When it Looks Like Evil Will Prevail
Author: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS
Do you ever get the feeling that you’re running for your life sometimes the same way David feared for his life? Does it feel as if you have a King Saul chasing you – all the time? Do you cry to God the same way David cried to God – wondering where He is? Why isn’t He listening? Why does it seem like God will allow evil to prevail?
I am not speaking of any particular situation or person in leadership as evil. This virus our nation is dealing with – this plague- is the evil I am referring to as it is causing immense pain and stress to millions of people.
But Through it All…
Recently, my husband Omar made this comment to me; “It’s good when you get down sometimes because afterwards you come up with great ideas.”
Umm…Okay. I guess that’s a compliment.
He was referring to an idea I had about something we are about to start up. However, this idea came after I spent twenty minutes venting about something else; questioning God’s presence. Wondering why life feels so sad and hard and scary.
That’s honestly how I feel right now.
When I give thought to my life – my entire life – I recall many times of feeling this same way. I can recall many situations where I felt God was gone. I can recall many situations where I’ve wondered; “Am I really praying to God?”
“Is God even real?”
I know I am not the only person who has felt this way before.
I know there are people who feel that way right now.
David felt that way at times.
Have you ever noticed however, that some of the greatest ideas, inventions, the greatest thinkers, reformers, Bible heroes, and stories, were birthed through great suffering when it looked like evil would prevail?
Psalm 69:1-3 “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold, I have come into the deep waters; the flood engulfs me. I am worn out calling for help. My throat is parched. My eyes fail looking for my God.”
David lived in deep distress; marked by a constant flight from the relentless pursuit of King Saul. There was no place he could go and get rest for long. No one could give him the shelter he wanted and needed. There was no time for yawning – as I once heard someone say. Every second counted and every move he made was a matter of life or death. David learned and lived his theology by living in the harsh reality completely surrendered in God’s will.
Yes, the harsh reality – suffering – yet surrendered in God’s will.
Can you make sense of that?
Psalm 35: 1 “Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid.”
Where is God?
What gives us the impression that God is with us or not with us? Do we have to feel good to believe God is with us? Do we have to have our prayers answered under our terms – our way – for us to believe God is with us? Does life have to move on the path we want for us to believe God is near?
Can God be with us even if we feel miserable, uncomfortable, angry, sad, hurt? Can God be with us when we’ve prayed – and prayed – and prayed, yet the answers we hope for don’t come? Can God be with us even if it means trusting God when evil triumphs and wickedness prospers?
Because we know God is a loving God, Who loves His creation, hates sin, and loves righteousness, it is hard to image God allowing evil to prevail and still be with us as a loving Father in Heaven Who has our best interest. Every day we do our best to honor God with our lives. We study His Word, pray and seek His guidance, and share the Gospel. We live a life of purity – so why would God allow so much evil to have its way when we know as believers God hates evil? Why should we do our best to live righteously if God is going to allow evil to win anyway?
James 4:13-14,16 “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you don’t not even know what will happen tomorrow.” Cont.d “If it’s the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
God’s Will is Hard
As believers Scripture is our moral guidance and we trust Scripture as God’s spoken Word.
God is good. God is consistent. Because His ways are good it’s like we have come to believe all situations have to be good for God to be in it. However, as believers, we cannot impart our personal thinking, our lives (our personal agenda) into the overall will of God and creation. We do not know the plans of God. God uses all people – all situations – for His will and purpose.
The Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt for hundreds of years until God’s chosen time of deliverance. The Hebrews (for the most part) lived in obedience to God under strict oppression in Egypt. David lived in fear for his life running from King Saul. The Jews lived under strict guidelines at the hand of Rome. Paul lived as a “prisoner for Christ” as he called himself, chained to the ground. In modern times, Hitler extinguished millions of Jews. God allowed all of this to happen. As hard as it is to believe that God would allow this to happen – we must remember that He is in control – and we must remember in each of these instances – as horrible as they were – evil ultimately did not prevail! As hard as it is to understand – there are times we have to suffer greatly for God’s ultimate victory!
On a side note, I am not speaking of suffering as a result of our own foolishness living outside of God’s will. I am speaking about living the Christian life in total surrendered obiendence to God’s will.
Okay Great…But Where is The Hope?
Would you believe the New Testament does not have any direct teachings from Jesus Christ about hope? Instead, Jesus teaches His disciples to not be anxious about the future because the future is in the hands of our Father. Jesus also taught His disciples that after His resurrection they would receive renewed spiritual power to do greater works than He did. They would overcome sin and look forward to sharing in His eternal glory. Jesus’ resurrection renewed their hope. Panic and fear went away. The Christian life is essentially faith in God who raised Jesus from the dead – the mightiest act of Christian history which gives us hope for the future, but not on this earth – for eternal life. Jesus Christ endured great suffering, and death – for our souls.
We might not like what is happening in the world right now. It might look as if evil is prevailing in many cases. We want change. We want to feel good right now. We want those in leadership removed from their positions. Yet, even those in leadership, God will use for His purpose. But it’s important to remember that no human being has the final say. God does. No human being has power over God.
How do we respond to what is happening in our nation today?
Many of us are suffering greatly – but we respond in prayer.
We respond with trust.
We respond with faith in God.
We have no idea where all of this is going. We believe in our minds that life will return to “normal” soon. But what if it doesn’t? What do we do?
We keep praying.
We keep fasting.
We keep crying.
We keep believing.
We keep having faith.
We keep trusting that God is on the throne. He is changing us every day. We are turning into the people He wants us to be. We are growing spiritually stronger each day. We are becoming great thinkers, inventors, innovators – spiritual leaders who will share the Gospel with many people! It’s hard – very hard – but keep suffering through it.
What we are seeing in our world right now is scary, however, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Make no mistake about it – evil will not prevail!
Prayer: Oh, LORD, you are on the throne. Help me to stay strong. Help me trust in you even though it is hard. Help me remember to stay in your Word every day and to pray about everything. Help me to trust in your ways and lean not on my own understanding. In Your Name, I pray.
~Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS