A Faith that works when life doesn't Part 5 (Day 1)
How to Fight Darkness with Light
I don’t know if there’s anything more counter-cultural today than responding to evil with good. And because it’s so counter-cultural, it can be one of the hardest things to do.
When someone causes trouble in your life, you need to respond positively. The Bible says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21 NIV).
That’s a step of faith, isn’t it? Because everything in you probably wants to overcome evil with evil and fight darkness with more darkness. That’s why it takes faith to go against what your flesh and culture are telling you to do and instead trust in God, responding to darkness with his light.
You fight darkness with light, hatred with love, and unkindness with kindness. You don't let evil overcome you. You overcome evil with good.
That’s tough to do. But it gets even tougher: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 NIV).
Is that easy? No. Is it unusual? Yes. Is it a choice? Absolutely. It’s your choice to respond better than your enemies. Choosing light over darkness means walking the way of Jesus. And Jesus wouldn’t just walk away from a fight and forget. He would lay down his life if that’s what he needed to do to show how much he loves someone—and that’s exactly what he did.
God doesn’t want you to retaliate. He also wants you to do good. He wants you to show love to even the hardest hearts by praying for them and asking God to give them hearts like his.
Jesus gave us the greatest example of responding in love and praying for our enemies. When you follow his example, you’ll stand out in a world where everyone thinks of themselves first.
Taking the step of faith to overcome evil with good will not always be easy, but it will make you a powerful witness for Jesus.
Talk It Over
- What did Jesus do to show us how to overcome evil with good and love our enemies?
- Why do you think God wants us to pray for the people who harass us? What difference does it make in our lives? In their lives?
- Have you ever consistently prayed for one of your enemies? How did God change your heart toward that person?
Today is the day to take a step of faith by trusting in Jesus. Here’s how you start.
The Bible says Jesus laid down his life to show how much he loves you. You don’t have to earn God’s love or work your way into heaven. The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
If you haven’t trusted in Jesus and committed to following him, why wait any longer? If you’re ready to step across that line and make the decision to believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, pray this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.
“I confess my sin, and I believe you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I trust you when you say salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today I’m turning over every part of my life to your management. You have the right to call the shots in my life.
“I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In your name, I pray. Amen.”
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.