Have you ever read something in the Bible and thought, “Nope. Don’t like that!” I did that the other day, thinking THIS DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE!
I know. I know. I’m being a bad pastor again.
Allow me to set this up for you.
Psalm 112:1 (NLT) How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands.
That wasn’t it. I like that part. This is great. Walking in obedience to the Lord leads to being joyful! That’s excellent. I could always use a bit more joy. However, later on the psalmist writes this:
Psalm 112:7 (NLT) They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
WHAT?! Don’t fear bad news?! Perhaps you are a bit more spiritually advanced than myself, but I can honestly let you know today that I do not wish to receive bad news. Seriously who would? Imagine it. You’re waiting to hear news. Perhaps it’s a doctors report or a family situation. Maybe you’re on the brink of financial ruin and the call is coming at any moment. It could be good news. Or it could be bad news. You telling me you’re not even SLIGHTLY afraid of the bad news?
Get your head out of your rear David! I don’t even know if David wrote this psalm that’s how annoyed I was when I read it.
I guess I have some bad news.
Once again the Word of God has revealed an area of my life where I have room for improvement. The Bible is good that way. Many times it is a mirror revealing parts of myself I would never recognize on my own. The scripture sums it up quite nicely. If we fear bad news it illustrates we lack trust in the Lord to truly take care of us.
Of course, I trust the Lord, but when real-world circumstances start to overwhelm it is easy to lose sight of my faith. It’s easy for my perspective to shift off of God’s protection and provision and on to the fear of my circumstances.
Recently I read the book “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” by Lysa Terkeurst and at one point she exclaims that there is a difference between news and truth. For example, if you receive a bad medical report, that is the news. But the news does not negate the truth of God’s Word.
I’m not suggesting we deny the news. Declare that it’s untrue and we are really healthy while storming out of the
den of lies doctor’s office. I am suggesting we can still trust completely in the character of God and in His ability to care for us. This bad news is not a surprise to God. It is nothing He can’t turn around and use for His glory.
When I gave my life to Jesus I gave my whole life. My aim is that everything in it would make His name known. When I am at my best, may God receive glory. When I am at my worst, may God receive glory. When the ugliness that still lurks within me surfaces, may God receive glory. When circumstances are great, may God receive glory. When everything seems to be descending into the abyss, may God receive glory.
I don’t get to control every aspect of my life. Parts of it are going to catch me off guard. Relationships will be strained. I will make bad choices. Injury may come my way. I will experience loss and the grief that accompanies it. Life is not always going to go according to my plan, but my trust was never in MY plan. My trust is in a God who is bigger than myself, my hurt, my choices, my mess. God is ever in control. I may not always have a say in what happens to me, but I can choose to honor God through it all.
Still, I sure do hope tomorrow is a good day.
For you and me both.