Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:21
A good friend asked this morning about how God could allow such devastation in the Philippines. It’s a good question and has been asked at least since the book of Job has been written. I certainly don’t have the answer, but I am certain that Romans 12:21 gives us a hint at how to respond when tragedy, evil, or disaster strikes.
When evil strikes, we must overcome it by good. That is true whether the evil is as terrible as the holocaust or as personal as the evil in our own hearts. There are many ways to overcome the evil that on occasion tries to consume us, but the simplest, the easiest, the simplest way is to overcome it by active occupation in some good word or work. Stanley suggests that, “The best antidote against evil of all kinds, against the evil thoughts that haunt the soul, against the needless perplexities which distract the conscience, is to keep hold of the good we have.”
Evil will not stand against pure words, and prayers, and deeds. When we are confronted by evil or inexplicable tragedy turn your attention to what you can do to ease someone’s pain, what you can do to lighten someone’s burden, and what you can do alleviate doubt. Little doubts, whether yours or the world’s, will not avail against great certainties. And whenever there is evil or a tragedy the one great certainty is whatever the evil or tragedy it will be responded to by greater acts of courage, sacrifice, and love — a love that comes from the God in each of us.