It’s what makes me stop watching the news for weeks at a time: Catastrophes, loss of freedom, flourishing of evil.
You get the picture. It’s all over the media.
Yes, of course it’s true that bad news gets more response than good news, and that gives the media reason to focus on the worst parts of the world. But even with that knowledge, it’s very easy to feel like the world is getting worse. And worse. And worse.
So, how should you and I respond? How should you and I respond to a society that says we are creeping our way to a dystopia? Most importantly, how should we respond as Christians?
1. Fall to Your Knees
Bad news is not new for our time and age. Many people in the Bible were confronted with terrible news, both nation-wide (e.g. Nehemiah) and personal (e.g. Job).
We all know the story of Job. We’re familiar with the famous sentence he said when hearing that his children had died, his animals had been stolen and his servants had been killed: “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). We know how he prayed, despite his situation.
Nehemiah is similar. At the beginning of the book, Nehemiah writes that his brother came to visit him and brought bad news from the Israelites in Jerusalem. What does Nehemiah do? “As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). No matter what, he didn’t stop communicating with God.
One of my favorite quotes by Charles Spurgeon is, “Anything is a blessing which makes us pray.” In other words, the bad news that bombards us daily and threatens to suck all energy out of us can be a blessing if it drives us to the throne room, if it causes us to cry out to God, to keep the communication channel open.
Peter gives the same challenge to a church struggling under persecution and a turbulent world when he says, “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” (1 Peter 4:7)
2. Speak Hope, Not Fear
The Bible does talk about the word becoming worse as the times described in Revelation come nearer. However, while dangerous and uncertain days are prophesied in the Bible, the well-known and often-quoted phrase is mentioned much more frequently: Do not fear.
The phrase “Do not fear” is found more than 365 times in the Bible, meaning there is one passage for each day of the year. No matter what the exact number is, the message is clear: controlling fear is not God’s will for our lives.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” This verse describes clearly how we, as Christians, should not respond and how we should respond to crisis: not with fear, but instead with the knowledge that God is stronger.
Yes, we can speak truth about what the Bible says about the future. But the message of Christ’s return and even the trials of the world don’t have to inspire fear. Instead they should be messages of comfort and hope. Equally so, let’s share the beautiful message of hope that runs through all of God’s Word. Let’s speak hope, not fear.Let’s share the beautiful message of hope that runs through all of God’s Word. Let’s speak hope, not fear. Click To Tweet
3. Share the Gospel
It is commonly known that the gospel means “good news,” and it is exactly that. In a time where bad news tries to outdo bad news in the media, people are in desperate need of good news. To quote the Rend Collective music video for “Rescuer”: “There is so much bad news in the world right now. But no matter what, we have good news, and that good news has a name, and that name is Jesus Christ.”
As Christians, we have a message of hope for the word. A message of freedom. A message of victory. The gospel proclaims victory over death, over guilt, over fear.
Now as ever – if not more than usual – people are in desperate need of the gospel. Don’t keep it for yourself. Instead, get out there and share it.
It can be scary when we are faced with bad news following bad news. It can drive us to hopelessness or fear. But as Bible-believing Christians, we have the absolute counter-piece to all of this: The gospel. A news that doesn’t ignore or blow up bad news, but instead conquers it.
Holding onto this truth, we can respond to any bad news that comes our way with prayer, hope and proclamation of the gospel.