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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Don't Let Bad News Keep You Down

Somebody gets terrible news every day. It may range from a spouse who wants a divorce to word of a terminal disease. These are not things you tell someone, "Stiff upper lip, now, it will all be over soon!" No, these are show stoppers. They take your breath away. You don't know what to do next. You may not know where to turn.

Bad news has to "sink in." It may take a while. Maybe you feared you would receive this news and were prepared for it. Maybe it caught you by surprise. At some time you had to allow this news to become real and true. That came with pain and fear. The moment becomes so bad that you can't think of the next moment.

I had a professor in seminary who was told he had terminal bone cancer. He told the class that he always knew he was going to die but didn't know it would be this soon. He also told us that he had given his life to Christ a long time ago. He knew he was going to be okay. The day before he died someone told me that he was talking of God's grace. I decided that was the way I wanted to go- talking about God's grace.

No one needs to be alone when they have received bad news. They need people who will be the body of Christ for them. I know you may be a Christian and know the presence of Christ but He also exists in others. He becomes a clear voice and a corporal hugger in someone you know. You may need some time alone but don't become a hermit. The Church, Christ's Body, needs to act as Him. You will need this too.

You have to know that God knew that you would receive this news. God did not cause it to happen. He did not make your spouse unfaithful. He did not put cancer cells in your body. He did not cause your business to cut your job. Yet, God knows exactly where you are. It is a great time for you to find how much He cares for you. You talk and listen. Sometimes you may even cry and scream. Be assured, every tear you cry is matched by Him. He hurts when you hurt.

God could have stopped what happened to you but didn't. He allows us to go our way. He allowed Adam and Eve to sin and has never stopped us from doing the same. He has allowed sin to enter His good creation. Often, these realizations make no sense to me until all of the bad news is over.

God has a way through your bad news. It may be that everything will turn around. It could also be that the bad news will bring about everything that bad news does. Your marriage may or may not survive. You may be healed or you may die. There is not promise that God will bring us through our bad news the way we desire. It just means that He will carry us through this time.

Lean on God's strength. Give up trying to do it all on your own. Allow Him to show you things you would have never seen if you hadn't gotten this news. Believe in a tomorrow that will be better than today. Hope because hope is a seed that God plants within us to grow into a better tomorrow.

Read stories of God's deliverance. The Bible is full of them. Tell them to others. It helps the stories stick with you.

I get emails and letters from people all the time who ask me to pray for them through some very bad news. Sometimes they have caused their own bad news. Get someone you can share with who will pray for you through this bad time.

Don't give up. God will never give up on you. Resolve to be God's person during this bad time. It may be the greatest testimony you will ever have. Make sure that you are always real. Phonies do not make great witnesses.

God will always walk with you if you will let Him. Do not let the bad news keep you from remembering this. God has a better day waiting.

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