesus proposes this. He said, “This is happening because it’s care center.” He said, “But this happened that the work of God might be displayed.” So why? You see what happened. Why did it happen? It happened because Jesus healed him. Jesus is a healer. Jesus said, “I came to seek and save the lost.” Jesus said, “It is not the sick who need a doctor.” And its not the healthy who need a doctor. It is the sick who need a doctor.
When he opened up the scroll and whatever it was, he said, he quotes Isaiah. And he said “I came to set people free. This is why I came.” And so if you have this man in prison, in this body and this body bag in his body. How’s the situation and Jesus comes to display the work of God in his life. Jesus has come to display the work of God in our lives. His come to put on display the work of God … What is the work of God? What is his work?
We talk about it here all the time. Its Total Global Conquest. That’s the work of God, TGC. God is trying take over the world. He is redeeming the world, he is the creator … He is the sustainer and he is the redeemer of this earth problem. And that is what he’s doing. The main… The main thing that is always happening in this world is that God is silently orchestrating all of the CAG random, hopeless circumstances of our lives … To bring us into a right relationship with him and right relationship with each other.
This is the work of God. This is what God doing to the world and He is taking all this broken parts. All of these bondage’s. He’s taking these things … And by the way, it doesn’t … You don’t have to have faith for him to do this. Biggest big part of it. Consider it being a big part of it. This man didn’t even know who Jesus was. He said, “Who did these?” Well not quite sure who did these. I think he was a prophet.
Jesus did this because Jesus … Jesus is taking care of everybody. He’s taking care of taking care of believers. He’s taking care of people who don’t love him. His taking care of everybody … So why does he care? Why did he care? … So verse five. Why was the man more blind. Well so that the work of God could be displayed in life. Why did Jesus heal? Because that’s what Jesus does. And why do we care? … Because of John 3:16 other verses like it, “For God so loved the world.” He loved His creation and He sustains His creation and He is redeeming his creation.
So if Lady Gaga … Quite happens to be alive has … I think this could easily be her most famous song, but it’s Born This Way. The first … And I downloaded the lyrics. I listened to that the other day and there were some parts of it that I couldn’t understand and I realized this because part of this song in a foreign language but … She has this, I don’t know what they call that a chorus or something. When you repeat … “I’m beautiful in my own way because God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track baby. I was born this way.”
This man born blind here … Maybe you have your own kind of blindness. Maybe it’s a health problem. I mean, just imagine if you were born in Syria and you were living in Syria today. You think you’ve got problems. I mean, or in the path of a hurricane … Maybe you’re on the brink of bankruptcy and the economy’s doing good and you look like, “What an idiot am I that I can’t even make it when the economy’s good.”
So just let me ask you this question, “Do you think that the bad thing that you, the chronic bad thing you’ve had to carry around, do you think that that is a bad thing or a good thing?” Well … A Bad thing is a bad thing. Don’t … This is a mistake Christians made. They try to call things that are black, white and yellow, green and call what it is. It’s a bad thing. It’s a terrible thing. It’s obscene that the fall … I’ve said this before, “The fall is an offense to human reason.” It is.
It’s an offense to human reason. But once you accepted it begins to make perfect sense of the human condition. Certainly this man who was born this way … Would have thought that what he was going through was a bad thing, but once he’s healed, do you think that he would say that that was a good thing, that he had been born blind? Maybe he would, but there’s more to this story. We’ll skip the part because what this is not a two hour message and we’ll skip over the part where we’re the people that know him don’t understand what’s going and doubt him.
We’ll skip the part about where the Pharisees doubt him. They’re even upset because it happened on a Sabbath. This is the typical fantasy thing, being worried about well, it happened on the Sabbath. But people were divided. This is the way with Jesus, with you and your ministries … Some people are not going to like you when you do evil. But some people are not going to like you when you do good. And that’s what has happened here with Jesus. Turn over to verse 35.
So Jesus heard that they had thrown this guy out. You can read the rest of the story if you want, don’t need to, but you can read it if you want. They threw him out of the temple or synagogue or whatever it was. Jesus heard that they had thrown him out and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the son of man?” What’s Jesus’s? Why did Jesus Care? What is Jesus doing? What’s the big picture? Total Global Conquest, right? So healing the physical body is a great thing.
