God Aborts Devilish Schemes

  • Aug. 10, 2017
  • #9204

Satan may cause suffering and pain, but God is sovereign and His good purposes prevail.  

God Aborts Devilish Schemes

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a great lesson from Genesis.

And it all centers around that wonderful story in Genesis chapter 50, and you know it well. The story of Joseph, who although betrayed, sold into slavery, and left to rot in prison, was able to say to his up-to-no-good brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Wow, that is a great lesson! Things that others intend for evil God intends for good. And that so speaks to me, sitting in this wheelchair. Looking back on the day I broke my neck, I thought it was the devil who put his foot in my back and shoved me off the raft. I thought the whole thing was his responsibility; he was the one who intended to harm me. But God, He intended it for good. And that good is described perfectly in Genesis chapter 50, verse 20: God intended it for the saving of many lives. And I see it every day in our work at Joni and Friends as we take wheelchairs around the world and give the life-changing Gospel of Jesus.

It’s the way God does things. He always exploits Satan's evil intentions and uses them in His own service. It’s just one more example of God's ability to work out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will," just like it says in Ephesians chapter 1. God works everything—broken hearts, broken homes, broken necks—He works everything to conform with the purpose of His will. What does this look like in your life? Well, how about this:

Satan intends the rain that ruined your church picnic to cause Christians to grumble against their Lord, but God uses the rain to develop patience not only in your life, but the lives of every Christian in that picnic. Satan plans to hinder the work of an effective missionary by arranging for him to trip in the jungle and break a leg, but God allows that accident so that the missionary's godly response to pain and discomfort will make the villagers think twice about the Lord. Satan brews a hurricane to kill hundreds in a small village in Bangladesh, but God uses that storm to display His awesome power, to show people the awful consequences that sin has brought to the world, and to drive some to search for Him.

Satan schemed that a seventeen-year-old girl named Joni would break her neck, ruining her life, but God sent the broken neck in answer to her prayer for a closer walk with Him. As a friend once said, "God sends things, but Satan often brings them. Praise God that when Satan causes calamity, we can answer him with the words that Joseph answered his brothers with when they sold him into slavery. He said, 'You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.'"

The devil may have inspired the events that led to the car accident in which you injured your back. Perhaps the enemy had hoped to shipwreck your faith, causing you to doubt the goodness of God, and stain His reputation with your resentment. But God's motive is to use your chronic pain to drive you to Himself. Do you need help in doing that? Well, don’t forget to visit joniandfriends.org/radio and ask for your free copy of “Pain and Providence.” It’s filled with wonderful insights to help you say “no” to resentment, and “yes” to God's purpose in your life, no matter how hard the pain. Because although suffering is a mystery, it’s not so much a mystery that you cannot trust the Lord. Let me hear from you today at my Facebook page or you can always post a comment on my blog at joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends


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