Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 3 : Rejoice | Day 19

See Enemies as Agents!

Wisdom is basing responses on the bigger picture. This means recognizing that whatever happens to us is not the whim of fate, or the will of man, but the work of God. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without God's approval, neither can anyone attack us without God's permission.

If we view revilers as our enemies, we will get angry and discouraged, but if we see them as agents for our good and God's glory, we will rejoice!

Paul was tormented and attacked so painfully that he pleaded with God three times to deliver him. When God explained that this messenger (agent) from Satan was allowed for the purpose of keeping Paul humble so that the power of God would rest upon him, Paul gloried in the assault and took pleasure in it. (See II Corinthians 12:6-10.)

Job had the same insight. Satan was clearly responsible for the destruction of Job's children, possessions, and health; yet, Job did not say, "God has given, and Satan has taken away." Instead, he said, “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away...” (Job 1:21).

God causes the wrath of men to praise Him by using revilers to bring about the very achievements that they ridiculed.

The brothers of Joseph reviled him for his preposterous dreams that one day they would bow down before him. In an act of hate and envy, they sold him as a slave, which actually brought his dreams to pass. Later, he told them, “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good" (Genesis 50:20).

Jesus was reviled by the Pharisees for stating that if they destroyed the temple (of His body), He would raise it up in three days. Their cruel act of nailing Him to the cross allowed this historic achievement to come to pass for our salvation.

Actually, the pages of Scripture and history are filled with examples of great achievements that were facilitated through the reviling of opponents. Dr. Raymond Damadian was ridiculed by colleagues for thinking that he could design an imaging unit that would produce an image of internal organs. Their reactions spurred him on to invent the MRI scanner, which revolutionized diagnostic medicine.

Since this is the way of God, it is no wonder that we are to rejoice when all men speak evil of us falsely. God is getting such a person ready for great achievement here and for great rewards in heaven!

“... Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven ...” (Matthew 5:11-12).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard