Mankind has often thought of religion as a battle between good and evil. The idea goes something like this: God (or some of the gods) are good and try to do good at all times. Others (mankind or other gods) exist who are intent on doing evil at all times. Whoever is stronger at the time, wins for the moment. In other words, when you are experiencing hardship, then the evil in the world is stronger than the good, but when the good overcomes the evil, then you again experience blessing.

This is a very naive way of thinking about all of reality. There is indeed a battle of good VS evil, but the battle rages on earth, not in the universe. The only living God is only good all the time (Ps 119:68). Combined with God’s omnipotence, God’s goodness turns even the evil of evildoers into good (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28; Ps 119:71). There is no cosmic battle of good VS evil. Instead, there is God who only does good, and there is Satan, demons, and mankind, who do much evil, but are no match for God. As Martin Luther is quoted for saying, the devil is God’s devil. God made him originally good (Eze 28:15), even when he sinned against God, God still controls what he is allowed to do (Job 1-2), and God will most certainly punish him when the time is right (Rev 20:10).

The battle of good VS evil is not true on a cosmic level, but it is true in the daily life you and I live as Christians. You are in a daily battle where you enter it as a Christian commanded to do what is good, but where you will be confronted by countless individuals who do what is evil. Will you become a traitor to God and do evil yourself, or will you overcome all evil done against you with good?

In the list of basic instructions for daily Christian living we are told,

Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:21 (ESV)

Evil done against us is never corrected by evil done in return. Foolishly we often think that the only way to fight sin is to sin ourselves. The reality is that when we respond sinfully to the sin of others, we are not fixing the evil, but joining it instead. When you get angry because someone is angry at you, you are letting anger overcome you instead of letting grace and patience overcome them. When you become bitter because of the inconsiderate actions of another, you are joining them instead of overcoming them.

The battle between good and evil is yours to engage in every day. Do not be weary in doing good (Gal 6:9-10). Bless, and do not curse (Rom 12:14). Pray for those who do you evil (Matt 5:44, Luke 23:34, Acts 7:60).

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

1 Peter 3:9 (ESV)