Psalm 76:10 – Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. (KJV)
Luke 8:3 – Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. (NIV)
One of the mysteries of life that continually baffles believers is why God allows His enemies to persecute and torment His people.
Recently, I read a thought-provoking devotional about Joanna, one of the women who supported Jesus and His disciples financially, out of her own means. It was suggested that through Joanna's gifts, Herod, an enemy of Jesus, indirectly and inadvertently provided for the Lord's ministry with money most likely earned by Cuza, her husband. If we look at it from this perspective, in a sense, Herod gave praise to God. Interestingly, it seems that Joanna is the first of several prominent persons connected to Herod's household who followed the Lord. Joanna was also at the scene of the cross with Mary and the other women, showing her faithfulness and devotion to Christ.
Yet, believers sometimes wonder why God allows His enemies to prosper. The psalmist asks: "How long will the enemy mock you, O God? Will the foe revile your name forever? Why do you hold back your hand?" (Psalm 74:10-11a NIV) But our God is patient and longsuffering towards those who despise Him. In the end, however, His Word declares "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-11 NIV)
Meanwhile, as Christians, it is amazing to see the Lord's divine plan unfold throughout our lives, whether in good times or bad. Most importantly, according to Scripture, we know that sooner or later, God will turn our ashes into beauty (Isaiah 61:3), our mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11), and the enemy's wrath into praise.
Prayer: Sovereign Lord, You are in control over all things. By Your power, even the wrath of men shall give You praise. May we ever turn to this great truth to sustain us in times of trouble as we place our trust in You. In Jesus' mighty name, we pray. Amen.