Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
I admit it. In the past, I had a ‘quitters’ mentality. Something too hard? Give up. One too many disappointments? Become cynical. Numerous criticisms? Give way to self-doubt. Prolonged crisis? Become numb and grit it out till it was over. In all cases, I checked out. I chose to go away inside and disengage. I was overcome by evil.
For a while in Jesus’ ministry, there was a honeymoon stage. As long as he healed, many hailed Him King. As long as He fed them, they followed. After a while though, His message grew too controversial. The Gospel of repentance burned in their hearts and it was no longer intoxicating to be in His presence. They left Him in droves. He was not overcome. His family called him insane. He was not overcome. His home town no longer welcomed Him. He was not overcome. Judas, the one He had chosen and loved, betrayed Him. He was not overcome. The crowd begged for His life over the life of a common thief. He was not overcome. He was savagely beaten, made to carry his own cross beam, and then nailed to it in agony. He was not overcome. His Father turned His back on Him as He wore the sins of the world. He was not overcome.
Jesus chose to stay engaged. He did not check out emotionally. He never abandoned the redemptive process. He persevered because He understood the plan and saw redemption in the darkest deeds of mankind. Not only was He not overcome, He returned their evil with good. He offered a salvation to every enemy that He had to die to extend. No exceptions.
What is it that overwhelms me today? Am I tempted to quit? What troubled relationship has me believing that I can no longer cope? Am I tempted to abandon it? Where am I scorned or despised? Am I thinking of going away and abandoning them all emotionally? If Jesus was not overcome, will He not help me stay centered in the plot line of His sovereignty? And if He overcame evil with good, will He not flood my soul with a love that is bigger than me in order to love others into the kingdom?
So many questions, Lord Jesus, but I vow to answer every one in the way You modeled life for me. Amen