"You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good."
- Genesis 50:20 NASB
Yesterday, while my husband, Joe, and I were grocery shopping, he bought himself a cup of coffee. As we started checking out at the register, he spilled his drink all over the conveyor belt and our groceries. As we cleaned up the mess, the cashier told us about a brand new store just down the road that was celebrating its grand opening and offering everyone free cups of coffee. We decided to take advantage of the offer, and as we headed to the store, my husband said, "See that, God had me spill my coffee so that He could lead me to this great new store, and get a new one for free!" I thought about it for a moment, and then told him, "No, more than likely, the devil had you spill your coffee, and God brought good out of it for you!"
The Lord enabled me to use this experience to remind my husband of some powerful truths: God is good; the devil is bad. Sounds pretty elementary, doesn't it? Yet, when we're in the midst of a painful situation, we can forget these things pretty quickly. The Bible says: "Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:16-17 NIV) One of Satan's greatest deceptions is trying to make Christians believe that God is behind many of the bad things that happen to them. That couldn't be further from the truth. The devil is the one who works overtime trying to do us harm any way that he can. Jesus said: "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." (John 10:10 AMP) Here, the Savior makes it clear that Satan means us only harm, while God means us only good. Keeping these simple truths in mind is very important when we're facing negative circumstances. If we think that God is behind our troubles, then we will not be as likely to respond properly to our situation. And if we don't respond properly, we will forfeit the victories and blessings that God had in store for us all along. Every time we face adversity, we have a choice to make. Are we going to become resentful and vindictive, and try to fight our own battles? If so, then we are headed for serious trouble. Or are we going to trust that God is a good God, and that whatever comes our way, He will work out for our benefit as we cooperate with Him? (Romans 8:28)
Genesis 50:20 (NASB) says: "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good." These are the words of Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his own brothers, and then imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. For some 13 years, he suffered untold misery at the hands of cruel and unjust people, while staying true to his God, and believing Him for good. In the end, God rewarded Joseph by making him the prime minister of Egypt, and enabling him to save his entire family from starvation, along with multitudes of others. When faced with the same brothers who tried to destroy him years earlier, he tells them: "As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil." (NLT) Joseph is a prime example of the rewards that God's children can reap when they maintain the right attitude throughout their trials, and refuse to doubt their God.
That day that my husband spilled his coffee, the Lord rewarded him with a replacement cup, and the discovery of a wonderful new store that we might never have found otherwise. If God is willing to bring good out of the minor troubles and trials that come our way, imagine what amazing things He will do when we're faced with major difficulties. No matter what challenges you are facing today, please believe that the Lord has incredible blessings and discoveries waiting for you up ahead. Just keep your trust in God and His good plans for you, and the day will come when you can say to the devil--"You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good..."
Prayer: Lord, thank You for being a good God. Thank You that when You allow pain and problems to touch my life, You always have a good reason for it. I ask that You help me to walk in obedience before You more and more, so that I won't be an easy target for the devil. In every challenge I face from now on, I will look for the good You have in store for me!
- J. M. Farro