Encountering Evil

The light shines in the darkness and he darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5

I have this theory that the closer you walk with God, the more the enemy will try to stop you. This can be internal, in the form of self doubt, or external where the enemy influences others to do his bidding. The other day for me it was the latter.

I just recently broke through the self doubt portion, and had gone shooting twice in the past week. However, if the enemy can’t attack us from within, then he will try to do so from without. Yesterday while out shooting a person I passed by on the streets later approached me and demanded I give him money. When I told him I didn’t have any he repeatedly told me that he can hop the small barrier between us and stab and kill me “right now” and that he knows that I have money. The person looked like a drug addict, probably homeless too. I tried to show compassion through the entire thing because I know he was just a broken person. But at the same time I thought how could this be happening. As I went to walk away he started to walk around the barrier and follow me, but then turned back around.

A similar situation happened Friday night when a person approached me, locked eyes with me, and stared me down as I walked by. I was going to blog about it because it didn’t feel like a person staring at me but more like a darkness tearing into my soul.

Yesterday as I drafted this post both events had me feeling uneasy. I thought, was I feeling uneasy because my faith is weak? Clearly I wasn’t ready to die for Christ, even though you would think going out during broad daylight to take photos in downtown Toronto isn’t the same as being Jim Elliot. However I was left feeling unsure of this whole project of exploring scripture through street photography.

This morning that feeling of unease had completely left me. I do trust Jesus with my life. Satan will keep trying to find ways to discourage me I’m sure, I just have to make sure that he gives up before I do. After all, he already lost.

Below is a short list of what to do and what not to do when we encounter evil in our lives from an article titled The Fall of Satan and the Victory of Christ. It helped me better understand what happened and what probably will still happen.

Eight Things to Do with Evil

1. Expect evil. “Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).

2. Endure evil. “Love bears all thing, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7; see also Mark 13:13).

3. Give thanks for the refining effect of evil that comes against you. “Give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20; see also 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Romans 5:3–5).

4. Hate evil. “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9).

5. Pray for escape from evil. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).

6. Expose evil. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).

7. Overcome evil with good. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

8. Resist evil. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Four Things Never to Do with Evil

1. Never despair that this evil world is out of God’s control. “[He] works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).

2. Never give in to the sense that because of random evil life is absurd and meaningless. “How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! . . . For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever” (Romans 11:33, 36).

3. Never yield to the thought that God sins or is ever unjust or unrighteous in the way he governs the universe. “The Lord is righteous in all his ways” (Psalm 145:17).

4. Never doubt that God is totally for you in Christ. If you trust him with your life, you are in Christ. Never doubt that all the evil that befalls you — even if it takes your life — is God’s loving, purifying, saving, fatherly discipline. It is not an expression of his punishment in wrath. That fell on Jesus Christ our substitute. “The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Hebrews 12:6).

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