Yesterday, my wife and I had an interesting conversation about one little sentence in the book of Job. It says: The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything Job has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (Job 1:12) Interesting! God put a limit on what Satan could do to Job. Ultimately, God allowed it, but God had put a limit on what was allowed. Satan had boundaries within which he had to work to afflict Job; and God was the one who set those boundaries. Satan is not allowed to do anything to us unless God allows it.
That really got me thinking. "I wonder what types of things Satan desires to do to us but that God has not allowed?" We know Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy, so what is stopping him from doing so to the full extent? Answer: God. I wonder what kind of plans Satan has devised against me, but God has protected me from by not allowing it. I'll never know! I speculate that God has protected me from most of the enemy's attacks and has only allowed those that ultimately will be for my good. This is good news...God has hand picked my afflictions! He knows which ones I'll be able to handle (1 Co 10:13) and which ones will work out for my good! He won't ever give me something that is beyond my ability to bear. This gives me strength to endure the trials that He does allow, knowing they are custom tailored by my loving Father, chosen specifically by Him out of the many hundreds of propositions and ploys of Satan. God is in complete control of what happens in my life and is working it all out for my good. I should be thankful for the trials that He does allow, and even more thankful for the trials that He doesn't allow!
Hurray for His handpicked afflictions!