Work/Life

Bad Guys Win Sometimes

A deeper exploration of this content appears in the weekly devotional newsletter.

Weeks ago I made a joke on my Instagram that, with COVID 19, it feels like these weapons formed against us seem to be prospering a lil’ bit.  As I lean heavily on my faith and the Isaiah 54:17 promise that no weapon formed against us will prosper, I am also reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 22:53 that even darkness has its moment to reign. 

It’s true. The bad guys win sometimes. Kaiser Soze, my favorite character in my favorite movie, “The Usual Suspects” is a great example of this.  However, these endings that delight us in the powerful irony of storytelling, sicken us in real life.  The bad guys aren’t supposed to win. Good is supposed to always triumph over evil and light chases darkness away.  Though Kaiser Soze never got his comeuppance in The Usual Suspects, we can have full confidence that bad guys in real life only win for a moment.  There is no better illustration of this than the sacrificial suffering and temporary death of the savior, Jesus, the Son of God. 

Even in movies when the good guys win in the end, there is a period during that second act when the bad guys have their moment.  In fact, in screenwriting technique we literally call it “bad guys close in.”  In life evil people or evil things have moments when they seem to prosper but we know that “no weapon” will destroy us. In Luke 22 the mob came to arrest Jesus. In Luke 23 Jesus is crucified and buried.  In Luke 24…yep, you got it.  Jesus rose from the grave and we have been victorious ever since. Joy comes in the morning but Jesus reminds us that there is a moment when “darkness reigns.”

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” 

In “The Usual Suspects” Verbal Kint says, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”  Satan is real. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that the devil “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”  He puts us in difficult situations and circumstances hoping that we’ll choose to do things his way rather than God’s way. He brings pain and disappointment into our lives, hoping we will turn away from God and lose faith. (*remember Job) Sometimes it feels like the devil’s bad guys are winning. However, darkness only reigns for a moment.  Like in sports, it doesn’t matter how much the score changes during the game.  What matters is who’s ahead when the game is over.  

As for this game of Christian life… “It is finished.”  The game is over. Jesus defeated satan on the cross and we just have to stand in faith while the bad guys have their little moment in the darkness. 

Stay Safe. Wash Your Hands. Read Your Bible.


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