Let’s say someone comes up to you saying they need to have a conversation with you later that week. They don’t give you specifics. The only thing they make clear is that the two of you need to talk. What is going on in your mind then? Chances are it’s not anything very uplifting. You are likely wondering what it is you did wrong, or what you said that may have offended the person who needs to talk with you.
You try hard to go about your week normally as you wait for that dreaded conversation, but you find yourself staying up awake at night wondering about all the bad things that are just waiting to expose themselves to you in this conversation. You find yourself worrying over the situation. The more you think over it the more you worry.
So often we live in fear. Sometimes it is fear of the unknown, fear from finances, or fear from a painful situation taking place amongst your family. Fear of something compels us to avoid it. For instance I have a huge fear of heights. I avoid roller coasters, zip lines, cliffs, and anything that brings about this petrification.
I think most people have a natural tendency to fear and dread bad news. We avoid it at all costs. We are tempted to avoid people who we know are bearing us with bad news. We do whatever we can to delay the message. It almost becomes an obsession. Maybe we have one of those days where we just dread when the phone starts to ring. We know what waits for us on the other line isn’t anything good.
Psalm 112 talks about the righteous man. Verses six and seven say, “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.”
We aren’t supposed to fear bad news. We aren’t meant to cower under it as though it has power over us. There is an unspoken reality about fear. Anything you fear has power over you. When we find ourselves in fear of bad news, it has power over us. We become a slave to what we fear. Scripture tells us there is only one thing that should have power over us, and that’s God. The very beginning of this Psalm says, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands.”
The fear of the Lord is not one where we cower in a corner. It isn’t meant to conjure up an image where we stand terrified of God’s wrath. It is a fear rooted in reverence and appreciation rather than consequences and punishment. That’s the difference between a fear of God and a fear of almost anything else. I don’t fear bad news because I respect it. My fear of bad news is based off of the consequences that come from it.
All the same we are told not to fear bad news. How can we manage that? First we must realize that the only thing to fear is God, but we must also realize that our heart is placed in the Lord’s hands. I don’t need to fear bad news because God is bigger than any bad news I might face, and with that bad news God will bring things in my life to provide me with encouragement and comfort. He does this through family and friends, devotionals, worship, and prayer.
It comes with a heart that doesn’t waver. It comes with a heart that remains firm in who God is. If I’m focusing on God rather than bad news, then it’s not possible for me to be discouraged. Bad news isn’t my master. It isn’t yours either. So why should we go living our lives as though it is?
How do you keep from fearing bad news? How has God kept you heart trusting in Him? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.