This verse from Romans 12 reminds me of an important lesson: while evil does exist in the world, it is possible to overcome it — but only with God’s help.
I believe that spiritual warfare is very real (especially around this time of the year). I suppose, then, that I should not be surprised when the following happened:
▪️My toaster nearly caught on fire early Monday morning. I stuck with my regular routine (two slices of gluten-free bread in the toaster), but was greatly dismayed when smoke began billowing from the toaster only a minute or two later. In short order, my apartment smelled strongly of smoke, and I had to throw the toaster away. However, this event caused me to…
▪️Get a migraine. 😰 I rarely get migraines, but when I am in the presence of a strong smell (in this case, smoke), it doesn’t take long. Thankfully, the headache has now passed, but for about fifteen hours before then, life was not fun. This experience was greatly amplified when…
▪️I was flat-out given the brush-off for an exciting opportunity (sort of like an internship, but for my certification program) based simply on how I look. You know how it is when someone looks you up and down, and immediately judges you based on your image, rather than what you know? Yes, that. I suppose that — living in California — I do not think too much about racism, because the state is so culturally diverse. However, when I went in to meet the person in charge of the program, it was evident by her reaction that she did not expect me to be a woman of color. Without taking the time to inquire about my qualifications, she was dismissive and rude almost immediately. Later, when I followed up on the opportunity that she and I had discussed only a few weeks earlier, suddenly she “no longer had a need” for someone to join the program at this time. Right — like I was born yesterday! I thanked God for revealing her bad attitude right away, but must admit that it still stings a bit.
But today is a new day. My friends, this is exactly what Easter week spiritual warfare looks like! I know this is true because I felt discouraged and frustrated quite easily, and this mindset persistent for much of the day. I had to remind myself that I do not wish to be surrounded by small-minded people who only focus on what they see on the outside, rather than on what I know; that headaches happen; and that toasters will break down (thankfully there was no electrical fire). However, when these things happen back to back to back, then I know that I am being spiritually attacked.
And despite the evil in the world, as the Bible indicates, it is possible to overcome it by dwelling on that which is good. So, after being encouraged by a godly friend of mine, I made the decision to praise God and thank Him, regardless of what else comes my way. It’s a decision that I’ve made in advance, and I am determined to stick with it.
And as I said, today is a new day – a fresh start. The smoke has dissipated, the headache is gone, and the racist woman has been prayed for and released. I have to surrender the bad things to God — otherwise, how will I make room for the good things that He plans to send my way?
So if you feel like you’re being tested and tried this week, remember that it’s not a coincidence. Accept the difficulty for what it is, and see if there’s a way to still honor God in the midst of it. You may feel down for a little bit, but trust the Lord! He will find a way to help bring you back up again (and in my case, He brought along a godly friend who provided encouragement and support during a hard time).
As as the verse says, let’s remember to overcome evil with good. It is possible, and we will always be better off and stronger as a result of this commitment. ✝️