It is hard not to turn on the television, listen to the radio, read the newspaper or log onto the Internet without experiencing serious concern for our health and welfare.
These recent headlines provide evidence for alarm: U.S. military starts new Iraq offensive. Camera sees no signs of life in mine. More trouble ahead for Wall Street. Teens plead no contest in school plot. Removal of Minnesota bridge rubble postponed. Seoul confirms release of two S. Korean hostages in Afghanistan.
The stories are real and the consequences grave. With daily headlines like these, is there any doubt why so many struggle with depression, anxiety and worry? Bad news dominates the day. The world is crumbling around us. The need for hope is ever before us.
We are not the first to struggle with bad news. Jesus’ death on the cross was devastating news for His disciples. Despite His many attempts to prepare them for coming events, they were not prepared to lose their leader. Certainly, perspectives would change by Sunday but Friday and Saturday were dark days for early believers. Perhaps they found comfort in the words of Jesus, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
Dim circumstances served as a reminder that evil is an issue for which salvation is the solution. Hearts were troubled but with the Incarnation of Jesus, hope dawned eternal. Good News ultimately prevailed. He could be trusted. He was the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The Apostle Paul recognized the potential for bad news to serve as discouragement when he wrote 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
While ours is a world of troubling headlines, our hope is not of this world. As followers of Christ, each day provides yet another opportunity to trust the Master of the universe to work according to His plan as we proclaim the Good News.
Despite threats presented by worries from each day, the chorus of the old hymn still rings true. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of Earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
For Christians, headlines serve as reminders of a world in need of a Savior as we pray and trust in the One who brings Good News to the hearts of everyone who calls Him Lord.