With Good

What do we do when bad things happen? It could be as simple as the washing machine breaking.

It might be as difficult as a loved one becoming ill.

It might be as devastating as a divorce.

It might be as confusing as an unforeseen job loss.

How do we respond?

Do we see the difficulty ahead of us and angrily run straight ahead to fight?

Although that might be the common and natural response, is it the best one?

Is it the response that God would be pleased with?

Romans 12:21 reads:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

 
If we have a response of evil to battle evil—that is the opposite of choosing God to battle the evil for us.

If we can just stop and consider that God is right there with us when the bad things happen, we can remove the pressure of thinking we are personally responsible to combat them alone.

 

overcome

Overcome Evil

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The barbed wire fence in my neighborhood is there to keep some things in–and some things out.

Either way, the sharp points on the twisted metal are harmful if contact is made with them.

I noticed that a vine had grown, making its way on the horizontal fence, gently moving past the painfully pointed ends.

The delicate and persistent vine had overcome the danger of the protruding barbs.

There are many “fences” encountered in life.

The Bible has this to say in Romans 12:21:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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with good

I Have Overcome

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“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

What trouble do you have today?

Has this trouble stolen your peace?

Has worry replaced calm?

Jesus has overcome.

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The Darkness Has Not Overcome

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Have you ever wanted to watch an important sports event on television, but it just wasn’t possible?

Perhaps you were scheduled to work at that time or some other circumstance was in the way.

When the event was over, you likely heard the results through friends or the media.

This team won.

That team lost.

This person won the contest.

This athlete was defeated.

Chances are, if you were really enthusiastic about the sport, watching a recording of the event might still have been of interest to you.

The only difference would’ve  been that you already knew the outcome.

You knew who would win.

We are all painfully aware of evil in this world.

Darkness that threatens us unrelentingly.

Yet, we are also aware of God’s presence and sovereignty.

With unfailing faithfulness, God is with us and He is in total control.

In the book of John in the New Testament, we find these words:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

—John 1:1-5

Jesus has come to the earth.

In Him, there is life.

He is the light, shining in this world that is currently plagued in darkness and sin.

That darkness has not overcome Jesus.

That darkness will NEVER overcome Jesus.

God has already told us who wins.

We know who overcomes.

Jesus says,

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

—John 16:33

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I Have Overcome

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The afternoon breeze had the slightest chill as I sat in my lawn chair, hoping to get a photograph of a bird in a nearby nest.

Venturing out into the country, away from loud noises and constant distractions, it was nice just to think quietly and breathe in the fresh air.

After awhile, a woman came along, aware of the nest, high in the trees.

We talked briefly about birds and the weather…

Then, a man driving a truck with a horse trailer hitched on the back came driving up the dirt road.

Getting out, he explained that he was looking for a cemetery for a graveside service.

He was bringing the horse to the ceremony.

The woman I had just met was from the area and able to tell him where to go.

He told us the funeral was for a child—only three years old.

I didn’t ask why he was taking a horse there.

Was the horse the family’s animal?

Did the child love horses?

I hurt for the family, knowing their pain and grief surely must be great.

As the man left quickly, I simply said, “God bless you.”

There was nothing I could do to ease the sorrow of the moment.

Only God could meet that family in the deep places of their hearts with comfort, understanding and love.

As I left to go home, I photographed the road and the field beyond.

It was peaceful and quiet—serene.

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

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