“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21)

January 25, 2023

Once Pope Shenouda III in his homily said, “The person with peace of heart, does not fear evil, for he says to the Lord as David the Prophet says, “If I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23:4) The faithful person lives in peace, for God exists and acts; manages all. He is the protector and the helper.

However, the one who has lost peace, even imagines difficulties when they do not exist, and even though there is Divine power surrounding him, he does not recognize it, and that is his great crisis. If you have an accepted prayer, you shall live in peace, and you will feel that since you have placed your troubles in prayer before God, and that He has received your case and surrounds it with His abundant mercies, He will lift your sufferings. And in the beginning of this new year, we pray that God intervenes and solves the problems of individuals and nations, even if they seem complicated and unsolvable. “For that which is impossible with men, is possible with God.” (Homily in Saint George and Saint Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, January 7, 2006)

God has mysterious ways of disentangling any evils in life; but it is in human’s heart and will to let Him and have faith. In following the road to kingdom of God, and growing in our spiritual life, the devils become jealous and attempts in pulling far down his path. So if we keep away from God, and abandon the spiritual road, it is likely to fulfill Satan’s wish, willing him overcome our battle.

Saint Paul said, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21). Hominid shall have patient in overcoming every harms and pass his test than to face them by force using physical power. Lord Jesus Christ told us, “In the world you will have tribulation.” (John 16:33) “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ” (Matthew 11:28) It is even more better to do good by and for our enemy for satan will anguish towards us in seeing the predicament be solved and the devil will depart far.

People might do harmful things violating the right and will of others, without sympathy and consideration of pain and misery their bring upon them and neglecting their humanity. Those are evils whom are believed to have no good at heart and spirituality, defying all the commandments of God and betraying His Love and mercy. These kinds of people have no fear or regrets whilst doing harmful and sinful acts on others. We might have met those kinds once or more times in our lives or even forced to live with them. As their thoughts and aims is just fulfilling their worldly need and desire, hurting others and disappointing God is not of their concern. Or else the need of fearing Him and regretting their sin is not set in their mentality. Whatever is compulsory for satisfying their worldly desire, is considered to be done by them. These are the types of tribulations and test we shall face living with our enemies in sacrificing for our spirituality.

It is always vital to remember to have faith and patient in passing hard times in our spiritual life. We have learned to have faith in any difficult circumstances than to fear pain and evil. Christians are those who have no fear but with faith and strength in facing any evil. Christianity is also showing mercy, patient and love even for our enemies. It is better do good for others even if they strive hard to deceive, manipulate and bring pain and mystery upon us. It is their deed against them then, for doing evil is to bring punishment on oneself and to do good by our enemy is for one’s virtue. If someone bad mouth and insult us and we speak not about his harm, it is in God’s will to receive us and punishes the bad. It is likely the same for all the sins that is committed disobeying the ten commandments. It is not in our will or power to evaluate or judge the evil deed of our enemy, but to forgive them is Christian’s endeavor.

We shall always remember to have faith in God and His power in changing any bad situations. Christianity is almost always in travail and so is our religion. Especially in our country, holy church is being tormented from different directions by some internal and external enemy forces who are attempting to destroy the house of God and orthodox Tewahedo religion. We have faced similar predicament through church history. But it was frequently solved by the prayer of patristic fathers and people of God for their faith and diligent was true.

It is vital to have faith in God’s grace for He will stand beside His creatures, supporting us and wining our battle. In doing so, enemy satan will despair from any who live under the shadow and mercy of God. His patient is out of the love and mercy for all whose heart wills to forgive and be forgiven. It is likely to have differences worldly but lays in the attention of our deed and concern. However, some defy His command and bring upon disappointment before Him. Though loving neighbor God and neighbor is His will, many have hatred for a creature as same as him. He uses blade and spire to destroy others for no possible reason.These people carry grudge only for being told the truth.

God is the truth and patience is in His demeanor. He might not respond to all the massacres, slaughters and carnages swiftly but has time for showing His own rage or mercy. It is better to understand His ways than to grouch before Him and respond to our problems just as their coming by evil. Instead, we shall have faith in God and believe to receive answer from Him through our prayer and diligent.

May God have mercy on us, Amen!