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What the Bible says about BAD NEWS

Extracts from The Word for Today

How To Handle Bad News

‘…Hezekiah…spread it before the Lord.’ 2 Kings 19:14 NKJV

News-journalistsThe Bible says: ‘Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone…have made Heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see…save us…that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.’ (2 Kings 19:15-19 NKJV).

Hezekiah was in a hopeless situation. An army of 185,000 soldiers was amassed against him, planning to destroy him. But in answer to prayer, God sent an angel to wipe every one of them out. Sometimes bad news comes in the form of a letter, an email or a telephone call. It can come as the sound of screeching tyres and broken glass, a lump in your breast, a court date or a redundancy notice at work. Bad news knows no class lines, gender or age. It comes to us all. So what should you do when you have a problem you can’t resolve and can’t escape? Do what Hezekiah did: take it to the Lord in prayer. Spread it out before Him. But go to Him first, not last. When you do that you honour Him as ‘Lord’ of the situation and He will respond to you. God’s promise is: ‘He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.’ (Psalm 91:15 NKJV)

When bad news comes don’t allow it to panic you and cause you to act in haste. Stop, think rationally and get the facts before you arrive at a conclusion or make a decision. Prayerfully ask, ‘Lord, what can I do about this situation?’ If you can do it for yourself, God won’t do it for you. Joyce Meyer quotes: ‘We cannot do His part and He will not do our part.’ Faced with a well-armed, vastly superior force there was nothing Hezekiah could do to save himself. So he went to the house of God and spread out his need before the Lord. That’s always a wise move. When you respond in faith, a crisis becomes an opportunity for God to demonstrate what He can do on your behalf. The truth is, when you’ve nothing left but God — you’ve got enough! Enough to handle the situation, enough to get through it and enough to bounce back. Ask yourself, ‘Is this problem really mine?’ Yes, we’re supposed to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) but you’re not supposed to let everybody dump their problems on you. Sometimes in our eagerness to rescue others we get in God’s way when He’s dealing with them. And stop listening to round-the-clock news. If you do you’ll begin to think negatively, ‘Things are bad everywhere, so I guess I can’t expect any better.’ What has God said about you, and situation? God doesn’t respond to your need, He responds to your faith! So get into the Scriptures and discover what God has to say, then stand on it.

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2016