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Good news in a bad news world

The gloom of week's news cannot hide the hope we have in Jesus

As I came to write this article, it seemed as if there wasn’t any good news left. The news headlines since Monday have been awash with the atrocities seen in New Zealand, Nigeria and the Netherlands, the heartbreak of Cyclone Idai, the confusion around Brexit, distressing reports of more people committing suicide, the sad story about a whale that was found with 40kg of plastic in its stomach, and the gloom-filled article claiming that in 25 years Britain will not have enough water to meet demand.

The news portrays our world in a never-ending cycle of unrelenting pain and misery. Well, so it seems to me. Though, perhaps for others, it’s a season of great challenge. Or, maybe this is, for some, just simply how the world is – sometimes bad things happen and sometimes they don’t.

Whatever your perspective, thank God, that we as Christians know that this is not the only, or final, narrative. In the continuous repertoire of bad news, we have the ultimate good news. Yes, horrible and bad things are happening – there is no avoiding that we, as shown in just the last few days, often see and experience heartbreak, loss, confusion, hatred, anger, pain and suffering. Yet, we have a hope in which we are certain: the Light of the world. And, in the midst of the darkness, we can look to the Light of the world, as it says in Chronicles: We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You” (Chronicles 20:12).

Isaiah prophesied that the coming Messiah would be our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6). For many of you reading this article, you will have heard these names for Jesus many times. Keeping in mind the headlines and news bulletins, now seems a good time to reflect on and remember who our Lord and Saviour is and the promises He makes to us, and all people and the wider natural world. 

Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor. He is full of wonder and wisdom. He guides us and counsels us — where we lack wisdom He overflows with it (1 Corinthians 1:24). Whatever our thoughts are on the current political climate, for instance, we can look to Jesus as the ultimate ruler – one who is without fault, who rules with justice and grace.

Jesus is Mighty God. He is great and powerful. He is the Creator of the universe and holds everything in His hands. He reveals to us our Everlasting Father who is kind, loving, caring and wants the best for us. He weeps when we weep, and when we feel heartbroken for this world, His heart feels it even more. He is not an absent God, but comforts us by His Spirit.

Jesus is Prince of Peace. Jesus gives us peace, not an earthly peace but one that transcends all understanding and casts our fear. In this uncertain and divided world, we can call on Jesus, the only one who can bring true, everlasting peace. 

And so, as we focus on who Jesus is, let us live out this truth. We as Christians cannot be apathetic to the terrible things that happen around us. So, let us pray. When it feels as if we cannot do anything, remember the power of faith-filled prayer. Pray for our governments and those of other nations, and communities at home and around the world. Pray for those with whom we disagree and those who do not yet know Jesus. Pray that we would see God’s kingdom come, and God’s will be done.

How is the good news of Christ comforting or reassuring you amidst the current circumstances? Who could you share this comfort and reassurance with this week? Our actions can make a differences to the world around us. You could give to charities helping those in need, from suicide prevention to helping those in the midst of natural disasters. You could review how you can reduce your use of plastic, and ask yourself how can I look after God’s planet more? You could write to your MP – maybe thank them for what they are doing, send them words of encouragement, or even invite them to church. 

As we look to into this broken, fractured world and feel our spirit calling for God’s kingdom to come, let us remember who Jesus is, and see that this is not the only, or final, narrative. Not only can we trust in the hope that we have in Jesus, but we can look forward to His return – Jesus our living hope” (1 Peter 1:3), who has said to us: Take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

So, in the light of this truth, let us strive to live this life to which we are called. Let us help and love the world around us, and be a bright light in this seemingly unending season of darkness. 

About the author

Sarah has been with the Evangelical Alliance ever since she graduated in 2016 from the University of Nottingham with a degree in English. Having started as an intern, she now heads up the membership team – which includes managing the lovely membership team, looking after existing members, overseeing recruitment of new members and running the exhibition stands.

See more from Sarah Paul

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