We live in a world of bad news. It sweeps you away like a landslide: the middle-of-the-night call, the dire prognosis, the sudden job loss. Or it might just erode your sanity like a million raindrops in subtle rejections, disappointed hopes, and failed goals. Either way, we all know bad news. It comes to us as surely as the world is cursed.
If you receive enough of it, you may start to take self-protective measures. You look for refuge in cynicism, preparing yourself for the worst by only expecting the worst. Or you slide into apathy, telling yourself and others that you don’t really care what news comes. Or you hide away in isolation, avoiding any relationship or situation that might harm you.
You begin to dismiss risky opportunities out of hand. You don’t adopt a child, give to a missionary, cultivate deep friendships, or even ask someone out on a date — all for fear of potential bad news.
But there’s a better way.
Born into Bad News
Consider Psalm 112, a ten-verse portrait of “the man who fears the Lord” (Psalm 112:1). Bad news doesn’t harden this man into cynicism, numb him into apathy, or frighten him into isolation. No, his response to this world’s trouble is as surprising as it is unique: “He is not afraid of bad news” (Psalm 112:7).