Tag Archives: bad news

Unfazed And Unafraid

This year, I’ve had both a family member and a coworker get diagnosed with breast cancer. Their stories of sitting in the doctor’s office and hearing the news were very similar. They described getting tunnel vision. Sound seemed to go away. Fear immediately brought tears as it showed them a world where their child would grow up motherless. Then both immediately asked for prayer from those who know God.

One shared with me how after prayer they had clarity of how to fight, and they were no longer reeling from the news. The other shared with me about the peace that came over her. She said, “After people started praying, I haven’t been able to shed a tear. This peace won’t let me.” Both received news that no one ever wants to get, but both knew where to turn when they got it. While they still have treatments to go through, knowing God is in control has made the difference. 

In Psalm 112, the writer discusses the blessings of the man (or woman) who fears the Lord with reverence and worships Him with obedience. Each verse pronounces blessings or discusses the outcome for such people. In verses 7-8, it says, “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly” (NLT). This verse perfectly describes what both of these women shared with me.

This verse doesn’t just apply to cancer though. It applies to any bad news that may come your way. You don’t have to fear the outcome when you get it. Just like these ladies, you can give the news to God through prayer, and His peace, which passes all understanding, will guard your thoughts. Fear does not come from God, but peace does. Whatever you’re facing today, you can face it with confidence because you are a child of the King of Kings. He is in control, and will work out His plan for you.



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How To Fight Impossible Battles

In II Chronicles 20, a huge army invaded southern Israel. The king and all the people were terrified because they defeated several strongholds easily. He begged God for help and asked others to pray with him. It sounds a lot like any one of us when we are facing something that seems impossible to beat. Fear is our first response, then we beg God for help. I believe what follows in this story is something we can all learn from in these moments in life. 

The first thing that happened was King Jehoshaphat got like minded people together, fasted and prayed. We are not to fight these battles alone. Fear’s goal is to intimidate you and to push you into seclusion. Don’t let it! There is strength in numbers and in fasting. Get a group of people around you who can fight on their knees and touch God for you. This first step is critical if you’re going to win an impossible battle.

In verses 15-17, God answered those praying. The Word of the Lord came back saying, “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (NLT). Things only seem impossible when God is not in the equation. The battles we face are not our own, but they are God’s. We don’t have to be afraid or discouraged at the sheer impossibility of anything that comes our way because God goes before us.

As the army of Israel approached the battlefield, Jehoshaphat spoke in verse 20 and reminded them, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in His prophets and you will succeed.” Faith will help us to stand firm when standing is all we can do. We can trust in God, and in His Word, to get the courage to keep standing in the face of impossibilities. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to continue to trust God and His Word so we can see the victory.

Finally, the king appointed singers to praise God and he sent them out in front. At the very moment they began to sing, the Lord gave victory. We need to be able to praise God in advance of victory. We need to honor Him when all else seems to be going wrong. Praise is powerful. It activates our faith and moves our God. If you can’t find it in you to praise, play praise music until you do. Victory is dependent on God, not us. We can praise Him for that. Our impossible battles are no match for a God who says all things are possible. 

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Bad News And Good News

When someone says, “I have bad news and good news,” which do you ask for first? A lot of people ask for the bad news first. They know they’ll react to it and then hope the good news will lift their spirit. Our reaction to bad news though, says a lot about our faith. It’s hard not to be devastated based on the news we receive, but God asks us to trust the truth of His Word over the truth of our circumstance.

In Luke 8, a man named Jarius wanted Jesus to come and heal his daughter. While they were on their way, some people from Jarius’ house came and told him that his daughter had died. He was devastated. In verse 50, Jesus tells Jarius, “Don’t be upset. Just trust me and everything will be all right. (MSG)” Jarius’ faith was being tested. Was he going to believe the report of others or what Jesus was saying? He allowed Jesus to come to his house and his daughter was raised from the dead.

We each hear bad news in our lives. The question is if we allow that to affect our faith. So many times when we hear that something is incurable, malignant, life threatening, serious, unavoidable or impossible, our faith takes a hit. We have to believe that what Jesus said to Jarius, He says to us. Don’t be upset. Just trust Him and everything will be all right. Things may not always turn out like we expect. We may only get bad news. Even if there’s no good news accompanying the bad, there still is good news. It’s that God is still in control and in the end, it will be all right.

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Lead Me To The Rock

This morning I have the lyrics of Paul Baloche’s song “Lead Me To The Rock” going through my mind. The first verse says, “When my heart is overwhelmed, and my eyes are blind to you, and the pain of life is too heavy to bear, and then the mountains seem so high, and my faith’s too weak to climb, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” The song is based on Psalm 61:2 that says, “From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety.”

Each of us face difficult times in life. Then there are those times when the rain doesn’t seem to stop. The bad things pour on you. The bad news keeps coming. It can feel like you’re going to drown in sorrow. You think, “I don’t know what I’ll do if I get one more piece of bad news.” It’s in those times that your prayer should be like David’s in this Psalm. Ask God to lead you to the rock that’s higher than you are.

I know what’s it’s like to feel like the bottom is falling out from under you constantly. When you’re looking for something, anything solid enough to stand on. You can go to God in those times. He is the rock that you can stand on. A sure foundation in times of trouble. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that is going on in your life, you can call out to Him. I can let you know that in my own life, when I’ve done that, He has shown up and rescued me. He has walked through the storms with me.

