“Risen Lord, teach us to trust: the power of your cross.” I read the words of this liturgy after a week of heartbreaking news in my country, the kind of week when trust is difficult. For many people today, despair feels easier than hope, and fear and hatred feel more powerful than love.

But times like these are not unusual. Much like Adam and Eve in the garden, humanity has always been tempted to control the world through its own understanding, seeking knowledge and power on its own terms instead of following God’s voice (Genesis 3:6). Then when the consequences for bad behavior become obvious, we hide in a pitiful attempt to deny that we’re wandering far from Him (Genesis 3:8-9).

When God spoke to Adam and Eve after they sinned, He vividly described the battle all of us face: “hostility” between the serpent—Satan and his forces—and the children of Eve (Genesis 3:15). Ever since our fall into sin, Satan has been at our heels, looking for opportunities to inject his deadly venom.

But God doesn’t leave us to face the evil one’s attacks alone. To the shame-filled couple, He offered words of hope—that the devil would not win. However bleak things looked, He would work through them and their descendants to “crush” evil.

This promise was ultimately fulfilled through Jesus’ death on the cross, where Satan, death, and evil were crushed through a surprising sacrifice of love (Hebrews 2:14). One day we’ll see Jesus’ victory in all its fullness and Satan forever destroyed. In the meantime, we pray, “Risen Lord, teach us to trust: the power of your cross.” Even when evil seems to increase its power, we refuse to accept it. Instead, we resist it by living lives of sacrificial love through the power of His love.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 17:1-15