Christians and non-Christians alike would openly admit that our world is full of evil. From acts of nature to acts of people, it seems we can’t escape evil.
I was watching a documentary on the production of avocados and I couldn’t believe how the trend to consume avocados has actually brought more evil and problems in the world than good.
You would think the demand for lots of avocados would be a good thing, but it’s not necessarily. With a higher demand comes war over water, land, pricing, and in some countries, threats of violence on farmers and their families.
I sat there thinking, “We really can’t avoid evil, no matter how hard we try.”
I can’t even innocently buy an avocado without interfacing with the effects of evil in our world. When you think about the evil that seems to prevail, it becomes overwhelming. It’s discouraging, disheartening, and for some, debilitating.
Though we know it’s not true, it may seem as even evil has won.
Here are four things to remember when you encounter evil.
1. It’s not supposed to be this way.
Recently, I was talking (really I was weeping) about my adjustment to motherhood. I went from the uncomfortability of pregnancy to the excruciating pain of delivery to the endless exhaustion of a newborn.
I absolutely love my son. But it feels very much like every last ounce of my strength is being pushed to the limits. Surely, this is not the way it’s supposed to be. It just can’t be.
Something as beautiful and amazing as bringing new life into the world shouldn’t simultaneously be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Yes, I know it will get easier. But the more I thought about this, the more I realized, truly, this is not what God intended. This was never intended to be such a painful process.
The pain associated with childbirth and motherhood only became a reality when evil entered the world through Adam and Eve’s sin. Evil, and the pain it brings, are actually foreign to the world God created. Evil is something that came in and deeply wounded (and in some cases destroyed) even the purest of things in life.
God created humanity to thrive within the world so that he could receive glory through it. Every time you see evil, remember this is not what God intended. The evil you encounter is not the way it’s supposed to be.
The pain associated with childbirth and motherhood only became a reality when evil entered the world through Adam and Eve's sin. Evil, and the pain it brings, are actually foreign to the world God created. Click To Tweet
2. The fact that evil bothers you points to the existence of a good Creator.
We have never lived in a perfect world. All we have ever known are the effects of evil.
Have you ever wondered why evil bothers us so much if it’s all we’ve ever known? How hearts long for goodness. And that’s regardless of your faith in Jesus. This longing has been instilled in us through our Creator. We have phantom pains of what once was, though we have never experienced it.
Your outrage with evil is a reminder that the one who created you is good. And he never desired for you to live this way. The bible even talks about nature longing to be restored back to the perfection it once was before evil.
Remember every time you’re outraged by evil that it’s because this is the way God created you to be. Your heart longs for what was, even though you’ve never experienced it–because of the way God has created you.
3. You can be part of bringing redemption, even if only a small part.
You can easily look at the evil around you and lament that you can’t wait for Jesus to return to pull you out of it. But that’s actually not what Jesus wants for his people.
There’s a reason you’re here on earth and not yet called to heaven. You are called to be an ambassador for Christ while you’re still here. Until he calls you home, you are on a mission. The mission is to be his light to the world. To play a part in his redemption story.
As a follower of Jesus, you are not without hope. And you are equipped to share that hope with others who are victimized by evil…or even those committing evil, for that matter. The gospel is the story of redemption. A story that your own story is grafted into.
You get to be part of the mission of redemption. So let’s not sit around thinking we just can’t wait to cash our “get into heaven” card. Let’s actually live as if salvation means something here and now.
In Jesus, you are more influential and powerful than you know. It might seem as if the evil is too big and overwhelming. And it is too big for you. But not for Jesus.
All throughout the bible, we find example after example of Jesus using broken people to bring the redemption only he can bring. That’s a big deal. It’s something we should be excited to be a part of.
When you find yourself overwhelmed and discouraged by evil, remember that you get to be part of bringing redemption even now.
4. It won’t always be this way.
Evil was never meant to be part of life. It was never supposed to be this way. And God has made sure that it won’t always be this way either.
It’s so hard to wrap my head around this thought: God never meant our lives to be filled with evil; but then humanity messed it all up; so God himself made a way to fix it. Whenever a situation goes horribly wrong, it’s usually up to the offender to fix it. But that’s not how God works.
Even though we don’t get to see the full measure of Jesus’ victory right now, we can find comfort and encouragement knowing that day will come. There will be a day when evil and all of its effects in our lives will be no more. That longing that each and everyone of us has will be met.
The fullness of Jesus’ victory will come. You will no longer know a life surrounded by evil. This is the day we all long for. And it’s a day that the Lord has promised will come.
The future glory of God’s promise should bring us encouragement to keep pressing forward in our calling today. That day hasn’t come yet because God’s work is not yet complete.