Romans 12:18-21 (NKJV)
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Another senseless tragedy so close to home, the list just keeps growing and growing while the victims seem more innocent all the time. A grandmother ruthlessly stabbing her grandson right through the heart. Who does that? What is this world coming to? Is anyone safe anymore when we cannot for see danger and protect innocence from destruction? When a gunman walked into a Connecticut school, he had one thing on his mind. His mother could not dissuade him who he coldly shot in the face. The administration dared get in his way but the blood of adults was not what he was after. No, he made his way into the midst of six and seven year olds in the middle of an ordinary day and looked them straight in the eye and began mercilessly taking them out at point blank range. Mothers and fathers “forgetting” their children in locked cars on hot, sweltering days. A Pediatric Oncology floor filled to capacity with children who rather than running and laughing are enduring large doses of chemotherapy with harrowing effects. The adult cancer center has a different attitude believing that they somehow deserve a terrible disease because of their choices. Yet, life goes on. No one really notices these things until they strike close to home or gain national media attention. Is there a cure to cancer? Yes. Will it ever be successfully discovered in a laboratory? Probably not. The world we live in is filled with evil. As the day of Christ’s return draws closer, the audacity of the adversary grows in intensity. He has nothing to lose in his attempt to “steal, kill and destroy.” There is a resident evil. It made its home here when humanity chose their own way rather than God’s Perfect Plan. We must learn to overcome evil with good, but first we must know what we are up against.
Ephesians 6:10-12 (NKJV)
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
We have battled the evil called cancer for three years now with some success. As we continue to see the Lord working in our son’s body, there is great hope that the Lord is renewing and restoring his bone marrow with the resurrection power that rose Jesus from the dead. His counts are skyrocketing at unprecedented levels. We have seen the Hand of the Lord. However, there have been many dark days in this journey when I have cried to the Lord. The first diagnosis was bad enough but to have four more unthinkable. I wanted to be mad at someone for this and looked for the cause. When I found it there was no face to it not even my own, I did nothing to give him this disease just a faulty immune system that failed to mark a virus for destruction. What do I do with all this anger? Frustration? Hurt? Annoyance? Injustice? It is not fair that our son who has never done anything to cause a risk would still have to endure the consequences of such. But he does as we speak battle beside me. From the very beginning, I told God that I would trust Him. Some days it is easy and other times no so much. But that is why we have new mercy each morning to carry us through when faith seems too small and hope is almost lost. It is His Mercy and Grace that gives us the next breath when our “world” falls apart. It is His Spirit that moves us from one place to the next until the shock wears off and we can stand again. Where does your strength come from? The Lord. When is it manifested? In our weakness. Be strong in the Lord and His Mighty Power. You and I will never stand firm against the strategies of the devil until we learn to get mad at him when bad things happen to God’s People refusing to sink to the depths of vengeance, bitterness and unforgiveness. Instead we must fully embrace the Love of God, wrap ourselves tightly in it, and fight the real enemy – the one who wants our soul. No man or woman perpetrates such evil on their own. God made people. We were created in His Image. I do not believe that a human being can carry out such maniacal plans without being completely overcome by evil himself. If everything God makes is good that means people are, too. If people are good, then something or someone else is to blame. We must focus our attention on overcoming evil with good. The face of disaster, catastrophe, and devastation is the enemy, satan, or the devil – he is the one to be mad at and he is the one to blame.
Isaiah 5:20-21 (NLT)
What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.
How did evil become so powerful? The enemy knows human weakness. It is the very thing on which he preys. “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil” is probably the most telling statement in God’s Word concerning the depravity of the world in which we live. It began with a lie that has continued to gain momentum throughout all time. You may or may not agree with what I am about to say and I understand that. I am not trying to change or condemn anyone or anything just simply pointing out what I have observed in my own life. As I have begun to spend more and more time in the Word of God over the last five years and seeking the Will of God for myself and our family – my values have changed. The line between good and evil has become more distinct and the gray areas of life ever shrinking. My son plays XBOX at night. Since we currently share a hospital room, I will from time to time glance up at the game. It is a popular game which a great deal of young people play. In the game, they kill people. Pretty much the summation of the game is to steal cars, but really they kill people. Stay with me. When in a tight situation before another player “wastes” your character, it is common practice to turn the gun on yourself. I hear you saying, “It is just a game.” You are probably right. I cannot remember the last time I was able to comfortably watch a movie without feeling ashamed that I was there in the theater other than the Dr. Seuss movie I saw a few years back. I rarely watch television as it is filled with drama. The media has now twisted plots so that we now side with the victimizer rather than the victim. We must choose the lesser of two evils. I will not even go into the whole demonic influence which now prevails. Evil is in this world. The Lord told us that sin would be rampant and love would grow cold. (Matthew 24:12) Do I think that if we eliminate all these influences from our life that we will change these occurrences? No. But we must become sensitive again to good versus evil in a world that mixes the two together and calls it life. Jesus Christ came and overcame evil depriving it of any and all power to harm you and enables us to overcome it in our life. (John 16:33) The less evil that we “entertain” in our life the more sensitive we become to its proximity to our life.
