but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).
Someone once asked Brother Lawrence, the French monk, if he wondered why there was evil in the world. Brother Lawrence replied that he was not surprised by the evil in the world, he was only surprised that there was not more, considering the malice that people were capable of.
In the worst evil, Life and Light come forth and God is glorified.
Goodness, holiness, love – that they exist at all in this world is miraculous.
All of human history – sin, failure, rebellion, death – all this evil will continue. Not only will it continue, but the Bible says that wicked men and seducers will become worse and worse (2 Tim. 3:13). God will permit evil to come into its fullness. Then, the Bible says He will work all things together for good (Rom. 8:28). He will destroy death, and there will be no more sorrow or crying (Rev. 21:4). He will reverse the curse and bring everything out of weakness, out of death, out of darkness, out of foolishness – all this evil – and will bring forth strength, life, light, wisdom, and good.
You say that’s impossible. Yes, with man it is impossible, and we see no way out of this mess. But with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).
Your adversity, your distress, your trouble, your affliction, your persecution, your tribulation, your suffering, your trials, all of them are designed to show you how God turns Weakness into Strength (2 Cor. 12:9); Death into Life (Rom. 8:2); Darkness into Light (Acts 26:18, John 8:12); Foolishness into Wisdom (1 Cor. 1:27-30).
Look at the New Creation: “If any man be in Christ He is a new creation; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17). He turns everything around in you the moment you are born from above. He continues to do this throughout your life.
He says the same thing in the Book of Revelation, but this time referring to the heavens and the earth: “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5). There is the principle. He is doing it in you now, and in me, and one day what He has done in us He will do in all creation.
Good out of Evil. You see it in Joseph. What did Joseph say to his brethren? “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). Joseph is a type of Christ.
“The Stone that the builders rejected became the Head of the Corner.” (Matt. 21:42). Despised and rejected of men, betrayed by Judas, forsaken by the disciples, condemned by the Jews and crucified by the Romans. You say what has happened to you is unfair? The crucifixion of Jesus was the most unfair event in human history. Man killed God. Can you imagine that? How evil is that? How dark is that? How foolish is that?
When they arrested Him, Jesus said, “This is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (Luke 22:53). He allowed them “their hour”. Go ahead and take the greatest concentration of evil you can find, bring the full force of death and hell and satan against the Lord Jesus, let evil do all it can do. What is the end result? He is raised up triumphant over it all.
Jesus did not avoid death. Sometimes death is unavoidable. Sometimes darkness is unavoidable. Sometimes evil appears to have the advantage. But in death, in darkness, in the worst evil, Life and Light come forth and God is glorified. If not here where we can see it, in the End, when all things are revealed, when He makes all things new and wipes away every tear from every eye.