The Bad News and the Good News

bad news good news

Which do you want first???There have been times when I’ve had to be the bearer of bad news. In an attempt to soften the blow I start with “which do you want first the bad news or the good news?”

But there are times where the news is just bad. On Thursday of this week Prince died, on the same day Target announced that it’s bathrooms were now gender fluid. Earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador. Continued unrest in the middle east, N. Korea preparing for a fifth nuclear test and the ongoing debacle known as the “presidential” race dissected and analyzed ad nauseam. Good news at least in the media was hard to come by this week

In the 21st chapter of Luke the physician records a conversation that takes place between Jesus and His disciples. The discussion begins when the people who are following Jesus point out the opulence and majesty of the temple. Jesus startles them by saying:

“Go ahead, look around, and be impressed; but days are coming when one stone will not be left standing on another. Everything here will be demolished.” Luke 21:6

Definitely bad news for a people whose social, religious and national identity is personified by this building. Understandably they ask “when will this happen? What are the signs it is about to occur?” The news does not get better.

Jesus tells them, deceivers will come in my name, wars with kingdoms and nations attacking one another, conflicts,  famine, epidemics, natural disasters, terrifying things, shocking signs in the heavens, BUT, Jesus then gets to the heart of the matter, telling them about what will take place before any of the other events. They have to be thinking “can it get any worse?” Jesus  assures them it will.  He no longer generalizes about what is to come. He makes it personal. In fact tells them if they will follow Him for a season it will get worse…

But before any of this happens, they will capture you and persecute you. They’ll send you to synagogues for trial and to prisons for punishment; you’ll stand before kings and government officials for the sake of My name. This will be your opportunity—your opportunity to tell your story. Make up your mind in advance not to plan your strategy for answering their questions,  for when the time comes, I will give you the words to say—wise words—which none of your adversaries will be able to answer or argue against. Your own parents, brothers, relatives, and friends will turn on you and turn you in. Some of you will be killed and all of you will be hated by everyone for the sake of My name.

But whatever happens, not a single hair of your heads will be harmed.  By enduring all of these things, you will find not loss but gain—not death but authentic life. Luke 21:12

I would be asking as you might where is the good news in any this. But to understand why this is good news we have to understand  what is at stake.

We all want the good news that comes from our relationship with Christ. But in this case I think we have to understand that the bad news is what makes the good news really good. Jesus saidThis will be your opportunity—your opportunity to tell your story.” And then He says, “By enduring all of these things, you will find not loss but gain—not death but authentic life. This is what we miss so often in 21st century Christianity.  To tell our story is why we are here. So that others will know about Him. To save our life we must lose it. It may come at great risk, even great loss, as it has for many Christians in other parts of the world. As I write this I am fully aware I have little idea of the persecution Jesus describes.  But I do understand in the end what we lose is what we find. And by His grace I hope to endure whatever may come. I think this is something we must consider in the time we are in. Are we willing to endure, are we willing to live through the bad news until the good news comes… I pray that we will.


“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!

2 Responses to The Bad News and the Good News

  1. ptl2010 says:

    I agree with messagefromthefield. All God’s people should be awakened to the “bad” environment we are in and be prepared for the rapture. Be ready and steadfast. Jesus is coming soon!

  2. Pingback: The Bad News and the Good News | Daily Bread

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