Life turns every person upside down. No one escapes unscathed. Not the woman who discovers her husband is having an affair. Not the businessman who has his investments embezzled by a crooked colleague. Not the teenager who discovers that a night of romance has resulted in a surprise pregnancy. Not the pastor who feels his faith shaken by questions of suffering and fear. We’d be foolish to think we are invulnerable. But we’d be just as foolish to think that evil wins the day. The Bible vibrates with the steady drumbeat of faith: God recycles evil into righteousness. Perhaps you read this book in search of a quick fix for your challenges. “How to Overcome Obstacles in Five Easy Steps.” Sorry to disappoint.
I don’t have an easy solution or a magic wand. I have found something—Someone—far better. God himself. When God gets in the middle of life, evil becomes good. Haven’t we seen this discovery in the story of Joseph? Saddled with setbacks: family rejection, deportation, slavery, and imprisonment. Yet he emerged triumphant, a hero of his generation. Among his final recorded words are these comments to his brothers: “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20 NKJV).
This is the repeated pattern in Scripture. Evil. God. Good. See the cross on the hill? Can you hear the soldiers pound the nails? Jesus’ enemies smirk. Satan’s demons lurk. All that is evil rubs its hands in glee. “This time,” Satan whispers. “This time I will win.” For a silent Saturday it appeared he did. The final breath. The battered body. Mary wept. Blood seeped down the timber into the dirt. Followers lowered God’s Son as the sun set. Soldiers sealed the tomb, and night fell over the earth.
Yet what Satan intended as the ultimate evil, God used for the ultimate good. God rolled the rock away. Jesus walked out on Sunday morning, a smile on his face and a bounce to his step. And if you look closely, you see Satan scampering from the cemetery with his forked tail between his legs. “Will I ever win?” he grumbles. No. He won’t.