The Fear of Bad News

He will not fear bad news;

His heart is steadfast, trusting [confidently relying on and believing] in the Lord.

– Psalm 112:7 (Amp)

 

This is an interesting psalm, and I’d encourage you to read the whole thing when you have some time.

I want to focus on verse seven for now, as I think it holds an interesting truth.

The “He” in this verse is not necessarily a male, but rather “one who is upright” or someone who is righteous. This verse tells us that he will not fear bad new,s and that his heart is steadfast and trusting in God.

Bad news can come in many forms; a report from a doctor, a bank statement covered in red, a phone call from a distraught family member and so on. Jesus Himself told us that while we are in this world, we will face trouble but that we should take heart in him.

Perhaps you are facing something right now which you would consider “bad news”. This verse however isn’t so much talking of bad news, but rather the fear of bad news. This may be a subtle distinction, but I believe one worth thinking about.

If you are a Christian, then you are righteous. That means to be in right standing with God, and this is something you have been given as part of your new birth in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). It doesn’t matter whether you feel righteous or act righteous, you are righteous because the Bible says that you are. It’s not something you’ve earned, but something Jesus earned and gave to you.

Therefore, this verse instructs us not to fear bad news. Absolutely we need to deal with it when it comes, but we are told here not to fear its coming.

Like the examples above, do you have a doctor’s appointment next week? Are you expecting your bank statement to come through your door or inbox any day now? Are you checking your phone regularly looking for missed calls? Could it be that you are fearing bad news that may come?

Fearing bad news is another name for worry I suppose, and the Bible is pretty clear about that. We believers should not worry. Easier said than done? It is for me at least. I’m a natural worrier! If it were an Olympic sport, I’d be in with a chance for a medal! But this verse also tells us something important about the reason we worry (the fear of bad news) – our hearts don’t fully trust God.

The truth is, and it can be a hard truth, if we find ourselves worrying or fearing the future, then we are not fully trusting God. If we truly believed God’s Word that says He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us; plans to give us hope and a future, then we wouldn’t worry about it. If we believed Jesus when He said not to worry about food or clothing, as God takes care of the birds and the lilies and that we are far more valuable than they; and if we believed that God shall supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, or that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him… then why would we worry at all?

I don’t wish to be flippant, and I genuinely do appreciate that this is easier said than done. However if we reflect on these biblical truths, then we should realise that worrying really is a waste of time and energy. If we trust in God and refuse to fear the bad, then we will have deep foundations in Christ that won’t be easily shaken.

Perhaps it’s too much to ask you to stop worrying right now. If so, then I do understand. Rather, could you at least come to a place where you don’t fear bad news? That is, refuse to worry about things that might happen and pray and think on the positives. I’m going to try myself, and I hope you can join me.

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