Summer of Psalms: Ministry of Bad News

BIG IDEA: How do I escape the fear of bad news?

SERIES: Summer of Psalms – In many ways, the Psalms are at the Pheart of Scripture, but we often disregard them. Let’s reclaim the wonder of the Psalms! Let’s reclaim this God breathed collection of 150 poems of the people of God sung aloud for thousands of years by the Hebrew people, inspiring and teaching generation after generation of Jewish children to communicate with Yahweh the one true God. Written prophets, poets, reflecting upon life with God between the Time of King David and the exile to Babylon, collected and organized for us by Spirit led scribes so that all people might have access to them, memorized and used for God’s people, including Jesus and his followers as “THE” vital connecting point for the hurting, praising, suffering, confused, joyful considerers. We must reclaim the Psalms if we want to learn to pray, to live, to connect with God.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 112
Praise the LORD!
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
she will be remembered forever.
7 He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!

KEY CONSIDERATIONS

  • Bad news will always be bad news: We’re not supposed to try and rationalize it. We don’t have silver lining theology. But when we see bad news in the full light of the gospel, it becomes livable news.
  • Move Your Fear: “blessed is the man who fears the Lord” and not the bad news.
  • “Fear”: that which I have awe, reverence, and respect for. So for a righteous person to “fear” the Lord, he or she must let the weight of the Lord, their reverence for him, ground them, not the bad news. Choose whom you shall fear.
  • Why is it important not to live in fear?
    • Matthew 6: worrying does no good. If we don’t learn how to fear the Lord above the fear of bad news, then the fear of tomorrow’s impending bad news will creep into today and steal our joy. You will lose today. God wants us to have joy and bring him glory. We can’t do that when we live in fear.
    • Every time we choose to fear the Lord, it’s a victory for Christ. The enemy wants us to dwell on bad news, it’s one of his main weapons to distract us from the good news of the gospel. This works in both physical and spiritual warfare.
  • Bad news is unavoidable: Not even Jesus could avoid bad news. BUT, we can rethink it, we can shape how we look at it and think about it.
  • Adopt God’s Story: news always comes to us in the context of a story.
    • Depending on your perspective, what is bad news for one may be good news for another.
    • When you come along side of someone who is experiencing what we perceive is bad news, we need to help that person express how this news is part of their story and what the story of how it’s affecting them is.
    • We need to adopt unto ourselves God’s story. If we fear the Lord, we enter his story, and we receive all news – good and bad – through his story. And that changes how we approach it.
    • Remember, though, that those who aren’t Believers, will not receive bad news in the light of the gospel.
  • See the helpfulness of any news:
    • We can always find something to be thankful for, even with bad news.
    • Bad news is information that helps us to take the next step. The bad news of a cancer diagnosis is still useful in that the information allows us to move on to treatment.
    • Ignorance of bad news may be blissful, but it’s never missional. Living in the ignorance of bad news isn’t how God intends us to live. We are to receive our bad news and walk forward.
    • Similarly, don’t live in ignorance of good news just because you are so used to the bad.
    • God wants us to see all things as clearly as possible and to live forward towards his mission and his glory.
  • Rightly understand THE Good News of the Gospel:
    • You cannot have the good news without the bad news: the good news is actually God’s response to bad news. God gives us his son in response to the bad news.
    • The quality and magnitude of the good news can only be understood in connection to the bad news: what is the quality of God’s love? God’s love does not come in response to your actions, to your good works. God’s love is unconditional.
    • The bad news is the only thing that will inform us of our need for the good news: it’s the answer to our symptoms. Why are we always falling short? Because we’re infected with sin and brokenness, and we can understand the solution and rejoice in that knowledge.
    • The bad news is the only thing that makes the good news as sweet as it truly is: until we really understand how bad our sin actually is, we will never understand the sweetness of God’s grace given to us through the life and death of Jesus. This shouldn’t surprise us because the very life of Jesus is both good and bad news. It was so good that Jesus came to Earth to save us, and it was so bad that we hung him on the cross because we didn’t want to see him for who he was. 

Our Response

  • Bad news will come, but you do not need to fear it because Jesus has overcome death. Our bad news is history because the Good News has come in the life and death of Jesus and there is nothing to fear.
  • Reframe the news: If you understand the good news of Jesus Christ, then you can reframe the bad news. You can transcend it, stepping back to see the larger story, the hand of God in it, and begin to see it in the full light of God’s grace and his plan.
  • Don’t pretend that bad news isn’t terrible. It is. But instead, choose day in and day out to fear the Lord above any news that might come our way.
  • Be a vehicle of the Good News: when the bad news drops, drop the good news in response. That’s our job. Be the good news that comes alongside the bad.

Want to study this topic more?

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