Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. Proverbs 25:25
“Good news gives health to the bones,” wrote the wise man of Proverbs long ago (Proverbs 15:30). Yet, have you noticed how little real “good news” there is anymore? First–you probably waken to the nerve-jarring buzz of an alarm clock, not the gentle singing of the birds outside your window. Getting dressed, you turn on the radio and hear about everything bad that has happened in the night while you were sleeping. You learn that the economy is failing and that your retirement benefits are being eaten up with inflation. Pick up the morning newspaper and you get the local crime report. Watch television at the end of your day and you see starving children somewhere, the latest terrorist attack, or you are transported to the most recent war zone, with vivid footage of what’s happening.
Is there no good news anymore? There is, but you aren’t going to find much of it in the secular media. Is it any wonder that a growing army of people are searching for programming that is uplifting and positive, instead of leaving you psychologically beaten up? It was not without reason that the writers of Scripture began to refer to the Gospel as “The Good News!” in a bad-news world.
Today, we often refer to the first four books of the New Testament as “The Gospels,” but actually the term is misleading. There is but one Gospel, the Good News of what Jesus did in promising life and peace.
Why is the Gospel good news in a bad-news world? First–it is good news because it tells me that God is concerned with my life! What a contrast to the reality of life today, which leaves you with the impression that there are few who really care what happens to you, but many who will take advantage of you. Few who really love you and care about you, but many who are indifferent to what goes on in your private world.
It is also good news in a bad-news world because the Bible says there is an end to the problems confronting our world. Yes, I acknowledge that the world right now fits the description of a short story written by Mark Twain. In this, the circumstances surrounding the characters are so chaotic that Twain suddenly stops and says, in effect, “Dear reader, if you can solve the mess the characters are in, go ahead and do so. The solution is beyond me!” Reading the last chapter tells me that eventually the Prince of Peace will return to rule and reign, and in the meantime, the peace of God can rule in my heart, no matter how much bad news confronts me every day.
The Bible is also good news in a bad-news world because it tells me my life can be different, and that is the best news of all. With God, there is forgiveness and help. I need not be a victim of my failure and sin, or live in bondage to the hostilities that would imprison me. I can be a new person–one with a hope and a future. The Bible gives hope in a pretty hopeless world, the hope that the future can be better than the past.
Finally, it is very good news because the Bible says that God is in control. It says there is a limit to how far God will allow humanity to go and will eventually step in and say, “Gentlemen, that’s enough.” Looking for good news in a bad-news world? Try the Bible. It’s the best news you will ever get.
Resource reading: Revelation 20:11-15.