This is God’s world. And God is good.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. —Romans 12:21 (NIV)
Since I am a professor, today’s devotional begins with a quiz, and it’s a tough one: Do we live in a world that is mostly bad or mostly good? That’s quite a question with which to begin your day—or end it, depending on when you read this. It’s one that has been debated for centuries, is both difficult and complex, and has no easy answers. But how you think about it is important, and here’s why—because you may have to answer it many times over today, or help someone else answer it.
Consider these three examples I read in the newspaper, all in one day: A star high-school basketball player is in a plane crash that kills his father and sister—a decade after another crash took his mother’s life; a church pastor is shot and killed by a person who couldn’t get food at the church’s food pantry because he’d already received some; a mother of four is diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
You can probably add to my list many crucial challenges of life that you or people you know are facing. Illness. Family problems. Loss of a job. There are days when it can all feel overwhelming.
But in each of the newspaper stories I read, the writer went on to explain how these difficult situations had rallied the generosity of people of faith. Each time, the people involved summoned the power of good to eventually overcome the bad.
I think that’s right. And that’s why I always leave a blank column on the right side of my prayer book, a place where I can go back and record how good was eventually found. Because finally, I believe the answer to today’s quiz is: This is God’s world. And God is good.
Today and every day, God, show me how might my words and actions reveal You as a good and generous God Who loves this world. —Jeff Japinga
Digging Deeper: Gn 50:1–20 his name’s sake. —Psalm 23:3 (niv)