“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21 NIV)
I have resurrected my fanny pack, a small leather pouch with several zippered pockets, which belts around my waist. Within it, I now carry a bear banger to frighten off bears. The device looks a lot like a fountain pen. At one end, it has a place to screw in a cartridge. On the upper side near the other end is a small knob attached to a lever with a safety catch. Once the cartridge is in place, the pen is to be pointed vertically, the knob is pulled over and down to release the safety, and the lever is flipped right to the bottom of its channel and released, which in turn fires the cartridge high into the air. Upon reaching its maximum height, the cartridge explodes with a terrific noise.
There are many things in life which can be scary when we encounter them. I’m not just talking about wild animals. I am thinking of things such as affliction, persecution, injustice, hatred, and prejudice — evil that can threaten a person’s faith, health, and mental well-being. But just as I carry a bear banger to help protect myself from wild creatures, God has also provided His children with wisdom to protect us and overcome evils that we may encounter anywhere, at any time.
In Romans 12:9-21, we discover some of that wisdom with which to do battle. We are told to hate evil and cling to good. We are to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. We are to bless and not curse those who persecute us. We are not to repay evil for evil but to live at peace as much as possible with everyone. We are not to avenge ourselves, but to wait and trust in God’s judgment. We are to feed our enemies if they are hungry and give them something to drink if they are thirsty. By so doing, we have the power to overcome evil with good — in other words, to scare off the devil who seeks to frighten and destroy us as God’s people.
Much like my bear banger, which I can easily carry with me anywhere, with Christ within us, we, too, carry all the power and wisdom that we need to battle against the evils of this world.
Whenever evil, affliction, persecution, injustice, hatred, prejudice, and the like confront us in our daily lives, let us remember that we need not fear them. For in Christ, we have the strength, power, and wisdom to send them packing in a hurry, as we apply the truths of Scripture to our situation.
Prayer: Father, thank You so much that You have provided the wisdom, through Your Word, to equip us to fight against the evils of this world. May we thus remember daily not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good, not in and through our own strength, but through the strength and power of the Spirit of Christ dwelling within us, in Whose name we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2021, by Lynne Phipps <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission