So much seems wrong with our world today. How do we deal with all of the evil in the world?
...God does have absolute power, and there is no room for Satan in the Kingdom of God. In this sense we might regard the master of evil as an illusion, because he is already defeated by the power of Christ . . . To develop our highest potential, to become like God, we need to gain that love which only opposition allows us to gain. Without an opposing energy, our power to love would never be strengthened sufficiently to allow us to progress in the eternities. —The Ripple Effect, pp. 81-82
Evil exists in this world for a purpose. We want to grow from the opposition in our lives rather than succumb to it. To do this, we need to learn to discern the nature of evil:
It is a tree that bears bitter fruit that can always be detected over time. Evil will take on any form necessary to tempt us, to test us, to claim us, hoping we don't look too closely at its real composition. Remember, like cleaves to like.
...It is important to recognize that Satan, the Deceiver, masterfully uses our own fears to hold us captive. Fear is the opposite of love. It warps and destroys love's power to heal and to expand us. Some of us in this life and in the world to come are afraid to go to the Light and accept Christ's love. And Christ will not force us; rather, he gently and ever so patiently guides us along. During my near-death experience, my transformation by his healing love began in the darkness before I ever saw him. This love grew in me until my fears departed and I believed I was accepted of him. Then I couldn't be held from him and went to his light. While in darkness, each of us has the right to feel God's love. But we must accept it. Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space; it is an impossibility. . . his love for everyone is the same. It is without conditions or limits. And it is the only anecdote against fear and the Evil One.
—The Ripple Effect, p. 83-84
To battle evil, we need only serve God. And we can increase our capacity to serve him as we earnestly seek his will and follow the spiritual principles we have learned. Jesus taught us that "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness (Matthew 6:22-23).
Yet there are many who focus on negative, looking for evil, fueling it with their fears, obsessing upon darkness rather than focusing upon the light of God.
To dwell upon a thought is to give it energy. To act upon a thought is to give it life. The Lord discusses this principle in Mark 7:15. "There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man." When we give something place within our nature, it manifests itself physically and spiritually. Giving place to negative thoughts by repeating them, pondering them, gnawing on them, gives them energy and thus the power to transform us into their image.
Bits of darkness may creep into us because mortality is a test that teaches and strengthens us, but we are children of God and like him are beings of truth and beauty and light. Ugliness in all its forms is foreign to our true nature.
Often we can recognize something evil inside as it is mirrored back by people around us. In this way we can learn and grow. —The Ripple Effect, p. 85
I also wrote about this in my book The Awakening Heart in the chapter "The Gift to Heal."
I knew that spiritual healing must precede physical and mental healing and that we determine whether our spirits draw on the positive or the negative energy available to us. I had been shown that the self-centeredness of depression can create further illness and that the cycles of fear and guilt that draw one into darkness are Satan's greatest tools...I began to see now, for the first time, many of my own weaknesses and recognized that I had the ability to overcome my own creations.
—The Awakening Heart, p. 32
People make wrong choices, not because they set out to hurt themselves, but because they have not yet learned to choose good. And as each of us make right choices, allowing our own light to shine, we can help others learn to do the same.
Those who understand the message of God's love must share it with courage and confidence. People not yet sure in spiritual truth will be supported and guided by those who are sure until they come into their own understanding. We can and will see our world cleansed of all evil and blanketed with a greater glory, even the glory and love of God. But we must each believe and act in that belief. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life" John 3:16. —The Ripple Effect, pp. 92-93
How do we battle evil? By not giving into it!
I saw the evil in surrendering to one of Satan's greatest tools—my personal cycles of guilt and fear. I understood that I had to let go of the past. If I had broken laws or sinned, I needed to change my heart, forgive myself, and then move onward. If I had hurt someone, I needed to start loving them—honestly--and seek their forgiveness. If I had damaged my own spirit, I needed to approach God and feel his love again—his healing love. Repentance can be as easy as we make it—or as difficult. When we fall down, we need to get up, dust ourselves off, and get moving again. If we fall down again, even a million times, we still need to keep going; we're growing more than we think. —Embraced By The Light, pages 69-70
We can overcome the darkness in our lives by picking up the spiritual tools freely available to each of us. One of the most powerful is the gift of prayer. We must remember that our Heavenly Father wants to hear from us and we need only talk to him—which we can do at any time and anywhere. We can open our eyes to his hand in our lives and then thank him for the blessings he gives us. And most especially, we can choose to love!