The Scripture says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" (Psalm 37:23). God is strategic. Before you were formed in your mother's womb, He laid out a specific plan for you. Nothing happens randomly—not just the good breaks, the promotion, the times you see favor, but even the closed doors, the disappointments, and the betrayals are a part of God's plan. It may not make sense; it wasn't fair, but God wouldn't have allowed it if it wasn't going to work for your good. If you don't understand that, you'll be frustrated when things don't go your way, upset because somebody did you wrong, bitter because the door closed. In reality, these were ordained by God as setups to move you into your destiny.
We can't comprehend the wisdom of God. He can plan out generations and take mistakes, betrayals, and closed doors and somehow weave them all together to work for our good. When God told Abraham that he and Sarah were going to have a baby in their old age, Abraham tried to help God out by sleeping with Sarah's maid and having a son named Ishmael. But God said, "He is not the promised child." Ishmael was in one sense considered a mistake and caused problems in the home. Surely that was not in God's plan. And yet amazingly, it was descendants of Ishmael who came along at the right moment and kept Joseph, Abraham's great grandson, from dying in the pit when his brothers betrayed him (see Genesis 37). The mistake of Abraham became the setup for the saving of Joseph, who helped save the rest of their family. That's how amazing God is.
A while back Victoria lost a ring that had been in her family for several generations. For months we looked everywhere. Late one night, three years later, we were driving home on a rural freeway. I was going about seventy in a sixty-five speed zone. Victoria kept telling me, "Joel, slow down or you'll get a ticket," and sure enough, I got pulled over. When Victoria searched the glove compartment, she couldn't find the insurance card, so she ended up pulling everything out. Reaching way to the back, she felt something way down in a crack, and finally pulled it out. It was the long lost ring! And she ended up finding the insurance card right on top of the pile. It was like God caused her to overlook it.
Sometimes what we think is a setback is really a setup for God to do something great. God even knows how to turn our mistakes around for our good.