When You Become A Victim Of Evil

Date: December 9, 2020

Speaker: Bonnie Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | And there was war in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  Be he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. Revelation 12:7-9

After an arsonist burned down his church, Pastor Ted Cole picked his way through the charred rubble still smoldering from the fire and sat down at the piano.  Defiantly he began playing an old hymn written more than four centuries ago by a man who knew trouble as well, Martin Luther.  Cole began gently singing from memory the third verse of Luther’s, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” which goes: “And tho this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,/ We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thru us.”

It is difficult to understand what warped thinking drives a person to burn down a church, a synagogue, or another person’s home or business.  The mere act is a symptom of a sickness, perhaps even driven by demonic powers.  How else can we account for such a tragedy?

Luther wrote of the refuge of every person who is affected by hostile forces which seek to destroy his life.  The first verse of his hymn–which characterized the life of this monk-turned-reformer–reads, “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;/ Our helper He amidst the flood Of mortal ills prevailing./  For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe–His craft and/ pow’r are great, And armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal.”

Question:  When life torches your dreams as the arsonist did the church, what do you do?  When people are confronted with tragedy, they have two choices:  turn to God for strength and comfort or blame Him for the tragedy and see their lives become a discord of bitterness.

Seeing the whole picture from God’s perspective makes all the difference in the world.  Proverbs 21:30 says, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.”

The last book in the Bible, the book of Revelation, written by John on the isle of Patmos, describes Satan as one who is “filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short” (Revelation 12:12).

But John does not believe that we are without defense. He writes, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).

So how does this apply to us as we face evil?

“The blood of the lamb” is not some mystical Christian magic with which we try to protect ourselves.  It speaks of what Jesus Christ did, leaving the presence of His Father in heaven to come to our world, to give His life on a Roman cross, and to rise again the third day, forever vanquishing death and evil.  It speaks of the whole plan of redemption which God because of His love has provided.

The second way that we overcome when we are under attack is through the word of our testimony. In other words, it is what you affirm and believe to be true.  God’s Word is clear.  It doesn’t deny the evil affecting your life.  It says that “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. (1 Corinthians 13:12). It also says, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.  (Ecclesiastes 12:14) We can confidently affirm with Timothy, “The Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom.” (2 Timothy 4:18)

Until God’s time, some with warped minds will burn down churches, will assault the character of innocent people, will slander and lie, and will mistreat you with no reason or provocation.  Driven by the hatred of Satan himself, they will be there, but they can be overcome through the strength of Jesus Christ and by the power of your testimony.

Resource reading: Psalm 37:1-40