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Bearing Bad News

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

- Psalms‬ 112:7‬

I admit that I’m a bit of a news junkie.

But this past week has taken my daily routines of news gathering to another level. In the wake of the Coronavirus I found myself monitoring several news sources simultaneously around the clock. My goal was to collect as much information as possible, process it, pray and make my own determinations of how I would respond as a Christian leader. I would eventually make the decision to suspend all activities at my church. While some of my colleagues asserted their ‘right’ to gather their congregations, my greater concern was taking the most ethical course – which was safeguarding my community and our surrounding region by not gathering.

As I kept my eye on the spread of the Coronavirus around the globe, I noted that the news grew progressively grim. What was first thought to be a Chinese epidemic and then an Italian ordeal quickly developed into a global pandemic that paralyzed most normal function in our world. Simply put, I’ve never heard more bad news in such a short period of time.

Inundating myself with all of this news took a toll upon my mood. Over the past week I’ve confronted my own feelings of sadness, concern and even bewilderment. I’ve also prayed while wondering what God’s purpose might be in all of this. And then Psalm 112:7 occurred to me:

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

Being a Christ follower means that bad news may very well be troubling but we have no need to fear it. This is for a few reasons. First, we do not fear when our hearts are ‘steadfast’. One of the Hebrew translations for the word steadfast is ‘prepared’. That is, God has a way of internally preparing us for every possible scenario that plays out in our lives externally. This is an expression of His Goodness which helps us to endure through tough times. Secondly, our hearts don’t fear when we are actively ‘trusting’ The Lord. Trusting God is neither an event nor a one-time decision. Trusting God is an ongoing lifestyle of repeatedly choosing to put our confidence in God’s Purpose and His Plan - especially when being barraged with bad news.

There are rough days ahead. Things are likely to get much worse before they get better. That means that we are likely to receive more ‘Bad News’. But we can handle it. He’s already prepared us for what is to come so long as we make the daily choice to trust Him despite the news that we see and hear. Are you feeling prepared for what’s ahead? Are you actively trusting The Lord in the midst of these uncertain times? I encourage you to rest in Him. Because eventually … we will get through this together.

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