I believe Christians are spiritually and morally bound to walk a rather perilous line in this mortal life. On the one hand, we must remain vigilant about and alert to the presence of evil in our midst and, more significantly, to the evil within ourselves. In addition to the trials, tribulations, and suffering we all must endure at various points throughout our lives, we must also be able to recognize, resist, condemn, and confront evil whenever and wherever we encounter it. Contrary to contemporary belief, our duties do not entail making accommodations for or compromises with evil. Nor are we obliged to tolerate, permit, or condone evil. If and when we do, we are obliged to repent our sins in much the same manner we are obliged to forgive those who genuinely and sincerely repent their own sins. On the other hand, we must not allow our recognition and awareness of evil to drive us to fear or despair. One of the key ways evil tempts us to fear and despair is by constantly working to darken or obliterate our joy.
Considering current circumstances, the mere mention of joy may seem out of place for some, but for true Christians, joy can never be out of place, not even during the darkest and most agonizing of times. This is the divine essence of the cross - the great triumph rising from the depths of seeming ruin. And if you remain open and perceptive to this triumphant joy, you begin to sense that it permeates the world in all that is true, beautiful, and virtuous. Much more than mere comfort or delight - joy fuels fascination and enchantment. It creates the capacity for realization - the comprehension that we belong to Divine Creation, and as such, are divine creations ourselves; divine creations who possess the potential to join Divine Creativity.
Evil ceaseless aims to strip us of our joy; to dull the sense of enchantment; to dim faith and hope; to severe our connection to Divine Creation and our connection to our own divine selves. If evil cannot vanquish the joy within us outright through fear, hatred, and despair, it will work to dilute our joys into vulgar pleasures. This method entails a longer route, but the end destination remains the same. Evil wants us all to shun the great triumph altogether and embrace only the ruinous depths.
Above all else, evil demands we abandon the joy that leads to heaven. I personally cannot conceive of anything more malevolent and baleful, which helps explain why I often come across as curmudgeon in my posts. In my defense, I believe high stakes render my belligerence excusable and forgivable. In any event, I never allow my antagonism for evil to dissipate my joy. To do so would be to play into evil's hands. And that's what it all comes down to in the end. The only power evil has over us is the power we grant it. This undeniable fact is both terrifying and liberating, but handled properly, it can become one of our most constant and reliable sources of joy.