"Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." That the works of God should be made manifest in him. Typically, I have interpreted this scripture in what I still maintain to be a correct, but now consider an incomplete manner. I have always looked to the end result - the healing of this man from his blindness. It was facile for me to see how God's works were manifest in healing this man. His healing was a miracle easily attributed to God and His great works. In my subconscious, I suppose I had envisioned this blind man waiting all his life for the works of God to be manifest in him through his healing. The other day, the depth of this scripture hit me. The works of God were to be manifest in this blind man through his blindness, not just in the healing of his blindness. This caused me to think about how my trials allow God to unveil His face through and in me. Perhaps there are things that I desire and have not yet received; perhaps there are issues that I'm grappling with; or perhaps there are unanticipated losses. These very losses, struggles, or withholdings can actually be the means by which God reveals His works to me and others. It could be that because I am lacking in one area, I pursue another path that allows God to use my talents and bless lives. It could be that my attitude through trials manifests God's love and understanding. Whatever the mechanics, the trials we are given are divinely tailored to us not only so that we can endure them, but also so that our capacities and abilities are enhanced. In doing so, God's works are manifest in us.
Trials don't necessarily come as a punishment, or because we have sinned. More often they are there to refine us so that we receive God's image in our countenances. We quite literally glorify God as we pass through trials with faith because God is manifest in us through the trials. "If any man suffer as a Christian... let him glorify God on this behalf."