When we live afraid, the terrorists win. When we live afraid, evil wins.
Fear is one of evil’s most efficient fuels. Clearly, fear is both the fuel and the end game of the terrorist.
Thinking back on last week’s message, Jesus assumes that the world is “rotting” and is “dark.” Therefore he tells His followers that they are “salt”, which works against “rotting”; and “light”, which dispels “darkness.” According to Jesus, salt and light will win in the end. Not only that, salt and light will have positive impact whenever deployed. This is not to say that everything will be “rosy”, but the fragrant aroma of God’s grace can and will permeate all our moments if we will breathe in the Spirit’s direction. (This last sentence was meant to be a play on words – “Spirit” and “breathe” are the same word in Hebrew.)
Consider a couple of thoughts from the Apostle Paul in Romans 12.
Hate what is evil, but cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
I love it that the Spirit inspired Paul to use the word “cling” in relation to good. We get to “cling” to good rather than fear or our worst thoughts. Those who cling to good will find perspective, comfort and even healing.
The Apostle Paul also says:
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
There is a warning here – it is possible for you and me to be defeated by evil. However, this is never a fatalistic inevitability. Good carries with it the power to over-power evil, even when most people think evil has already won. Seek God’s good, even when people and forces are their darkest and foulest, and you will see Him move. When we pray in God’s will for ANYTHING in His will, He will do it. That which is “good” is always in His will.
So, when you think about the violence in Boston and evil in whatever form it might take, look for God and His goodness. He is ever-present and bids His children to keep loving, keep serving and keep hoping.