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Standing Strong Through the Storm - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

GOD USES PROBLEMS AND PERSECUTION TO PROTECT YOU

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

Here is another of five ways God uses problems and persecution in your life: God uses problems and persecution to PROTECT you.

A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem—but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered.

Eritrean Christian singer, Helen Berhane, testifies that God helped her at every turn during her almost three years of imprisonment in the infamous shipping containers. She saw God repeatedly turn evil plans into good:

One day they [the guards] brought two girls to my container. Their names were Rahel and Elsa. They were both in the army before they were arrested. They were supposed to spy on me and report back, because the authorities could not understand how, despite their treatment of me, I was still defiant. However, things backfired because the girls really liked me. Very soon we had become good friends and they even told me, “We were supposed to spy on you. But we like you, and so we won’t!”

…Since the girls were not spying as they had been told to, Rahel was released, but they left Elsa in the container with me for a while. Rahel left all her spare clothes for me. This was a blessing, as for a long time I had not been allowed any more clothes, even when the old ones were worn out. I felt that this was God’s provision for me, like the ravens he sent to Elijah. It was my experience that no matter what hardship I was in, God always sent someone to help me. So, although these girls were sent to spy on me, God used them to bless me.[1] (emphasis mine)

RESPONSE: God is at work in my life—even when I do not recognize it or understand it. It is much easier and more profitable when I cooperate with Him. This is the way to victory!

PRAYER: God help me to trust You to bring good from the challenges, difficulties and persecutions I might be subjected to today.

1. Helen Berhane, The Song of the Nightingale (Colorado Springs: Authentic Media, 2009), pp. 57-58.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.