Pastor John answered two possible objections in his sermon, Born Blind for the Glory of God. Here is the first:
Someone might say, “But this blind man got his eyes and was able to benefit himself from the work of God. My child stayed blind.”
Pastor John’s answer can be found in the sermon link above.
How do I know this objection isn’t hypothetical, or that Pastor John wasn’t just looking for a neat rhetorical device to make a point?
Because a version of that objection was asked in 1996, and Pastor John answered it in his sermon, Sustained by Sovereign Grace – Forever:
He said to me recently: it would be easier if Jesus hadn’t healed (the man born blind) but instead had given grace to endure the absence of healing.
One of the things I said to him was this: That’s exactly what Jesus did do—and for that very reason—in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. God’s grace ordains that Paul have a thorn in the flesh for the sake of his humility and then will not remove it in answer to prayer. But he says,
My [sustaining] grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.
To which Paul responds,
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
And that God-centered, Bible-saturated answer made all the difference in the world.
Pastors (and everybody else, but especially pastors) should be ready to respond to real questions with real Bible. We have a hope and we have a future because God is sovereign over all things, including when he heals and when he doesn’t heal. He shows us what that sovereignty looks like in his word.