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Posted by Dr. Scott Solberg on Oct 21, 2020

Dealing with Bad News

NO ONE LIKES to get bad news. We brace ourselves whenever someone says, “I have some bad news to share with you.”

During your lifetime, you may encounter many forms of bad news at separate times or even simultaneously.

For example, you may experience job loss, a relationship breakup, miscarriage, a shocking diagnosis from a doctor, the death of a loved one, or any other upheaval that life throws at you.

No matter what the bad news is that you have received, it can be devastating, jarring, and sometimes turn your world upside down.

Recently, I was processing some bad news that I had received. This news left me feeling a sense of loss and loneliness. After receiving this unwanted news, I found myself complaining to God about it. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me and I honestly expressed my feelings in the form of a prayer. 

A few days later, I came upon Psalm 112. As you can imagine, verse 7 really got my attention. “He is not afraid of bad news.” I find that bad news often produces fear. It can quickly “make me afraid.” In other words, my fear exposes where I am putting my trust. That is the point. 

The reason “he is not afraid of bad news” is because “his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.”  In fact, Psalm 112 sets the tone for the person who is not afraid at receiving bad news by saying in the opening verse, “Praise the LORD!  Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments.”

The ESV Devotional Psalter puts it this way:

“Those who walk with God, on the other hand, are funneling their deepest hopes squarely onto God himself: “His heart is firm, trusting in the LORD” (v. 7) This is why “he is not afraid of bad news” (v. 7). Why? Because even the worst news can only threaten his earthly cares; nothing can take away God himself.”

This doesn’t mean we don’t feel the impact of bad news. We most certainly do. But as we wrestle with our fears, it provides an opportunity for us to turn to God and express our steadfast trust in God. “His heart is steady; he will not be afraid.”

When I read this Psalm and was reminded to put my trust in God, my fear turned to peace. 

What bad news are you dealing with today? I am sure that some are wrestling through some very difficult things. I encourage you to turn to God through Psalm 112. When fear raises its head, may your heart once again put its trust in God.