What To Do When Evil Strikes

when evil strikesThe recent bombings in Boston have provoked anger, despair, and fear among Christians who feel unsafe in this evil world. The question always remains, how do we respond to the evil committed against us and other innocent victims? The following are three ways we can overcome the evil of this world.

Let’s look at Jesus’ example to discover how to respond to evil. First, Jesus repaid evil with blessing as He sacrificed His life to die for you and me when we were still sinners. Jesus died on the cross for you and me. Not because of anything we did to deserve His love, but only by His grace are we saved from eternal consequences for the evil we have committed. With this understanding we can now respond to others with that same mercy, motived by a deep appreciation for what Christ has done to rescue and forgive us of our sin. When we come from the perspective that we could have easily committed the same crime if we faced a different set of circumstances then we can extend grace to those who commit evil against us.

You bless God when you bless those who do evil against you. Jesus said that what you do to the least of these you have done to Him and you will be blessed (Matthew 25:40). Jesus demonstrated how to overcome evil with blessing when unrighteous men came to arrest Him.

When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him (Luke 22:49-51).

Instead of lashing out with anger, Jesus took the time to heal the man’s ear. This was one of the men who intended to put chains on Jesus and lead Him to his death. This act of kindness illustrates how Jesus repaid evil with blessing to win them over to God.

Who knows how that servant of the high priest would be changed by the act of compassion that Jesus demonstrated. Notice that although Jesus repaid evil with kindness, He still had to suffer a brutal death. His blessing came when he was resurrected from the dead and ascended to heaven and was seated at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33).

As a Christian our ultimate blessing is the reward of heaven, but not only this, we are set free to experience the abundant life on earth that Christ offers through our obedience to repay evil with blessing.

Our Promise from God

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)

How do we repay evil with blessing to receive a blessing?

1. Pray for those who persecute you.

You may be the only one on the planet praying for that person who has committed evil. In Matthew 5:44-45, God says, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons and daughters of your Father in heaven.” That evil and unlovable person needs you! Actually, that person needs God and God wants to work through you. Although that person may seem impossible to love, God has called you for the task and He knows you can handle it through prayer. While you pray, be patient as God works in your heart and in the heart of the person you are praying for. He is at work, even if you never have the opportunity to see that person change. Take heart. Know that God is faithful to His promises. God is at work when you pray.

2. Forgive the person who commits evil.

Forgiveness is not about the person who hurt you or your loved ones. We are instructed to forgive to be right with God. Our bitterness and hatred separates us from a holy and loving God. Not only that, our unforgiveness separates us from the people we love. With a root of bitterness we lash out with impatience and unkind words toward innocent victims. God forgives us, and He says we must forgive to be forgiven (Matthew 6:14). You see, God knows that an unforgiving heart will cause us suffering. He wants us to be free of that pain, to have inner peace, and be in a right relationship with Him and the people in our lives. Forgive to be set free from the bondage of bitterness in order to love and be loved. Jesus will heal our brokenness and help us to forgive when we ask.

3. Do not live in fear of man.

God says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). We are not to fear man, but to have a holy and reverent fear of the Lord. We should fear the power and glory of God, the giver and taker of life, but not people. Revere God to find His delight as promised, “The Lord delights in those who fear [revere] Him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (Psalm 147:11).

God used the apostle Paul to demonstrate and communicate God’s power, love, and wisdom in the midst of persecution. God says, “You do not have a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7NKJV). God equips you with supernatural ability to conquer the enemy against all odds. He is your Strength, Refuge, Protector, Warrior, and Friend.

Fear works to defeat our effectiveness to bring honor and glory to God. Our best weapon is to arm ourselves every day to fight against the enemy who tries to rob us from God’s peace, joy, and purpose. We are in a spiritual battle where God is victorious when we trust and follow Him.

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-13).

Your battles are not against evil people. Your battle is in the spiritual realm. The enemy puts fear and doubt in your mind, he knows your weaknesses, and he will tempt you to not trust in a mighty and powerful God. The evil one wants to destroy your testimony and make you live in the bondage of fear. Each morning and throughout your day STOP: Surrender each moment to God. Trust that He loves you and is with you. Obey God’s Word to see Him at work in your life and have the peace that transcends all understanding. Pray with a thankful heart to be protected from the evil of this dark world and pray for those who commit evil against you and others that they may know the love of Jesus so that they may be transformed into the loving person God intended.

Have you bought my book LOVING THE UNLOVABLE? Click here to buy it today on Amazon.

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