ODJ: overwhelming to overcoming

July 18, 2015 

READ: Romans 12:1-21 

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good (v.21).

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the problem of evil. I watch the news and see atrocities committed against the innocent (Psalm 73:3-16). People in my town, nation and the world don’t have food to eat or access to good medical care. Natural disasters swallow people alive. Children face cruel words and actions. Wars break out with devastating effects. And then I receive news that a child or a young person I know has died before he or she has really had a chance to live, that families I know are breaking up and that friends are in deep financial distress.

It’s plain to see that there’s a great deal of darkness and struggle on earth. Even Christians sometimes mistreat one another instead of living out the love of Jesus (John 13:35). And when I hear of leaders who claim to be believers in Christ but who abuse their power and hurt many without much, if any, consequence, it’s truly troubling and hard to understand.

It can feel at times as if evil is taking over the world and I’m helpless to do anything about it. So I stop watching the news for a bit and fast from social media. I silence the evil for a time to recover from it. This allows me to reflect upon and pray about what I’ve taken in and on how I might personally overcome evil in me and in the world with good (Romans 12:14,16-17).

—Marlena Graves

365-day-plan: John 6:22-40

What similarities do you see between Psalm 15, Romans 12 and 1 Thessalonians 5? 
What are some tangible ways God is calling you to overcome evil with good in your sphere of influence? How does the goodness of God give you hope today?