God created this world well, and he created man well. When God had finished His creation, He saw that is was ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31). So disabilities are not a part of God’s original design. They are a consequence of sin entering the world. Because of sin, disease and unhappiness and disabilities started to affect people. Creation itself suffers “from its bondage to corruption” (Romans 8:21).
Not part of God’s original good creation
So the first thing that needs to be said about disabilities is that they are not part of God’s original good creation. Yet we also have to acknowledge that it is God who subjected this world to futility (Romans 8:20). His punishment of sin changed this world into a place of suffering. So it would be too easy to say that God does not have anything to do with the fact that some people are being born with disabilities.
In John 9 we read about a man who was born blind. The disciples ask whether his sins or the sins of his parents caused that. But Jesus tells them not to be interested in the cause, but in the purpose. The purpose was that ‘the works of God might be displayed in him’ (John 9:3). That God receives the glory, Jesus explains here, is more important than an easy life without suffering.
More important than disabilities
That teaching from Jesus points us in the right direction. Some things are even more important than a life without disabilities. Some of the purposes that God has for experiencing disabilities, either in ourselves or in people we love, are:
- To create a desire for heaven in us. If all our wishes would come true on this earth, and if there would be no suffering at all, we would be living in paradise. But it would be a paradise without God. The Lord wants us to find our satisfaction in Him. We should not be satisfied with this earth, but we should long for heaven and the presence of God.
- To prepare us for heaven. All suffering that we have to go through helps us to focus on the ‘things unseen’, and is used by God to prepare us for heaven: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
- To give us the opportunity to show that a life with disability and with Jesus is more joyful than a life without disabilities and without Jesus.
- To give us the opportunity to show love to those who are suffering from disabilities. In that way we are growing spiritually ourselves, and we are showing others the beauty of a Christ-centered life.
On our way to the glorious new earth
We trust that God has a good purpose, even in disabilities. That does not mean that we glorify the suffering connected to disabilities. As said above, all suffering ultimately originates in sin. The pain of suffering should therefore lead us to hate and abhor sin. It should lead us to worship Jesus, who willingly suffered to liberate us from the curse of sin. When we trust in Him, we are on our way to the glorious new earth, where disabilities will no longer exist: God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Also read: Does God heal the sick?100% Free Bible Course
We now offer a 100% free, Internet based Bible course. In 15 short lessons you will learn God's message for you in his Word.