John Piper is founder and also teacher that and also chancellor the Bethlehem university & Seminary. Because that 33 years, he offered as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The is author of an ext than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations the a Christian Hedonist and most recently Providence.

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John Piper is founder and teacher that and chancellor of Bethlehem university & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as minister of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. That is author of much more than 50 books, consisting of Desiring God: Meditations that a Christian Hedonist and most newly Providence.

Satan is not in manage of this world. God never has given, and also never will give, come Satan any freedom the God self does not restrain and also decisively direct for his wise, just, and good purposes. In all his acts, Satan is subject to god’s overruling and also guiding providence.

Since Satan is uniformly evil, we might use the words of Genesis 50:20 for every among his acts in this world: “he meant it for evil, yet God intended it for good.” as soon as Satan wills something, he constantly intends to diminish oh my gosh glory and also ultimately damage God’s people. Once God permits Satan come act v that design, God’s design in doing for this reason is for his glory and the ultimate good of his people.

But given the lot of evil and pain that Satan reasons in the world, us inevitably ask, Why does God permit Satan to walk on working, or even existing? If God rule Satan for this reason thoroughly, why does he not usage his power and wisdom to put Satan the end of visibility now?

“In all his acts, Satan is topic to oh my gosh overruling and also guiding providence.”

The holy bible does not answer this inquiry directly. However there are pointers. Therefore let me endeavor four answers because that you come test. Even though this suggestions space not given in Scripture as explicit answers to our question, nevertheless, i think lock do give a partial answer.

I would amount up why God permits Satan to go on living and working through saying the God intends to defeat Satan not v one initial punch of power, however through 4 processes:

He is defeating Satan with showing.He is defeating Satan through suffering.He is defeating Satan with Satan.He is beating Satan with savoring.

1. God is beating Satan through showing much more of his very own attributes.

Consider the lamentable condition of the mrs in Luke 13:10–17, who for eighteen year “was bend over and also could not fully straighten herself” (Luke 13:11). Luke tells us an ext specifically the “Satan bound because that eighteen years” (Luke 13:16). Jesus is going come heal she completely, which method that God could have healed her at any kind of time throughout those eighteen pains years. That was powerful and compassionate sufficient to do it at any time. However instead he allowed Satan to have his ugly way in her body for eighteen years.

The upshot that healing her was the Jesus’s “adversaries were placed to shame, and also all the human being rejoiced at all the glorious points that were excellent by him” (Luke 13:17). We execute not recognize why God allowed this woman to endure Satan’s “binding” because that so long. Yet what we do understand is this: by overcoming this woman’s satanic bondage, Jesus beat Satan in two other means — in exposing the hypocrisy the his adversaries, and in mirroring his compassion and authority and also power therefore that world rejoiced in ~ his glorious deeds.

It seems to me, then, that this one incident offers a glimpse right into God’s larger purpose because that his timing in defeating Satan. Indigenous this story, we might infer that part of God’s purpose is to show more aspects of Christ’s glory by the manifold demonstrations the his superiority over Satan than would be displayed if he had actually put Satan the end of existence all at once, at part earlier suggest in redemptive history.

2. God is defeating Satan with suffering.

The most main and staggering reality about Satan’s ultimate defeat is no that he will certainly be thrown into the lake the fire however that Jesus was thrown right into the fire, together it were (Luke 12:50), to defeat Satan’s hold on his people. Both Paul and also the writer to the Hebrews teach that Jesus beat Satan by method of his suffering and death (Colossians 2:13–15; Hebrews 2:14–15).

It is much more beautiful, an ext glorious and excellent and also wonderful, that the greatest person in the universe have to defeat the most despicable gift in the world by selecting to suffer and die in an action of liberating love — love because that those that were in fact “following the prince of the strength of the waiting . . . Prefer the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:2–3). Once Jesus throws Satan right into the lake of fire, Jesus’s justice and power will certainly be on full display. However at the cross, his grace and also mercy and patience and also love and wisdom to be on full display screen as he conquered Satan’s claim on God’s world by paying their debts.

“The ultimate score of providence is the joyful prayer of the glory of oh my gosh grace.”

Colossians 2:14 provides clear how Satan lost his claim on God’s civilization when Christ died. Christ canceled “the document of debt that stood versus us through its legit demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” This is adhered to by its impact on Satan: “He disarmed the rulers and also authorities and also put them to open shame, by triumphing end them in him” (Colossians 2:15). In other words, the only damning indictments Satan can bring versus us at the last day is unforgiven sin. However Christ nailed those to the cross. This stripped indigenous Satan’s hand his only damning weapon. He was disarmed. Indeed, he was shamed because, in every his vaunted strength and pride and also hate, he shed his prize — God’s elect — come an act of omnipotent weakness and also humility and also love.

