Thursday, December 28, 2006

Do Not Fear Bad News

As the year comes to a close, we look back and we look ahead. In times like these there is much to consider. The war in Iraq unsettles us; Ross is going back for his third tour of duty. Political change has happened nationally and locally. Jihadists want us dead; Saddam’s followers want us dead. The prices for our crops are good but this week a man said to me, “Unless it snows or rains, we won’t have anything to sell next year.” This is all bad news.

But in Psalm 112:7, the writer speaking of Christians says, “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” This is good news for us believers but do we believe it and take it to heart?

Notice, we will get bad news, it’s how we respond that makes the difference. The Psalms say "the one who does not fear bad news has a heart that is steadfast (“fixed” in the KJV) trusting in the Lord." How and what do we trust? We trust what we know! Do you know the Lord or have you just heard of Him?

Job and his buddies pontificate, speculate, and contemplate about God and who He is for 37 chapters in the book of Job. Then God says to Job in Chapter 38, “Stand up, I’m going to ask you some hard questions, and I expect some straight answers” (my translation). The Lord then proceeds to ask Job 66 questions, most unanswered to this day; then in Chapter 42, Job speaks “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Notice Job’s response, “Surely I spoke of things I did not know, things too wonderful for me to know. My ears have heard of you, now my eyes have seen you.” When we try to understand all of God's plan, it can be oppressive to us (Psalm 73:16). Yes, we will get bad news, but unless we know the Lord, through His word and prayer, we cannot be fixed or steadfast, trusting Him. Job's response is to repent in dust and ashes.

If we want this truth to move from our head to our heart, we must seek God in spirit and truth, read His word, pray to Him…then we will begin to know Him and then we will trust Him and no longer will we need to fear the bad news that will eventually come. May you grow in the knowledge of God, hiding God’s word in your heart, growing in faith and wisdom. Come Holy Spirit, come; choose us; hold us. Then we need not fear bad news. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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