"As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil.”
- Genesis 50:20 NLT
Some years ago, my husband and I took our sons to a local amusement park. My boys were big baseball fans at the time, and they wanted to use the automatic pitching machines so they could practice their swing. Unfortunately, my son, John, was hit squarely on his arm with one of the pitches. Immediately, his arm began to swell and discolor ominously. After reporting the injury to the park, we headed for the hospital. On the way there, I began claiming Psalm 34:20 (NIV), which says: “He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” When we arrived at the hospital emergency room, we met a mother and her son, who had fallen off his bicycle and injured his arm. Chills ran down my spine when I found out that this boy had not only injured the same arm as my son, but in exactly the same place. The only difference seemed to be that this boy's arm wasn't nearly as swollen or discolored as John's. A short time later, my family and I were shocked when the boy came out of the examination room with a cast on his arm, which was indeed broken. Immediately, fear swept over me, and I confess that my faith wavered for a few moments. My initial thought was, “This boy's arm doesn't look half as bad as John's, and his is badly broken, so how can my son's arm NOT be broken?!” As I claimed Isaiah 11:3 (NIV)—“He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or decide by what he hears with his ears”--I felt the peace of God quiet my heart and mind. Moments later, doctors examined x-rays of my son's arm and could find no trace of a break--not even the slightest fracture. My family and I still marvel over the miracle of that day, as well as God's faithfulness to His Word.
God used this experience to teach me about some of the strategies Satan employs against believers. When my family and I arrived at the hospital emergency room that day, the devil was counting on me to let go of my faith in God and His Word when I saw the other boy with a cast on his arm. As it turned out, I WAS tempted to doubt and disbelieve, especially because the feelings of fear I experienced were so sudden and severe. But once I shook off those feelings and took my stand in faith, God honored my decision and increased my strength to stand firm. I can't prove that the outcome of this situation would have been different if I had given in to my fears and doubts, but I believe with all my heart that my “faith decision” made all the difference. It's not unusual for Satan to put people and situations in our path to try to get us to doubt God and His Word. And it's nothing new, either. He's been operating this way since the Garden of Eden. But believers don't have to be ignorant of his tactics. The Bible says that we can gain an awareness of the enemy's schemes that can keep us from getting caught in his snares. (2 Corinthians 2:11) As we seek God daily through prayer, praise, and the reading of His Word, He will equip us with everything we need to defeat Satan and his evil cohorts. Then, when the devil tries to set us up for a fall, we can witness our Mighty Warrior King turning the tables on our foes and turning our “curses” into blessings. (Deuteronomy 23:5) That day at the hospital, Satan tried to use that other boy's injury to discourage and defeat me. Instead, God used it to highlight His miracle-working power. The next time you're faced with a similar situation, take your stand in faith, knowing and declaring—“This is all going to turn out for my good!” (Philippians 1:19 TLB)
Prayer: Lord, help me to become more aware of Satan's tactics so that I won't be an easy target for his attacks. Teach me how to walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Show me how to cooperate with You to turn the tables on the devil when he comes against me. Thank You for turning every attack of the enemy into my good!
- J. M. Farro