Romans 13:13-14 (NLT)
Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
As believers, we are Children of the Light. The more we walk with Jesus the farther from those things associated with the dark, we must travel. Will this end the darkness, sin and evil of this world? No. But we protect our hearts and minds from being overcome with it. Have you ever done or said something and wondered “where did that come from”? There are many influences in this world but few are godly. God called the light good and separated it from the darkness. (Genesis 1:4) Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. He is the only thing that can overcome the evil of this day forever. (John 8:12) The closer we are to the Light the less the darkness is able to touch us in our soul where it counts. We can clearly identify the difference from good and evil. This is absolutely pivotal in forgiveness. A long time ago, our son got a severe concussion in a crowded high school gym with very limited supervision. No one saw him fall to the floor unconscious but a few close friends. He wandered home in a stupor and ended up in ICU. Thankfully it was only a couple days. My pastor called me and after inquiring about him and reminding us that he was indeed praying for us, he told me that I must forgive those people who were not doing their job that day. I could feel my heart shake and my pride bristle a bit. Yes, I was mad. Yes, I had every right to be. The people who I entrusted my son to had failed and it could have been much more serious than it actually was. I even got a little mad at my pastor for even reminding me of this. Now looking back, I get it. I can be overcome by evil by remaining in unforgiveness against another person. But what good will it do? It was a mistake. In the instance of outright evil such as a family member killing a child, is it different? No. It hurts to even say those words as much as my flesh would like to think that there is a special place in hell for those who would assault an innocent, but there is no difference. Evil overcame good in that person, but we don’t have to let it overcome us. We must focus on living decent lives for all to see even when it feels like darkness is winning because it never does and it never will thanks to Jesus Christ!
Galatians 6:16-17 (NLT)
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
Today a family fights to find more faith to face the unthinkable. They must muster up mercy and gather more grace to forgive the unforgivable. They are no different from you and I and the choices that we make on a daily basis. We must choose to walk by faith every day. We must demonstrate mercy and grace in every encounter. I wish practice made perfect in this situation but I don’t think so. So we cling to Jesus Christ and allow His Spirit to lead us through those dark days when evil has the upper hand to find a new place in the Light of His Amazing Love. It will not get any better. We live in those days of wars and rumors of war.
Matthew 24:5-14 (NLT)
For many will come in My Name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My Name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
My heart is broken today for a family that has been torn apart by evil. I am sad that evil has dared to come close to our own family as well. I am dismayed to think that there is more ahead and today someone will face devastation. The only hope we have is Jesus Christ. But oh the Hope we have. He overcame sin. He pushed away darkness. He is the Light of God’s Love for us that calls us this way out of the dark. Jesus will heal our broken hearts if we let Him. He will restore and renew us with His Resurrection Power. The resident evil is powerless against His Great Love for us. We must endure to the end. Endurance is supposed to build strength in our character but what a price to take one more step when we are so helpless. But that is when the Lord steps in and carries us through. His Grace is enough in our weakness. Embrace the Light today and choose to separate yourself from the darkness. Be sensitive to the evil in the things you watch, read and listen to. It is penetrating your mind and will change it and conform it if allowed. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Get in God’s Word so the dividing line is clear and choose to walk as close to Jesus as possible. Surround yourself with believers who walk in faith and trust in the Lord. There will be evil in this world. I don’t believe it’s the people given to such evil that is the problem but the one who is overtaking the hearts and minds of those who are susceptible. Don’t be that person! You have the same power in you that brought Jesus Christ back to life…live in it! Wrap yourself in the Love of God today. Stand firm against the devil on faith founded in the Word fortified by His Spirit. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Galatians 1:3-5 (NLT)
May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.