“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:7)
“We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” is a Christmas Carol that people sang since the 16th century in England. If is a song of joy as expressed in the words: “Good tidings we bring to you and your kin. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” However, not everybody receives good tidings during this time of year. We still face trials, sorrow, and pain. Many people even feel a deeper sense of loneliness during this time of year than at any other time of the year. Yes, evil tidings don’t stop during this time of year: however there is good news from God in the midst of evil tidings that may come our way.
In the Bible, we see many people who triumphed over the evil tidings in their lives. Joseph overcame many evil tidings, including betrayal, slavery, and prison, to become the prime minister of Egypt. Ruth overcame the evil tidings of the death of her husband and living in poverty. She would soon marry Boaz and become the great-grandmother of King David.
God gives us his Word to encourage us as we face the evil tidings of life that may come our way. Every day, “bad news” can surprise us. We don’t ask for it, but it is a package delivered to the doorway of our lives. How can we triumph even in the midst of bad news? How can we see good news come out of the bad news? Psalm 112:7 gives us some answers to these questions.
Normally, our first response to bad news is to be afraid or fearful. Fear paralyzes us. It causes us to focus upon the bad news instead of our Great God. God tells us that we do not have to be afraid of the “evil tidings” that enter into our life. God knows that fear will keep us from seeing Him clearly. Fear causes us to doubt the goodness and the power of God. For this reason God gives us many verses that command us to “fear not”.
- “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob,and he that formed thee, O Israel, FEAR NOT: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
- ” FEAR THOU NOT; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)
- “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, NEITHER LET IT BE AFRAID.” (John 14:27)
When fear departs in the midst of the bad news, then we are able to do the next step in facing our bad news. We now can “fix our heart” upon the Lord. Our bad news is an opportunity to focus upon God. We can focus upon all of His attributes and promises. When we fix our heart upon the Lord, it may not change our circumstances, but it will change how we face our circumstances. We will understand with the Apostle Paul that
God’s grace is sufficient for the “evil tidings” that may come in our life.
Once fear has departed and we have fixed our heart upon the Lord, then we can have faith in Him. Faith is responding to all that we know about God. The more we know the Lord, the more we will be able to trust Him. True faith knows that God will never leave us, nor forsake us regardless of the “bad news” that may come our way. His love is an unchanging love. He loves us with an “everlasting love.”. Faith in our Lord will dispel any fear in our life. It will enable us to bear whatever “bad news” that comes our way.
In summary, when we receive bad news, Psalm 112: 7 tells us three ways to respond to the “evil tidings”
- Do not allow fear to dominate our thoughts and actions.
- Fix our heart upon the Lord. Let our thoughts focus on the Lord.
- Place our faith in the Lord. He will carry us as we face the “bad news’ in our life.
When the “evil tidings” enter into our live, God has a way of turning those evil tidings into an opportunity to see Him work in our life and in the lives of those around us. God will turn those “evil tidings” into “good tidings” that will draw us closer to Him, and bring glory to His name.
“Dear Lord, the news that I receive is not always good. I see people who are suffering. I visit those who have marital problems. I talk with those who have a loved one who is dying. I see people who have turned away from you. I also face difficulties from time to time in my life. My tendency is to face the bad news with fear. Help me, to turn my eyes off the “bad news” and fix my heart upon you. Please, increase my faith. Help me to believe that you will take this “bad news” and make it into something good. Thank you for your great plan for my life. Amen”