I received bad news this week from a friend and from a family member. One was about a tragic death. The other was about a freak accident that is going to require serious surgery. In the past such news could bring me down and cause me to wonder about God’s goodness.
This time I asked God how to pray and how I could reach out and bring comfort and encouragement. Also I saw these two instances of bad news as opportunities to grow in faith—for me and for those involved in these circumstances.
The Word tells me that
faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 NIV 1984)
What I hope for and what I do not yet see is the good outcome out of these unexpected events. But I have to believe God will bring good out of bad and that even though troubles of life are sometimes hard to bear, God will receive glory in the final outcome.
Right now my part is to continue to pray and to bring comfort and encouragement. If my faith is not strong, it’s hard to do that. Fear and unbelief can cause me to slip into being overwhelmed by other people’s negative circumstances instead of being a light in the midst of them.
God reminded me today that He has comforted me greatly in my hard times—especially the tragedy of my brother’s suicide–so that I can reach out to others going through difficulties. As I communicated words of faith and encouragement to my friend and then to my family member I could say along with Paul:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
I’m feeling excited about the good news God wants me to pass along in the midst of bad news. He urges me to communicate that He is right there to hold a hand and to bring peace. He desires that I remind others and myself that He is faithful and will help us to grow in faith and bring Him glory as we cling to Him.
Other good news I’m reminded of is that this is not our home. We have heaven to look forward to where all our tears will be wiped away.
I pray for continued faith to believe that despite bad news that comes our way, our God is good.
How about you? Have you received bad news that causes you to wonder about God’s goodness? Take it to the Lord and let Him encourage you, so you can be an encouragement to others and grow in faith along the way.