Wonderful thing, beautiful thing. But it’s a pointer to the reason behind the miracle total global conquest. He says, “Do you believe in the son of man?” And he says, “Who is he sir? Who is he Sir?” Tell me so that I may believe in him. Jesus said, “You have now seen Him. He is in fact the one speaking with you.” And then the man said, “Lord, I believe.” And then he worshiped him … So he certainly not at this point is thinking what happened to him is a very good thing.
If you ask him, “Is this a bad thing or a good thing?” He said, “Well, it was a bad thing, but now it’s really like the best thing this.” I would say, “It’s the best thing that’s ever, not only I’m my healed I’m saved.” And so the Big Idea today is this, This bad thing could easily be the best thing that ever happens to me. You just don’t know. You think this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. It’s that farmer story, Good news, Bad news. Who knows?
Farmer finds a wild stallion. You’ve heard this story I’m sure. Farmer finds his wild horse, neighbor leans over the fence says, “Wow, that’s really good news that you found that horse.” Says, “Good news, bad news. Who knows?” Put the saddle on him, going to break the horse in. The son says, “Hey dad, can I break that horse in?” “Oh, I don’t know if that’s a good idea, but okay.” Son falls off, the horse breaks his leg. Guy leans over the fence. I shared the bad news. “Oh, your son broke his leg like that.”
He says, “Good news, bad news. Who knows?” War breaks out in all the young men in the village are drafted in the military service except this young man, because he has a broken leg. Man leans over the fence and says, “Wow, that sure is good news that your son broke his leg at this lead time.” Man says, “Good news, bad news. Who knows?” … This bad thing could easily be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
Easily be the best thing that this ever happened to me. And I have my list that I’ve been thinking about all week long of course, I mean seven years, seven years facing everyday, not knowing if I would be forced to go out of business. Seven years everyday fighting the migraine headaches since I was a teenager. I can remember in the army, before I had migraine medicine, I would take those powders.
Patrick Morley:What? Oh No. Well, this is just a powder is little aspirin powders. Oh, is that what you’re telling? …. BC who is the great racer the …. Richard Petty used to do the ads for the … and I ‘ll take those and I just, I drunk those things and … And I just thought it was the worst thing that could ever possibly happen to live like that. And several, probably half a dozen things I could say that I can now look back and I can say, “Those bad things are some of the best things that ever happened.” Because of the … They have drawn me into to be able to say when Jesus says to me, he said, “Do you believe in the son of man?”
I can say, “Lord, because of these things I believe, and I worship and I worship him.” I worship him for the good things that happened. But I actually find that I’ve been so molded by these bad thing so … The bad things have raised all the questions that the good things never race. When things are going great, I’m not asking Lord, “Is there some sin in my life that I haven’t confessed? Lord, if I’ve done something to a shame you or to embarrass you in some way.”
I don’t ask those questions when things are going well …
WHAT WE LEARN FROM THIS STORY THAT WE WOULD OTHERWISE NEVER KNOW
Alright, so what is it that we learned from this story that we would otherwise never know? So it’s interesting. We need to be careful to understand that Jesus did not say that this man was not a sinner … He never says that the man is not a sinner. The man was most certainly a sinner. But what he is saying that the reason that he’s born blind is not because of his sin or his parents sin.
And what we learned here is that this bad thing that’s happened to him happened so that God could display his work in his life. There are bad things that happen to us, to you, to me … That have happened so that God can put his work on display and get the glory and receive the faith and receive our worship and our humility … And so, the thing we learned here is that Jesus corrects forever the theological error that continues to keep men in bondage to this day, the theological error that I must have, this must be because of my sin. He severs … Do you see this? Jesus has severed the necessary connection between sin and suffering. Jesus has just forever severed … The necessary connection between sin and suffering. There may be a connection between your suffering and your sin.
I mean if you go out and do something immoral and you get a some kind of an immoral disease for it. I mean that’s there is a connection there, but Jesus has severed the necessary connection that what you’re going through, the bad thing … so if you look, if you have searched your heart, search me, O God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out any offensive way in me. Lead me in your everlasting way … God … forgive my hidden thoughts, point out how I’ve done wrong.
If you’ve done that and you’re clean. He’s forgiven you. Then what’s happening to you could be a consequence of the sin, a sin, but if there has not been a sin, don’t assume that there is one. He is forever relieved us of that theological error. Again this bad thing that’s going on that it’s happened. It could easily be the best thing that ever happens to you.
