“Intended evil becomes intended good.” As I reread that promise, it sounds formulaic, catchy, as if destined for a bumper sticker. I don’t mean for it to. There is nothing trite about your wheelchair, empty pantry, or aching heart. These are uphill, into-the-wind challenges you are facing. They are not easy.

But neither are they random. God is not sometimes sovereign. He is not occasionally victorious. He does not occupy the throne one day and vacate it the next. “The Lord shall not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the thoughts and intents of His mind” (Jer. 30:24 AMP). This season in which you find yourself may puzzle you, but it does not bewilder God. He can and will use it for his purpose.

Case in point: Joseph in prison. From an earthly viewpoint the Egyptian jail was the tragic conclusion of Joseph’s life. Satan could chalk up a victory for the dark side. All plans to use Joseph ended with the slamming of the jail door. The devil had Joseph just where he wanted him.

So did God.

What Satan intended for evil, God used for testing. In the Bible a test is an external trial that purifies and prepares the heart. Just as a fire refines precious metal from dross and impurities, a trial purges the heart of the same.

Every day God tests us through people, pain, or problems. Stop and consider your circumstances. Can you identify the tests of today? Snarling traffic? Threatening weather? Aching joints?

If you see your troubles as nothing more than isolated hassles and hurts, you’ll grow bitter and angry. Yet if you see your troubles as tests used by God for his glory and your maturity, then even the smallest incidents take on significance.

Today’s devotional is drawn from Max Lucado’s You’ll Get Through This.

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