God is intentional in all that He does or allows. According to the dictionary, intention means, “an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result; the end or object intended; purpose.” In other words, nothing is ever accidental with God. He has specific purposes in mind for His children. He made this clear in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” He always intends to accomplish His plans.
As a Father, His intentions toward us are always in our very best interest. His greatest purpose for each one of us is to conform us into the image of His Son. Everything that He does or allows to touch us is unto that end. What’s more is that He is totally committed to this plan, so much so, that He promises to complete the good work He has begun in us. (Phil. 1:6)
Not only is He intentional in what He does or allows, but He is also able to use our choices, including our mistakes, sins, and stupidity to help accomplish His goal of Christlikeness. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Rom. 8:28-29)
No matter how bad, how painful or difficult, no matter how unjust or inhumane our trials and troubles may be, His intention in allowing them is always to make us more like Jesus, who suffered more than anyone who ever walked the earth. This is why Scripture repeatedly tells us to “count it all joy” when we encounter various tests and trials. We may not enjoy the pain, but one day we will see it was worth it all!