“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” – Genesis 50:20
I prefer to avoid affliction and pain of every kind. Yet, I type this with one hand due to a physical affliction I’m enduring as a result of a recent bicycle mishap. Pain and suffering are part of this fallen world.
Jesus said there is an enemy, a thief, who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) Therefore, we know there will always be affliction meant to harm us. But children of God must always look expectantly for our good and sovereign Father to reveal his good in trouble. In my current distress, the Psalmist has reminded me how affliction draws me closer to God’s word:
“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.” – Psalm 119:67
“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” – Psalm 119:71
“I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.” – Psalm 119:75
“Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.” – Psalm 119:143
Anything that causes me to obey, learn, know and delight more in God’s word, no matter my foe’s harmful intent, God has certainly “meant it for good.”