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“In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.”
We live in an evil age. The world’s unraveling. We have no memories of a more immoral and problematic time than today. We wish Jesus would hurry up and return in his Second Coming with the promised new heavens and new earth where only righteousness dwells.
Since that doesn’t seem to be happening yet, what should we do?
To have the Lord as our refuge amidst evil requires that we look to him, keep our eyes on him, and listen for his voice. There’s no reason to fear evil. Fear does not belong to those who stay close to Jesus. Fear is a tool of the Evil One, who would like us to become so distracted by it that we fail to be the coming of Christ — which is what we are called to be.
God is our refuge, because Jesus is the Redeemer. If we trust in him, he redeems whatever Satan has been doing in our world and in our lives. Jesus turns curses into blessings. What seems like death and destruction (a crucifixion) always leads to victory (resurrection) if we stay close to Jesus.
To live in a time of increased evil is to live in a time of increased grace. Something’s going to change: Either Christ will soon return in his Second Coming or he will come in power through us, for we are his body and we are already here. Satan knows this change is coming, and so he’s fighting harder. Demons see their enemy (that’s us!) getting stronger, and so they’re working harder to exploit our vulnerabilities.
Evil gets worse just before the victory of Christ overcomes it. I believe, for example, that terrorists are proof that the devil is terrified of how far-reaching the kingdom of Christ is spreading. So, too, are government mandates that restrict religious freedom, the loss of respect for children in the womb, and scandals within our Church.
To be the coming of Christ and hasten the victory of God over this evil age, we have to behave as true Christians, as scripture tells us:
Be eager to be found without spot or blemish; be at peace; be patient; be on your guard so as not to be led into the errors of the unprincipled; be strong and stable in your faith; grow in grace; keep studying and learning so that your knowledge of the Savior increases. (See 2 Peter 3:12-15a, 17-18.)
And when Jesus gives you a way to overcome evil, do it! There’s something you can do right now, today.