"Bad News, Good News"
Feb. 10, 2020
For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
Which do you want to hear first, the bad news or the good news? That might be a line from a book or movie, or even the opening line to a joke. But this is no joke. Our world has no lack of bad news. We are confronted daily with stories of natural disasters, violent crime, and political conflicts. Still, even that bad news is relieved now and then by good news—the heroic work of first-responders, a local good Samaritan who lends a hand to a neighbor, or charitable organizations that provide help to those in need.
Some bad news may strike closer to home, even in the home, through family strife and brokenness, employment and financial troubles, or through illness, grief, and loss. Such circumstances may be relieved with a bit of good news, through repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation—as well as the help and support of brothers and sisters in Christ.
But there is even more terrible news that strikes every one of us deeply and personally. Apart from Christ, we were held captive by sin and death, with no relief in sight. But thanks be to God, we have heard the Good News, the sweet Gospel that sets us free! It was announced by the angel on the first Christmas night: "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).
Christ our Lord took on our human flesh—and our bad news. For us, He endured rejection, betrayal, arrest, and unjust condemnation. Hanging on the cross, He bore the weight of our sin, guilt, and shame; He suffered the penalty of death that we deserved. He was taken down from the cross and buried. Then, on the third day after His death—on the first Easter morning—Jesus rose up from the grave, victorious over sin, death, and Satan. Once again, an angel announced good news: "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen" (Luke 24:5b-6a). Our crucified, risen, and reigning Lord knows that we will still experience bad news in our lives. He tell us, "In the world you will have tribulation." But His good news has conquering power: "But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33b).
As our psalm proclaims, we are remembered forever, held securely in our Savior's nail-scarred hands. Clothed in the righteousness of Christ Jesus, we are "not afraid of bad news," because we know there is better news. Our hearts remain firm, trusting in our Lord. Do you know someone who is weighed down by the world's bad news? Share with them a message that is eternally different: "Would you like to hear some good news today? Let me tell you about Jesus!"
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, at Your birth the angel announced good news of great joy. Fill us with joy and with an eager longing to tell others the good news of salvation. Amen.
- Has there been a time in your life when you felt profoundly sinful and in need of God's forgiveness?
- How is it that the righteous will never be moved? What does that mean in our day-to-day lives?
- What's your typical first reaction to bad news?
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Has there been a time in your life when you felt profoundly sinful and in need of God's forgiveness?