Some horrendous things--like my family's wreck--have been "allowed" to happen. Other things He directly wills. Anything that is considered "bad" that happens to us, rest assured that falls under the "is allowed not willed by God" category. Otherwise His "Loving and Merciful" attributes would be questionable. (And so would my love for Him!) I find confirmation that God never plays "mean tricks" on anyone, in this verse:
"For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone."
(NIV Lamentations 3:33).
Although there is definitely a malevolent force present in this world, it is still subject to God's sovereignty. I didn't use to believe there actually was an evil presence in this world. That is actually a common tactic that an enemy can use to gain entrance . . . making us believe he's not around--that he doesn't even exist. One cannot actively fight or even protest against something we don't even believe exists.
One night many years ago, I lay in bed tossing and turning from anxious thinking. I was really expressing a lot of doubt and fear in my mind. Although I believed that God could certainly help me, I wasn't actively practicing that in my conscious thought--and letting negativity get the best of me.
Then . . . I heard in my mind the most hideous laughter. I am grateful that God allowed me to hear it, because I changed my ways. Now if I find myself "going there" I change that negative thinking right away. Why give the enemy something he delights to hear?
Jesus didn't have to struggle to oust the evil spirits He encountered. With just a word from Him they would flee. People sometimes forget that Satan is subject to Jesus' command and has to flee as he has no choice in the matter.
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
(1 John 4:4).
When we're being plagued by doubt and confusion and negative thinking in general . . . do what a friend told me regarding a menacing mongrel on the attack:
"Order it in a commanding voice to 'Stop!' and just tell it to 'Get outta here!'"
When we recognize the Enemy is tackling us, we need to include the name of our Defender. Just say, "Jesus please help me get these evil spirits to stop bothering me!" (I like to repeat it again only so the enemy knows I mean business.) Without a doubt they flee quickly and you will notice instantly a peacefulness in your mind.
"No one is like you, LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power."
Jesus' name described as "mighty in power" is to be understood in a literal sense. The power of the name Jesus really does cause evil that is disturbing us to flee.
The Enemy is real. He is here and he knows his time is growing short. During the holiday season it seems he steps up his attacks because there's frequent bouts of opportunity. But not to worry--God knows we're frequently fearful . . . Jesus often had to tell His disciples to "Fear not!" I love that passage where the disciples, scared witless because their boat was close to sinking from a furious storm, wake Jesus from Dreamland as he slept on a comfy cushion. With waves alarmingly high and the wind howling--so fierce they could barely stand up--
"He said to his disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'"
The peace of God guards not only our hearts--but equally as well our minds:
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
If we have faith and trust in God, then we can survive any storm--or enemy-- that threatens to overcome us.