eighteen years I had been a faithful member of a denomination. I believed
my teachers were called of God and were sincerely explaining Scripture
as accurately as humanly possible. I had friends that seemed closer to
me than my blood relatives. I had faith in God who had proved himself faithful
to me in my personal life. I had a loving husband and a lovable child.
We had enough income to have our basic needs supplied. We were comfortable.
Then our perfect small world began to crumble. The lives of the teachers we had respected were gradually being exposed as corrupt. Selfish ambition was being revealed as the motive for decisions that were harming many people.
My husband, along with many other sincere, faithful people, was laid off from his church related job. We prayed for Godís guidance and provision. He led us to move halfway across America---away from our family and friends. We struggled to make ends meet---to survive emotionally and spiritually.
Gradually we made friends and our financial situation improved. We attended a church congregation regularly. By the time we got comfortable again, our world fell apart again.
This time I allowed anger to fester and destroy my relationships with people and worst of all with God. It took nearly ten years to get to the place where I could admit that I was mad at God. Ten years of depression; of isolation; of festering hatred for those who had deceived and spiritually abused me and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people was eroding away what was left of my faith in God.
Did my anger (justified or not), my hatred, my depression, or my withdrawal accomplish anything worthwhile? No. My negative emotions and unforgiving attitude just wasted and destroyed a decade of my life.
Only after I acknowledged that my human response to this evil (and, yes, what was done to me and others was evil) was also evil, did God clean me up emotionally and spiritually. He gave me the power to forgive and put the past behind me.
He began to teach me that evil can only be successfully resisted by doing good. (Romans 12:21) He taught me to focus on his Son Jesus instead of focusing my mind and thoughts on grievances. (Colossians 3:1-17) Jesus not only lived a human life that overcame evil with good, today he lives to empower his disciples to fight against evil using Godís armament instead of human weaponry. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
Are you facing an evil situation? Donít rely like I did on the weak armament of anger and grudges. Go to God and acknowledge the evil. Let go of the anger through forgiveness. Then ask God to show you the good you can do that will gain a solid, permanent victory over that evil. God is able and willing. Are you?
by Scarlett Stough