When your mountains are so high and your faith is too weak to climb, reach out and take Jesus by the hand. He will walk with you in the times when you don’t know where to turn. He will stand with you when everyone else seems to turn away. He doesn’t always take the rain away, but He does stand with you in the storm. He has a purpose in the storms you face. Sometimes it’s to teach you to walk on water and other times to show you that He’ll catch you when you’re drowning.

Whatever you’re facing today, stop and pray that God would lead you to the rock. Don’t get caught up in all the bad news to the point that you forget where your faith lies. As Peter was going under during the storm, after having walked on water, he called out, “Lord, save me!” In Matthew 14:31, the Bible says, “Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him.” The storm didn’t stop until later, but that didn’t matter because he had the hand of the one whom the wind and seas obey. If you’re overwhelmed today, call out to Him and take His hand.

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Sleep in the Storm

I was reading in the Old Testament this morning. I went to the minor prophets section of it. For some reason, I typically stay away from that area of the Bible. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not as familiar with each of them as the rest of the Bible or if it’s just when I get that close to the New Testament, I get excited and want to jump ahead. Anyway, I read through a couple of them and I came upon a verse in Haggai chapter 1 that stood out to me. It said, “I am with you, says The Lord!” What a powerful reminder from God today.

We all need to hear that verse. God is with you today. No matter what you are facing, what you are going through or what the doctor says, God is with you. There’s a peace in knowing that. My mind goes back to the disciples when they were crossing the sea. Suddenly a storm came over the mountains and caught them by surprise. The boat started taking on water. The thunder was so loud they had to scream to talk to each other. Lightning was flashing brighter than ever. The boat was being rocked and tossed by the waves. Then someone remembered that Jesus was with them.

They went down into the ship only to find Him asleep. How could He sleep through a storm? It was simply that He knew His Father was with Him. The disciples really didn’t understand what it meant at that point to have God with them. They woke Him up in panic and chastised Him. In Mark 4:38, they said, “Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?!?!” Jesus, looked at the storm and said, “Peace. Be still.” Then He asked, “Where is your faith?”

Ouch. They didn’t understand that God was with them. They allowed the storm to cloud their vision. Maybe you’re going through a storm right now. The waves of trouble are tossing you around. The lightning of bad news keeps striking in your life. The thunder of circumstances are so loud that it’s hard to hear God. You’re taking on water and you feel like you’re sinking. I’ve been there. Panic sets in. Stress keeps you from sleeping or eating much. Thoughts of worry creep in and cloud your vision. If that’s you, I want to remind you what Haggai 1:13 says, “I am with you, says The Lord!”

In our Sunday school class, we have a confession we read each week. It says, “The Lord is with me. The Lord is in me. The Lord is for me. The Lord is one with me. I am with The Lord. I am in The Lord. I am for The Lord. I am one with The Lord.” I think that’s a good prayer and reminder for each of us today. We need to not forget that God is with you. He is in you and He is for you. If He is for you, what storm can be victorious over you? You, like Jesus can sleep in the storm.

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Don’t Give Up

I have several close friends who are going through some difficult times. Many are in desperate need of God’s touch because doctors can only do so much. Others just need a breather from the waves of bad news that keep rolling into their lives. I’ve been there myself a time or two. You probably have been too. You might even be there now, but even though you feel alone in the situation, you aren’t.

It can feel empty sometimes when friends, who don’t know what else to do, simply say, “I’ll be praying for you.” You really want them to throw you a life preserver and pull you from the water that you’re tired of treading. You know there’s nothing they can really do for you, but you wish someone could. You cry out to God, but it seems you’re prayers are falling on deaf ears. The answers you seek don’t come and you’re left with more questions.

When answers finally come, they aren’t really what you were seeking. You’re confused and your faith is shaken. You start to wonder if you’ve done something wrong to deserve this. You think that maybe God is punishing you. You drift into the fog of uncertainty and begin to wonder if God really exists. The only thing you do know is that you feel pain, uncertainty and confusion.

It’s in these moments that you find out what your faith is made of. It’s here that you learn to trust God with everything in your life. When there is nothing that anyone can do to help, you have a God who is there to sustain you in those difficult times and to give you hope for victory. When all you have is Him, you have more than enough. You may not be able to see past today, but He sees your tomorrow.

In II King 6, Elisha had been telling the king through divine guidance where ambushes were set up to attack his army. The king of Aram was furious because his plans kept getting foiled. He accused his officers of leaking information to the Israelis, but one of them knew of Elisha and told him what was happening. The king put a bounty on Elisha’s head. They found out where he was staying and traveled by night to surround him.

The next morning, Elisha’s servant got up early and walked outside. He became fearful because they were surrounded and cried out to Elisha. Elisha got up walked up to him and said, “Don’t worry about it. There are more on our side than on their side.” I’m sure the servant looked at him like he had lost his mind. Elisha then bowed his head in prayer and said, “Lord, open his eyes so that he may see.” At once the servant was able to see what Elisha saw. There was a mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding the other army.

Today, even if you can’t see beyond the circumstances that surround you, I pray that God will open your eyes. May you see that God is on your side and He is fighting for you even when it seems that no one else is. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world is the way I John 4:4 put it. I’ll tell you what I told my friend yesterday, “I don’t always understand what God does either, but I’ve learned to trust His plan and answers even when they don’t make sense.” You are not alone and God’s answer will be what’s best for you.


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