The news can get you down. It’s usually about as positive as the phone calls prompted by “How am I driving?” bumper stickers. After all, what reporter spends time recounting good stories where things simply go according to plan? The things that cause a stir are the things that are most noteworthy. Naturally, tragedies and controversies top the list. That’s why, at least until the next big thing comes along, we won’t stop hearing about Nepal, same-sex marriage, and Baltimore. So, how do we respond to the news?
How to Respond to the News
This cycle of stories can be discouraging. If you fix your gaze on Christ, your reaction to the bad news of this world will have a marked difference. You won’t have to find some redeeming side-story, indulge in the latest celebrity gossip, or distract yourself with the latest highlight reel from YouTube. Instead, you can see the headlines for what they are, feel the full weight of them (more than anyone else, Christians should not ignore tragedy or injustice), and then rejoice in the fact that Jesus will return to finish the redemptive work he began. We have hope. This is good news, and it far outweighs all the bad news combined. But there’s more good news on top of that.
In 1 Peter, suffering Christians are told to always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks them for a reason of the hope they have (1 Pet 3:15). Even when the bad news directly affects believers, we should not only remain hopeful but be prepared to explain our hope. In classic fashion, God intends bad for good (Gen 50:20). In each show of seemingly unwarranted hope, we have the opportunity to share the gospel.
Responding to Worldly Problems
Take same-sex marriage, for example. In some legal cases, Christian business owners have come under legal attack for attempting to live based on their biblical convictions about marriage. In such scenarios, we know that our hope is not ultimately in earthy justice, but in eternal vindication (Rom 12:19). And when asked how we can maintain hearts full of love and forgiveness, we can point people to the fact that we have been loved greatly and forgiven much (2 Cor 5:14-15, 18; Col 3:13).
Or, consider the earthquake in Nepal. In such an overwhelming tragedy, we can take action without giving way to total despair. Such catastrophes allow us to point people toward full and final redemption in Christ’s Second Coming. He will personally comfort and completely heal (Rom 8:18-25, Rev 21:4).
So as you watch the evening news, get prepared. For not only do we have reason to hope in the face of despair, but each bit of bad news is also an opportunity to proclaim the good news of Jesus.