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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Are You Prepared for the Good News?

I have noticed that almost everyone asks me to give them the bad news before I can give them the good news. Why are we conditioned like this? Why is it that good news is hard to sell?

This morning I looked at the local paper. The front page stories told of people losing their jobs, a Navy Seal losing his life and the new local UFL team not having an owner. (The last one was a little humorous. How can you have a team that has no owner? That's like saying we have a factory without a building or any employees.) Good news is buried in the middle of the paper.

Maybe people want to know the bad news so they can make preparations. For example, knowing a hurricane is coming will change the plans for a picnic on the beach. But let's be honest, we can do nothing about most of the bad news we learn. We can shake our heads, say its a tragedy and hope it never happens again.

Yet, a plane crashes and we all gather around our tvs and computers to see images of the wreckage. Two cars wreck on the interstate and we slow down to take a hard look at the damage. A house catches on fire in our neighborhood and we gather around to watch it burn. Why are we so drawn to bad news?

Focusing on bad news makes us forget the good news. This also makes no sense. I admit that I don't want to be characterized as a Pollyanna, but I have no need to be focused on doom and gloom. Bad news can lead to depression. It can lead to a worse economy. It can make businesses stop their plans for expansion and lay off workers. Bad news often creates more bad news.

Bad news requires no faith. It takes faith to believe that something better is coming. It takes faith to believe that everything is still in God's hands. It takes faith to believe that He will sustain you regardless of the bad news. It takes faith to prepare yourself for the good news.

What would you do if you knew that GE stock would rise 25% in the next year? Wouldn't you take everything you had and put it in GE? What should you do knowing that God is still in control? How should you prepare yourself for the good news?

We must remain faithful if we believe there is good news coming. It means we must spend as God directs us to spend. It means we must go where God directs us to go. It means we must look for the opportunities that God has placed in front of us now. We must accept those opportunities in the middle of all the bad news because we know that there is good news coming. That good news is dependent upon God's actions in our lives. Today's obedience is the preparation for tomorrow's good news. Today's obedience is good news for today.

Yet, we look at the bad news without seeing the good news. The loss of a job is the opportunity to share with a family. The wreck is an opportunity to pray for someone. The bad news tests our faith. It proves our faith.

Preparing for good news is different from reacting to good news. I want to be in the good news preparation business while other people are saying all the news is bad.

Yes, that will take a lot of faith.

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

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