The ultimate goal of providence is the joyful worship of the glory that God’s grace (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14), and also the consummate show of that glorious elegant is the easily chosen suffering and death the the infinitely worthy boy of God for unworthy sinners like us. Now we see some small glimpse of why Satan is given such a duty in the theater of oh my god wonders. In ~ every point, Christ proves superior, and at the most necessary moment in history, the beauty, beauty of Christ shines many brightly as the ugliest being is undone through the biggest act the beauty.

3. God is defeating Satan v Satan.

The wisdom the God appears much more fully, and his superiority end Satan in every way, not just in thin power, shines an ext brightly, in the manifold ways he brings Satan to ruin. One of those methods is to do Satan serve God’s sanctifying objectives in the stays of his children. It must infuriate Satan the God’s means are therefore pure and also brilliant the Satan no only fails to obstruct them however unwittingly offer them.

What I have in mental is Paul’s thorn in the flesh, i m sorry he tells us about in 2 Corinthians 12:1–10. Paul had been granted a supernatural glimpse into heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1–4). God had actually granted Paul this privilege, knowing it would tempt Paul to be conceited. God deemed the gift precious the problem to come. His answer come this dangerous temptation of pride was to see to it (providence) the Paul would have a mandrel in the flesh. Paul tells united state this through a stunning sentence about God’s target to sanctify him, and also Satan’s unwitting hand in it!

To save me from ending up being conceited since of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a mandrel was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. (2 Corinthians 12:7)

At the beginning and the ending of this verse, the objective of the thorn is mentioned: “to save me from coming to be conceited . . . To save me from coming to be conceited.” Now, the is not Satan’s design. Satan does not hinder conceit; he helps it. This is God’s design for Paul’s mandrel — humility and also trust. Nevertheless, the thorn is dubbed “a messenger the Satan.” In means that exceed our full comprehension, God is maybe to exploit Satan’s hate of Paul and also make it offer God’s own purposes of Paul’s humility and also purity and also glad dependence on the elegant of Jesus.

So, the upshot of Satan’s attack on Paul is not only the exposure of his self-defeating folly, but also the revelation the Christ’s all-satisfying grace:

Three times ns pleaded v the Lord about this, that it must leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because that my strength is do perfect in weakness.” because of this I will boast all the much more gladly of my weaknesses, so the the power of Christ might rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:8–9)

I think this it s okay close come the love of why God allows Satan come exist and also bring short-term damage on god’s people. It becomes an occasion not just to display the greater glory of Christ’s wisdom and power and also worth, but additionally to show the superior satisfaction that this glory gives his human being compared to what Satan have the right to give. This leader to the fourth magnificent strategy for beating Satan.

4. God is beating Satan through savoring.

Notice that the climax of Paul’s experience of the thorn in the flesh is not Paul’s awareness of Christ’s grace as sufficient. Rather, the awareness and also experience of this sufficiency bring Paul come “boast all the an ext gladly of my weaknesses.” as soon as Paul experiences the all-sufficient grace of Jesus as a “glad” (hēdista, 2 Corinthians 12:9, words from i beg your pardon we get hedonism!) boast, this experience renders the grace and also the power of Christ was standing forth every the much more clearly.

“Nothing Satan is and also nothing he offers can compare through Christ.”

I contact this “gladness” savoring. And my point is the God intends because that Satan come be defeated in this period not simply by reflecting him to be weaker 보다 Christ, but likewise by showing him to be less savory 보다 Christ — less desirable, less satisfying. If this sounds superficial or marginal to you, you and also I are not yet on the very same page. In my knowledge of God’s objectives in the universe, the ultimate score is the the beauty and worth that Christ be magnified as the can be fried treasure the the world through gift savored above all various other reality. Providence end Satan and also all other created reality get its can be fried goal when the soot of human savoring synchronizes to the infinite beauty and worth of Christ.

Satan’s many essential role in achieving the goal is to market us every conceivable pleasure to entice us away from savoring, desiring, and also being satisfied v Christ, and every conceivable pain to turn us against the quality of Christ. When God’s human being face this temptations come prefer the world and also to repudiate Christ, yet instead “gladly” boast in your weaknesses and also losses because of the surpassing worth of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 3:8), Satan is beat in the many wonderful and thorough way.

Satan is not only displayed to it is in weaker 보다 Christ, but, an ext importantly, that is presented to it is in less preferable than Christ. Satan is less satisfying because he is not just weak contrasted to Christ’s power, but also ugly contrasted to Christ’s beauty and disgusting compared to Christ’s sweetness. Nothing Satan is and also nothing that offers can compare through Christ.

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The savoring the Christ above all the Satan can offer in riches, or all he have the right to take in suffering, magnifies Christ’s beauty and also worth in means that can never have happened if God had banished Satan native the world before his weakness and folly and also ugliness were fully exposed, and before Christ was displayed to be infinitely much more desirable. In this way, God’s setup to allow Satan’s continuous existence and also influence offer the ultimate goal of providence.