Overcome – Or Overcoming?

I’ll admit it: I’ve had to quit watching the televised news reports coming out of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Scene after scene of devastation, misery, and hopelessness have overwhelmed my spirit. I wonder, How will these poor people ever recover? So many of them have literally lost everything. I try to put myself in their place, but I quickly recoil from that mental exercise. It’s just more than a person can bear.
Making things even worse are the reports of evil taking advantage of the helpless situations. Isn’t it enough that people have lost so much? Now must they also be victimized by gangs of thieves, rapists, and murderers? We feel something within us crying out, “How long, O Lord?”
This is precisely the time when Christians must turn away from news reports filled with hopelessness and remind ourselves of the hope found in God’s word.
Paul knew something about hard times. An entire religious group had been marked for persecution, a movement Paul had once spearheaded. Now that he had seen the light of Jesus Christ, he served on the other side. Though he was often the target of Jewish and Roman opposition, he was still able to give this counsel to his fellow-saints: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21, NKJV).
It would be easy to be overcome. The magnitude of the suffering in the South is mind-boggling, and disaster experts seem to be at a loss for long-term plans that will provide for these whose lives have been uprooted. “What’s the use?” we might think. “Let’s just cut our losses and take care of ourselves.” But that’s exactly what the devil wants us to think.
Christ’s followers must exercise their faith now more than ever. In the face of apparent impossibilities, we must remember that we serve Almighty God. As Paul noted earlier in the Roman epistle, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-37).
God has not asked any of us to solve the problem of Hurricane Katrina alone. But he has asked us to do what we can to help one suffering soul at a time. When we focus on what we can’t do, our spirits will deflate. When we focus on what we’re able to do, we’ll rise to the challenge. One candle at a time, we’ll push back the darkness. And Christ will be glorified!
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9,10).

One Reply to “Overcome – Or Overcoming?”

  1. We must not appear to be cruel at this point in time, but if — if — these people had only obeyed the order to leave. No car? Just start walking then, but leave. Leave while you can, but leave. Obey the law. And, I wonder how many will blame someone if they don’t make it to Heaven? Will they again figure that somehow everything is going to work out all right? Grace maybe? Have we all in America been warned to obey the law of Christ before he comes again? Probably more times than any people on earth. Again, not to be cruel. I do indeed feel for these unfortunate souls. JO

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