He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
It's coming. You know it's coming. It's already come. Calamity, disease, darkness, betrayal, death. We ain't getting out of here unscathed. Not happening. You can preach health, wealth, and happiness and that'll work for a while until it doesn't. At some point, this broken world will intersect with our depraved hearts in an unholy dance.
Much of the time, we are the problem. But let's set that aside for now. Let's talk about those instances where bad stuff happens to you. You are going about your business and Hurricane Harvey destroys your home. You are t-boned by an F250. The doctor gives a bad prognosis. The phone rings at 2:34 a.m. You are on the receiving end.
What do you do? How do you respond when darkness kicks down your door and your soul cries out in pain?
If this short life is all we have, we are on a bliss magnification mission. The goal would be to make the best of every moment no matter what, consequences and other people be damned.
But that isn't the hope of the Christ follower.
There is a long and redemptive story being weaved by God, and there are times in that story when it gets messy and violent and painful. Though we like to pretend we're the masters of our destiny, we know in our gut that we aren't. We are a part of God's narrative, and sometimes that means we get bad news.
The rightful response of a believer to calamity is, in my opinion, honest resolve. Honest in that there are times when we will cry out in pain or shed tears or raise our voices. We cannot hide behind a paper curtain of niceness or forced smiles when our insides are burning. We must be real with where we're at. Jesus was. But not only should we be honest, we should be resolute. With an eternal hope and a mighty God who is for us, we should stare suffering in the face without blinking. We should smile as we remember that what man means for evil, God will use for good. We should remember our eternal hope. This story ends well, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. Actually, it doesn't even end. It just gets better.
Jesus did not go to the cross so our lives could be cotton candy and rainbows. No, he purchased redemption for us with his blood. It was gritty, painful, and horrible. And then it wasn't. Then he rose and slayed death and sin. Do you see how the darkest act in human history became the brightest because of God's ferocious plan? How might that apply to our lives?
Friend, do not be scared. Do not wilt in the flame. Square up to pain and suffering and darkness. You may be weak, but your God is strong.
Stand firm, trusting in the Lord.