Don’t Let Evil Get The Best Of You
By Edwin Christiaan
“You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which graciously forgives instead of crying out for vengeance as the blood of Abel did.” Hebrews 12:24 NLT
Since the fall of Adam and Eve there has always been throughout the history of mankind a battle between good and evil, between Jesus and Satan, a.k.a. the Devil. Satan who wanted to be like his maker God, was thrown out of heaven and so became a fallen angel. Offended, full of hatred and vengeance, Satan is now roaming the world deceitfully portraying everything that has to do with Jesus Christ the Savior who came to forgive our sins, as bad and meaningless. God is warning us to take a firm stand against him and wants to instruct us on how to do this. He also wants us to know that we are not alone in this battle against the tricks of Satan.
“Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.” 1. Peter 5:8-9 NLT
Satan persecutes anyone who rejects him and who wants to live a fruitful life for God. He will for instance discredit and slander your name by spreading all sorts of lies and false rumors about you, using people who are led and controlled by his demonic spirit.
“Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will go on deceiving others, and they themselves will be deceived.” 2. Timothy 3:12-13 NLT
Jesus says that there are blessings in being persecuted for His sake and therefore we should rejoice and be very glad when it happens.
“God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. “God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too.” Matthew 5:10-12 NLT
Suffering persecution is the training ground for Christian maturity and the following scripture gives a clearer way of how we should think when we face hardship and discouragement.
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:2-3 NLT
And this is what we practically need to do when we are being persecuted:
“If people persecute you because you are a Christian, don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.
Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written,
“I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord.
Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.”
Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
Romans 12:14-21 NLT
By giving an enemy a drink, we are not excusing his misdeeds. We are recognizing him, forgiving him, and loving him in spite of his sins, just as Christ did for us. In other words, if we love someone the way Christ love us, we will be willing to forgive. If we have experienced God’s grace, which is actually undeserved favor, we will want to pass it on to others.
“You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 NLT
The Bible also says that if we do not forgive we ourselves will be living in a God unforgiving state with all the negative consequences that it will have for us.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26 NKJV
It is a sin when you know you must forgive someone you have a grudge against and you deliberately refuse to forgive. You are letting evil getting the best of you and open yourself for the serious consequences of God’s judgment upon your life.
“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17 NLT
“Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins. There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. Anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. Such people have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to his people.
For we know the one who said, “I will take vengeance. I will repay those who deserve it.” He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.”
It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Hebrews 10:26-31 NLT
In a letter to the Corinthian Church the apostle Paul encourages believers to persevere in their Christian faith and conduct when facing persecution and difficult circumstances.
“We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are well known, but we are treated as unknown. We live close to death, but here we are, still alive. We have been beaten within an inch of our lives. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2. Corinthians 6:8-10 NLT
It is very important to understand that our battle is not against people, but it is against rulers and authorities, which are powerful evil forces working in people which comes from fallen angels headed by Satan, who is a vicious fighter. Although we as Christians are assure of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Jesus Christ returns, because Satan is constantly battling against all who are on God’s side. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan and God has provided this by given us the Holy Spirit within us and His armor surrounding us, which is our faith in His Word!
“A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood , but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:10-12 NLT
Copyright©2010 Sophia & Edwin Christiaan