IF IT DOESN’T LEAD TO WORSHIP I’M NOT INTERESTED
There’s the … Final piece that I want to take a look at, (hoo, I’m out of time as usual), if it doesn’t lead the worship, I’m not interested. So when I was in Glacier National Park a couple of weeks ago, I was on a hike and I have lots of set prayers. I’ve told you some of them, two of them have to do with worship. And one of those two I’ll mention this morning. This is a set prayer I pray almost every day.
“Lord, I want to worship you in the beauty of your holiness, the majesty of your creation, the unconditionality of your love, the generosity of your salvation in the mystery of your providence.” And so I love worshiping God and creation. So I was kind of like waiting for that moment to hit me. I was walking along this little … I showed it to a couple of guys before we started a little four foot wide trail, chiseled out of the sheer cliff that plummets thousands of feet to the valley floor.
And I was walking through there and I was just overwhelmed by the majesty of creation and that’s my prayer, Lord, “I want to worship you in the majesty of your creation.” And I just broke out in worship. I just … I don’t sing so nobody could tell because I kind of do it in my head. I don’t do it out loud, but I was worshiping like crazy. And so … For all of life, if it doesn’t lead the worship, I’m just not interested. And these bad things that God allows to happen more in blind from birth and whatever it is, whatever bad thing it is, you can understanding that, that bad thing could easily be the best thing that would’ve happened to you.
You can easily use that as a springboard to worship exactly like this man did. Do you believe in the son of man? “Lord, I believe.” And what he worshiped him … So bad things can lead men to turn away from God and do … But bad things can also help men turn to God. And that’s the way we want to use them. So I don’t know what happened in Lady Gaga’s life.
I know that God loves her. Guess what? The Lord loves Lady Gaga just as much as he loves you and me, he does. And I think she would make a wonderful Christian. She has said that, “I’m teaching people how to worship themselves.” This is the basic error, but don’t think that she’s such a bad person for that. I mean, when you think about all the different ways that secular people are doing things out of ignorance, usually sometimes malice, but usually out of ignorance.
They’re teaching people how to worship themselves. You can do anything you want to do. What’s that? That’s nothing but worshiping selves. Right? So that’s at least she knows what she’s doing, right? She’d make a wonderful Christian and so, but what I’m here to do is to teach men to worship our creator, sustainer and redeemer, and that’s what we’re about. And when we take these bad things, and we see them in the perspective that the scriptures see them. It changes our narrative. It changes the narrative of how we see these bad things.
And so instead of moving away from God, we can move toward God … This well known story… When they … You walked by a circus elephant, they have a little tiny rope wrapped around its leg, staked into the ground. I guess sometimes it’s not even staked into the ground and you and the elephant doesn’t move away from the stake. Doesn’t try to … I mean this … The elephant could just so easily I mean I’d be there would be like flicking a piece of paper for the elephant to walk away and break free from the stake. But the elephant doesn’t do that. Why doesn’t the elephant do that?
Because when the elephant was a baby and that rope was actually big enough to hold the little baby elephant in place, the rope and stake it tugged and tugged and tugged and couldn’t get free and the next day and the next week he would tug and tug and couldn’t get free, and finally it realized, it decided that this was the limit. This was … And so the adult elephant is in bondage and doesn’t think it can move beyond where it’s staked because it has made an error. It is thought that, that thing has them in bondage.
And the takeaway for us today is that thing that you think has you in bondage. All you have to do is, with the help of the Lord Jesus Christ. Give it a little kick and set yourself free. Big idea of the day. This bad thing could easily be the best thing that ever happens to me. It doesn’t mean that if you’re born blind, you’re going to be healed, but he can still set you free and so that you can worship him.It could easily, it could still, no matter whether you’re get fixed or don’t get fixed, this could still be the best thing that ever happens to me.
Let’s pray. Our dearest father, your word is overwhelmingly … Clear. Even though it’s difficult to get to that clarity sometimes. I pray that you would help each of us to grasp what’s been said here this morning and the significance of it in our lives and that we might be true worshipers of you in faith. It’s such a way that others will have said, “Oh my goodness.” I have seen the work of God put on display … In his life. We ask this Jesus in your name … Giving you the glory for your sake. Amen.