I recently shared with some young people from a local high school how God can take the pain of our lives and use it for good. I used the example of Joseph from the Bible, found in Genesis chapters 37 through 50.

I also shared how God often takes us through a process of being broken and stripped down so we can find wholeness and experience our destiny. It’s a process I’ve had to endure myself.

Afterward, I went to lunch and sat beside a kid who told me he liked Joseph’s story.

“It’s interesting to think that God can take the horrible things of the past and use them for good,” he said. “But really, it’s hard to believe. I’ve lost everything. My mom is gone, my aunt just died, and I recently quit my gang. And then, I was walking home with a friend when a rival gang member who didn’t know I’d quit took a shot at me. My friend jumped in front of me and took the bullet, and now he’s dead. How’s God going to bring something good out of that?”

This young man also wrestled with the notion that God had brought all this tragedy into his life. I explained that God hadn’t taken his mom, aunt, or friend—Satan had. I told him about Satan, the real enemy, the one who wanted to rob and steal and destroy his life. That’s who’d caused those things to happen, I told him.

Then I said something that shocked him. “You know what? God wants you to get revenge for what happened.” He thought I was talking about getting a gun and going after the one who had caused him harm. Of course, I wasn’t. I was talking about getting revenge on Satan.

Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) tells us, “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and the authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly realms.”

“It’s time to make Satan pay for what he’s done,” I said.

The young man was confused, so I continued to explain. “Your willingness to release your pain to God gets revenge against Satan. Forgiving your assailant gets revenge, too. So does using your pain to help others. Every life you touch for God, every person you help, hurts Satan because it’s one less person he can touch!”

Have you ever considered getting revenge on Satan for the pain you’ve experienced? It’s true—you can make Satan pay for the things he brings into your life when you accomplish God’s will by bringing others to Him.

Listen to what Joseph told his brothers: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:20 NLT).

Joseph gave Satan a significant blow by refusing to play the blame game or take on a victim mentality. He also hurt Satan by refusing to get even with his brothers—which, as the second in command in Egypt, he had the power to do.

I know it’s hard not to want to get revenge on a person in natural ways. But taking matters into your hands leads only to more pain for you and your loved ones, and it delays God being able to work all those painful things together for your good (Romans 8:28).

God wants to give your pain purpose. And that is the best revenge ever.