It is amazing how often the devil tried to thwart (oppose, frustrate or baffle) the purposes of Jesus. Do you remember the time when the devil caused the whole herd of swine to go over the cliff? When you first look at it, it appears that the devil again thwarted the plans of Jesus, but read the following:
“But the purposes of Christ were not thwarted. He allowed the evil spirits to destroy the herd of swine as a rebuke to those Jews who were raising these unclean beasts for the sake of gain. Had not Christ restrained the demons, they would have plunged into the sea, not only the swine, but also their keepers and owners. The preservation of both the keepers and the owners was due alone to His power, mercifully exercised for their deliverance. Furthermore, this event was permitted to take place that the disciples might witness the cruel power of Satan upon both man and beast. The Saviour desired His followers to have a knowledge of the foe whom they were to meet, that they might not be deceived and overcome by his devices. It was also His will that the people of that region should behold His power to break the bondage of Satan and release his captives. And though Jesus Himself departed, the men so marvelously delivered, remained to declare the mercy of their Benefactor.” The Great Controversy, 515.
Amazing! Even though the keepers and owners of the swine were living in sin, Jesus protected them from being destroyed and they were given another opportunity. This story is a real faith builder!
It is a must for each of us to know and believe that, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
And why are we to believe this? Because, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Verse 29.
Just stop to think about this for a moment. The only reason God allows things to happen the way they do in our lives is that He is working things out for you and for me to be conformed to the image of His Son. This should bring rejoicing into our hearts, even though for a little while we do not understand, but when we get to heaven we will thank Him for everything that ever happened to us because He allowed it for our good. We serve a most loving God.
Put your trust fully in Him and rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh.
“Be careful [full of care] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7.
“Oh Lord, we are in danger of forgetting You and looking at the things which are seen instead of beholding, by the eye of faith, the things which are unseen. When misfortune or afflictions come, we are ready to blame You for neglect and cruelty. When You see fit to cut off our usefulness in some line, we mourn, not stopping to think that You are working for our good. Help us to remember that You can bring victory out of that which may seem to us misfortunes and afflictions. Help us to understand that we need to learn that these things are a part of Your great plan and that under the rod of affliction we may sometimes do more for Thee than when engaged in active service. Help us to behold You in all areas of our lives.” Amen.