Dane Ortlund helped me this morning by simply quoting Jonathan Edwards. Edwards, writing on what Romans 8:28 means,
Though it is to the eternal damage of the saints, ordinarily, when they yield to, and are overcome by temptations, yet Satan and other enemies of the saints by whom these temptations come, are always wholly disappointed in their temptations, and baffled in their design to hurt the saints, inasmuch as the temptation and the sin that comes by it, is for the saints’ good, and they receive a greater benefit in the issue, than if the temptation had not been, and yet less than if the temptation had been overcome.
Jonathan Edwards, letter to Thomas Gillespie, Scottish pastor, 1746; in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale ed., 2:488-89
Its almost too good to be true.