Joanna is determined to overcome evil with good. The source of her strength is her personal relationship with Christ Jesus and her hope in Him. Her prayer is: “Dear heavenly Father, I don’t want to be overcome by evil I have suffered and let it define my behaviour. I don’t want to be shaped by the evils of this world. Continue to strengthen me with the power of your Holy Spirit to respond in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
What does it look like for a person to be overcome by evil? The person is gripped by fear; their minds and hearts overflow with recurring fearful thoughts. The evil shown on the news channels, or the evil we personally suffer weighs us down, and we gradually lose our peace and joy. Joanna has gone down this road but overcome. She knows she is not alone; that she is in fellowship with God and God’s people, whom she can call upon for prayerful support and advice.
Joanna has repeatedly refused to conform to different life styles she encountered as a student and now at her work place. Many try drugs and experiment with sex, but she refused to go down the slippery slope.
Joanna refuses to be hardened by the culture around her. She knows we live in an ‘eat or be eaten’ environment. Pride fills the air; cynicism is common; understanding and compassion are rarely to be found, and slowly cynicism creeps into the heart. What evil might threaten to overcome you? Have you suffered violence or been discriminated against? Have you been abused verbally, emotionally or sexually?
It is possible to let the wounds of our life define us so we lose our confidence, peace, and joy. However, the Jesus way and His power is available for us “not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). Evil did not overcome Jesus, and it will not overcome you either.