When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live." He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god. (Acts 28:3-6 ESV)
Circumstance is no way to judge the favour of God on a man's life. Good people are not immune to the evil in this world. Christians are not put out of reach of the serpent's attacks. Too many believers think like the Maltese in Acts 28, and whenever something bad happens, they assume that God has it in for them. Utter nonsense. God proved the extent of his love for us on Calvary, and even if he were never to show us another act of love, it would be enough for all eternity. How dare we question the love and favour of God in the light of Christ's sacrifice?
But it is not whether a man goes into trial that shows whether God is with him (for Jesus said we would all face trials), but it is how he comes out of them! The promise of God is not that no weapon forged against us will ever touch us, but that they shall never prosper - they may hurt us for a moment, but they can never do us any long-term harm if God is working all things for our good. We will come out stronger, and the enemy will face another defeat.
God delights to turn the attacks of the enemy on his own head. Paul was bitten by the serpent, but it was the snake that died, Paul was unharmed. David fought the Philistines with Goliath's sword. Haman was hung on his own gallows. Benaiah killed the giant Egyptian with his own spear. And Jesus transformed the cross - the worst form of execution devised by the evil of man, into the greatest source of life and the blessing of God.
How do we know the favour of God? It is the cross, not our circumstances that tells us how much he loves us. It is his promise not our prosperity that assures us that he is with us for our good. It is our victory over trials, not our delivery from them that shows the power of God at work in our lives.
We are shielded by the power of God, not to escape every bad circumstance, but to overcome them.
[We] through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. (1Pe 1:5-6 NIV)