Overcome Evil

Rock formations at Kasha-Katuwe National Monument, New Mexico
Rock formations at Kasha-Katuwe National Monument, New Mexico

One of the things that’s been bugging me recently is Christians moaning and groaning about how the world is falling apart.  I’m not saying things are peachy-cool; it’s more than quite easy to find rampant evil in the world around us.  The media is full of it, our social media feeds promote it, and even in our own churches, we see situations we know aren’t from Christ.

Church in Sodus Bay, New York
Church in Sodus Bay, New York

The reports of evil aren’t surprising.  We know that evil happens in the world, and why we expect people to act holy when they don’t even understand what holy is seems a little strange to me.  Evil happens in a world that is fallen.  What bugs me is the way that many Christians approach the evil that is in the world.

China Lake from Roger's Peak, Death Valley National park, California
China Lake from Roger’s Peak, Death Valley National park, California

What I mean is that I watch too many Christians approach the world’s problems with a fatalistic mentality.  We have no hope – except Jesus, and apparently, He won’t do enough.  So we’re doomed.  Everything will come crashing down.  We’ll all be killed for our faith.  Evil will increase.  The evil entities will have their way.  Nothing we can do will stop it.

Dragonfly on Honeoye Creek, New York
Dragonfly on Honeoye Creek, New York

This kind of mindset embodies the viewpoint that evil is stronger than the light that is within us.  We can’t fight evil – we can’t even survive evil – because it is stronger than us.

The truth is that light is always stronger than darkness and God is always stronger than the devil.

I’m not saying that because we love Jesus, everything will always be cool and easy in our lives or even in the lives of the Christians who are literally being persecuted and killed for their faith.  I know Christians who, right now, are struggling with sickness and even death.  Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Sunset from the Alabama Hills National Recreation Area, California
Sunset from the Alabama Hills National Recreation Area, California

If Jesus has overcome the world, than we can approach the world’s darkness and problems from the point of victory and the very real possibility of overcoming the darkness instead of the darkness overcoming us.

The Bible even tells us how to go about this kind of victory: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Roosevelt Point from Atoko Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Roosevelt Point from Atoko Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

I challenge you: Don’t be overcome by evil.  Evil will always be darkness; it will seem unknown and scary and huge.  Instead, I challenge you: Overcome evil with good.  Goodness is light and the power of the Holy Spirit.  In the power of Christ and of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome the darkness.

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