An extra dose of encouragement is desperately needed after the challenging week our local communities have had, and will continue to have. Here’s a note from Pastor Chad Price of Forest Hill Church of God in Mobile, AL for a special Southern Cancer Center “Bread Bite” message.
What a crazy week it’s been for our little corner of the world. Mobile and especially Baldwin County, faced such horrific conditions for the duration of Hurricane Sally on Tuesday night into Wednesday. I know that for many of you, your lives were temporarily put on hold in the aftermath. The only silver lining in times like these is that it requires us to “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps” as the old saying goes and also makes us come together as a community to rebuild. It’s amazing to me the unity that tragedy produces.
The human spirit, though many times prone to weakness, always proves strong and resilient in the face of darkness. Today’s scripture is the perfect encouragement for a time like this. Romans 12:21 (NIV) says: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” It says earlier in the chapter beginning in verse 12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Though these are trying times, we must never lose hope. It is so important that you remember that when you trust God, He is always working your present and future circumstances out for your good. It’s not painless, but it will be worked for your good. It’s sometimes not enjoyable, but always for your good. James 1:2-4 states: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I know I’ve said this before, but God never wastes anything; not even natural disasters. He will equip us to rebuild and repair. He will help us to mend not just our physical fences, but our hearts as well. He is constantly working and never stops. He neither “slumbers nor sleeps,” as the psalmist said in chapter 121. It’s up to us how we decide to handle adversity. Don’t let the evil of this world overtake you but overcome the evil in this world by doing good.
There’s a song in Disney’s Frozen 2 that sticks out to me in times like this. It’s called “The Next Right Thing.” In this point of the movie, one of the main characters, Anna, is confronted with a choice between hopelessness and hope. Everything in her life that she’s comfortable with has seemingly vanished at this point and she begins to gather up her courage and sings that even though she doesn’t know exactly WHAT to do in that moment or WHERE to go, she will simply do the next right thing, one step at a time. And that’s exactly what I believe this verse in Romans is encouraging us to do. You may think it silly to find inspiration in a children’s animated film, but I find inspiration in just about anything!
Overcome evil with good- one step at a time and one decision at a time. Let’s all just keep doing the next right thing together and if we do, we know that we will all be alright. Remain encouraged!